Better Living through Pharmaceuticals

I don’t watch much television. I watch baseball games and occasionally watch Comedy Central. Sometimes I’ll watch something on TLC or the Discovery Channel. But when I was younger I watched a lot of TV. I don’t ever recall seeing commercials for drugs like we do today. Even with as little TV as I watch, I think I’ve seen a commercial for every drug imaginable! There are drugs to cure just about everything, especially of course the widespread problem of erectile dysfunction.

It seems to me that as pharmaceutical companies’ pipelines start to dry up, they get desperate and start creating and pimping drugs for relatively mild maladies. In fact, the descriptions of these maladies are starting to get so general in nature they sound like everyone could be suffering from it.

“Do you feel tired in the morning? Groggy, achy and just not up to going to work?” You hear this commercial and look up from your Blackberry. “Hey, I feel like that.” You perk up a bit. “Is the house a mess and you just can’t bring yourself to do anything about it?” Damn, he’s talking to me!

Of course then they rattle off the side effects in that voice you hear at the end of a radio ad for a leased car. “Side effects may include swollen spleen, bleeding anus, baldness, brittle bones and in rare cases genital rash.”

The thing that really amazes me is the punch line; the hook. “So ask your doctor about Blahgoaway today!” Should the patient really be asking their doctor about drugs they saw on TV for ailments they didn’t even know they had?! Is that what we’d consider better living through pharmaceuticals?



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