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Justinian Lane

Only pharmaceuticals should be allowed to influence people

Just saw this over at Pharmalot: 

For years, drugmakers have been criticized for ads that minimize risks, and push consumers to ask docs for scrips. The issue is so contentious that Congress is weighing limits on DTC advertising. But when lawyers run ads - well, that’s a problem.

Source: Pharmalot » Lilly: Drug Ads Unfairly Influence Patients

So, it's OK for pharmaceuticals to push patients into taking questionable drugs, but it's not OK for lawyers to push injured patients into suing for injuries caused by those questionable drugs.  Much better if private health insurers and taxpayer-funded healthcare pays for injuries caused by drugs like Vioxx, Zyprexa, etc.

Justinian Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 2:08 PM, Jun 13, 2007 in
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Comments

That's a clear misreading of the companies', and the doctors', concerns; indeed, it flatly misrepresents Ed's posting on Pharmalot, which is far more measured. There, he notes that the concern, while ironic, is focused on patients stopping taking drugs that are life-saving (literally) because of fears triggered by attorney advertising. The ads can still exist without scaring patients off their meds, and some do a better job than others.

There's plenty here to disuss without misrepresenting it.

My usual disclosure: I do some work for pharma companies, though none on cases involving psychiatric medications. A secondary disclosure: Among the people whose lives have been saved by psychiatric medications is my mother.

[Justinian: My goal wasn't to appear biased, just sarcastic. I thought it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black for the pharmaceutical industry to want more regulation of attorney advertising when they want no regulation of their own advertising.

I agree patients shouldn't decide to stop taking medication based upon a lawyer's ad. The other side of the coin is that that citizens shouldn't "self diagnose" and decide which medicine they should use based upon a pharma commercial. I would prefer a ban of DTC drug advertising and leave the practice of medicine to physicians.]

Posted by: Bill Childs | June 13, 2007 5:54 PM

JL: The other side of the coin is that that citizens shouldn't "self diagnose" and decide which medicine they should use based upon a pharma commercial.

It's impossible for citizens to self-diagnose and decide which medicine they should use based upon a pharma commercial. A licensed medical professional has to agree with any self-diagnosis.

All the evidence on the subject demonstrates that DTC advertising improves consumer welfare and saves lives by encouraging consumers to see physicians. Even something as seemingly trivial as erectile dysfunction may be a sign of much more serious health problems that would have gone untreated without the prompting by advertising.

Posted by: Ted | June 15, 2007 8:59 AM