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Should there be advertisements for prescription drugs?
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Advertising prescription drugs in media trivializes their potential harm

If a medication with potentially deadly side effects is advertised in the same commercial break as a new candy, car insurance, or perhaps even children’s show, it implies that utilizing potentially harmful medications is as mundane and accessible as buying a six-pack at the store.

The Argument

Advertising is created for the purpose of selling a product. The idea that DTC (direct-to-consumer) advertising of prescription drugs is about anything other than sales is absolutely preposterous. DTC did not begin until the 1980s, and has since become a multibillion dollar industry that profits off of convincing people they may or may not need them. When drug commercials are shown along with car, yogurt, and various other product commercials, it commodifies them, turning them into just any other solution to your problems -- like that new car will make you happier, and that yogurt will make you slimmer. Prescription medications require a prescription for a reason; they can have seriously harmful side effects that need to be discussed with and evaluated by a healthcare provider. To advertise them as a quick and easy purchase is dangerous to the well-being of all. [1][2]

Counter arguments

Just because something is advertised, doesn’t inherently make it bad or insidious. DTC works to aid consumers in learning about new medications that might help them with potential health conditions and to be able to discuss them as potential options with their healthcare provider. DTC equips patients to ask questions; it is not a mandate for patients to blindly consume medications.[3]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 29 Nov 2020 at 23:20 UTC

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