Saturday, April 9, 2016

Another Medication which creates more patients- and another wonderful benefit of marrying Medicine to Capitalism

1.  Notice how so many of these ads are about "adding" a medication, rather than "replacing?"  I strongly suspect that it has something to do with the fact that there's a lot more money in adding than there is in replacing.  Just once I'd like to see a commercial where the doctor "explains" that the drug she prescribed isn't doing what it was promised, so it's time to try something else.  Instead it's always "that perfectly good antidepressant doesn't eliminate your symptoms 100%, 100% of the time?  Nothing wrong with that drug, you just need ANOTHER drug to fill in the gaps."

2.  Notice how happy the doctors in these ads are to prescribe another drug?  The cartoon doctor here seems downright thrilled to hear that her patient's symptoms aren't being 100% masked by whatever Miracle Drug she prescribed eight days ago.  Wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that doctors are essentially drug dealers who went to Medical School, and their money- along with junkets and other free goodies- comes primarily from dealing.

3.  Notice how one of the two constants in drug ads over the past thirty years (since they've become nauseatingly ubiquitous?) is the line "(Insert Drug Name Here) Is Not For Everyone?"  Like we don't know this already?  We are all well aware that drugs for Depression, Diabetes, Arthritis, Erectile Disfunction, etc. etc. etc. aren't for "everyone"- just the people who have been diagnosed, and who have the insurance required to pay for the expensive drugs needed to mask the problem.

4.  Notice how the other contant in drug ads is the long list of absolutely horrible possible side-effects, always delivered calmly in a matter-of-fact, no-big-deal manner?  If you take Abilify- the drug your television doctor told you to try because you aren't in a constant state of bliss- on top of the antidepressent your actual doctor told you would work the last time you visited, you might suffer from all of these other issues, each of which when experienced by normal people (with health insurance) drives those people to the doctor for therapy and-- of course-- medication.  I strongly suspect that if, after a few days of taking Abilify AND the original antidepressant, the patient begins to feel any of these symptoms, they'll be back to the doctor for even more drugs.   Putting more dollars signs in the eyes of that smiling, compassionate doctor.  And so it goes.


  1. I always laugh at what seem to me to be new diseases and afflictions -- you know they're legit because they're referred to by initials: Do you have LBL? Do you have IBS-D? You probably didn't know they were things until the TV ad narrator told you. Now that you know it's a thing, you probably have it. You probably need to see your doctor about this new medicine, which has a name you've never heard of that contains a lot of Zs and Xs.

  2. Depression is real, and it is much more than failing to be in a constant state of bliss. And for some people who have it, medication is all that works, or at least it is needed in combination with other therapy to give the therapy a chance to work. But the answer to medication not working is not always more medication. Despite what we hear in the ads. (The possible side effects and complications are also real.)