Friday, August 21, 2020

Prevagen: everything that is wrong about advertising in the United States


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Original Commercial here:

At no time in this commercial will you hear three things you ALWAYS here in ads for actual, FDA-approved medication:

1.  How it's supposed to work

2.  Possible side effects

3.  Encouragement to Ask your Doctor about the product.

The reason why you won't hear any of those things is because Prevagen is not medication.  It's a dietary supplement.  Therefore,

1.  There's no science behind why it may or may not work

2.  There are no side effects, because there are no effects at all

3.  Your doctor is a paid huckster for Big Pharma, so no point in asking HIM about it.  He'll just call it Woo or Snake Oil like all closed-minded sheep do.

Instead, you get to spend a minute and a half listening to two nice old people chat about how they met, what they like to do, and how they seem to be getting benefits from this stuff that's sold not in the medicine but in the nutrition aisle of their local Giant Food Store.  There are no false claims here- just thought you'd like to hear about how two nice old people take these pills and think they work to improve memory.  That this stuff is sold in a bottle which SURE LOOKS LIKE PHARMACY-ISSUED MEDICATION is purely incidental.  That these nice old people are talking about memory improvement while also mentioning Prevagen is ALSO purely incidental.  No actual claims, no science, no problem. 

This is why there was a GNC in every mall back when there were malls- because it's just way too easy to sell junk in bottles as long as it's labeled Supplement and includes a little disclaimer about the FDA not backing up any of the claims of the seller.  This isn't harmless when you consider how many people avoid actual medical advice because they think they can just fix problems like failing memory with something sitting on the shelf next to the Green Tea Fat Burners and Copper bracelets.  But it's perfectly legal because Hey USA and Hey Capitalism. 

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