“Ask your doctor about…”


By Sue Curtis



Recently I read an article about pharmaceutical advertising that said the United States and New Zealand were the only two countries in which such advertising is legal. I’m trying to verify that fact, because I find the commercials for various drugs to be a bit alarming, especially when they list the most frequently-experienced side effects.

These side effects are scary, certainly. That’s not the only reason I find them offensive, however. One of the reasons is that I can’t really be sure what some of the drugs are supposed to treat. The “ask your doctor about” ploy without saying what the medicine is designed to help means I’ll waste valuable seconds of those allotted five minutes with my doctor inquiring about some drug I likely don’t need.

Another reason I don’t enjoy these commercials is that they are so misleading. They imply that if I take this medicine to help, for example, my breathing, then as a natural result, I will be suddenly see a pottery studio built next to my home. Or if I take the drug to clear up my skin condition, which is apparently making people run in horror upon seeing me, then I will automatically win my bowling tournament.

The worst offender of this is the one that advertises a medicine to help you when “that romantic moment happens.” Not only is this commercial misleading, but the writers clearly have no idea what “romance” means. At least, not in my opinion. Because I have rarely felt romantic inclinations when painting my living room. Nor do my hormones strike up a chorus when I’ve been caught in a rain shower. Seriously, nobody looks that good in wet clothes and plastered-down hair. Plus, it’s hard to feel “romantic” with cold water dripping down your back.

Then there are those ridiculous bathtubs. It’s supposed to make you all dreamy-eyed, I guess, but there’s nothing appealing to me about side-by-side bathtubs. First of all, they are pictured outside, on a deck, with no overt means of getting any water into them, let alone warm water. The only water in the ad is the pond in the background. Now, I’ve been around ponds in warm weather and they are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, gnats, and other critters of that ilk. So what, exactly, is romantic about sitting in cold water, in a separate bathtub, outside, near a pond? Doesn’t do anything for me, that’s for sure.

If I’m really concerned about my blood pressure, or cholesterol, or allergies, the ads don’t reference a good diet, exercise, or purging my house of allergens. It’s simpler to take that little pill, though you may risk heart attacks, infections, blood diseases, difficulty breathing, suicidal thoughts, boils, or death.

The article I read further said that these commercials aren’t going away any time soon, because they apparently influence us to ask our doctors for the drugs, to the tune of millions and millions of dollars a year. Maybe so, but I’m not investing in matching bathtubs any time soon. How about you? Email me at suecurtis9@gmail.com.

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By Sue Curtis

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.