Facebook and Twitter

and follow my blog on Twitter @pharmacynic to receive notifications on new posts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Direct-to-Consumer Marketing

I have never been a fan of Direct-to-Consumer advertising when it comes to prescription marketing. I just think it's bad policy to promote products that require a legal document to obtain. I do believe this is responsible for many of the problems we have with pharmacy today.
Patients see a medication they like. They call the pharmacy or doctor and ask for it. They get their prescription from the doctor, take it to the pharmacy and go home. However, in between all of this, they are complaining that it shouldn't be this difficult to get it. "Why do I have to wait?", is the lament. Because it's on TV, they feel they should just be able to ask for it, walk in to any store, and pluck it off the shelves.
Originally, the thought behind this was simple: New drugs are being manufactured. People are too shy, quiet, afraid to visit their doctors and speak up about their problems. They even trivialize issues that may be more serious. This DTC marketing will allow patients to feel better about opening up, about coming out of their shell and realizing there are other people just like them who suffer needlessly from these treatable disease states.
Now the most common ads we see are for Limp Penises, Weak Bladders, Allergies, and Arthritis, just to name a few. (Is there a more ubiquitous ad campaign than Viagra or Cialis have?)
People already ignore pharmacists' advice when it comes to OTC recommendations. They prefer the product that Dr. Oz told them was a miracle (that post is coming...) or they prefer what their hairdresser said her aunt's son-in-law thought worked for him. Instead of performing our professional duties, we just give them what they want. It may be not appropriate. It may be the wrong drug altogether. If may be harmful to them. The customer may always be right according to some dumbass corporate suit, but the PATIENT is not.

No comments:

Post a Comment