Do Commercial Ads about Medication Frighten You?

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by Bob Branco

I don’t watch television very often, but in the little time that I watch it on a daily basis, I probably hear at least 5 commercials about new wonder drugs that are supposed to treat a variety of conditions. With every reason why you should take these drugs, the commercial offers you 10 reasons why you shouldn’t. I understand that a lot of people can’t take them for various health reasons, but I must tell you that these ads scare me a great deal.

For example, many doctors prescribe these very tiny pills which help lower cholesterol. These pills, also known as statins, are usually prescribed when diet and exercise don’t work. Yet I know people who take these statins who develop numbness of the legs, liver problems, and other conditions that they never had before. The television commercials even verify that this is a possibility when taking these statins or other related cholesterol medication. On two separate occasions, my doctor prescribed a statin to help lower my cholesterol, but I am very reluctant to take it because of what I hear on television and in person. I don’t want to take a chance that any side effects I might get are worse than the actual condition that the statin is trying to treat.

I’ve been told that doctors may not know your body, and they need to find out more when you take the statin in order to determine whether to put you on another one if something goes wrong. That may be so, but I’m still afraid.

As I said earlier, drug commercials don’t make me feel any better. With that said, I think I know one of the reasons why we hear so much negativity in these ads even though some people actually do have other health issues which prevent them from taking the medication advertised.

I believe that these advertisers are driven by a large percentage of society who can’t wait to sue someone for every bad thing that happens. I said that this was only one reason for the negativity, because I also believe we should hear the warnings against taking the medication.

My point is that lately, there is an abundance of drug ads where 90 percent of them warn people. I never heard this much of an overemphasis before. While a lot of people need to be warned, I am warned scared!

About the Author

Bob Branco resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is a self-published author of four books. He is a community organizer, tutors persons with visual impairments, and has written columns for local and international organizations. Bob’s web site is www.dvorkin.com/robertbranco/.

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