Self Health Care

Articles about alternative ways of treatment and self health care

No-one takes any notice of adverts, do they?

Every year, the pharmaceutical industry in the USA spends billions of dollars on direct-to-consumer advertisements for medications that are only available on prescription. In other countries, such advertising is often banned. Advertising to the medical profession is, however, universal – companies need to inform doctors of the products and their use.

It is easy to dismiss advertising as having little effect on consumer behaviour which is, of course, why companies spend so much on advertising campaigns. In the medical field, the adverts are intended to achieve specific goals:

  • to increase brand name awareness;
  • to accept links between everyday experiences and medical causes; and
  • to believe that the branded medications will remove the causes and return you to normal (whatever that is).

The first adverts appeared in 1981 but, in 1983, the FDA imposed a moratorium to research the effect of the adverts on the public. In 1985, the moratorium was lifted because of fears that it was interfering with freedom of speech. Now adverts are permitted so long as they provide a “true” and “balanced” view of the product and its effectiveness. The FDA monitors compliance and can instruct a company to withdraw any advertisement it feels does not comply. Interestingly, some pharmaceutical companies now spend more on direct-to-consumer advertising than doctor advertising. Their view is that consumers can affect doctor behaviour.

In the area of erectile dysfunction, the advertising for cialis runs through a number of different forms. Like any prescription medication, it is aimed at relieving the symptoms of a medical condition. The wording proclaims, “It works!” as if that explains all the benefits of the medication.

These simple statements are often combined with personal testimonials and confirmation that use of the medication avoids the feared outcome, in this case, a failure to penetrate or maintain the erection after penetration. This tends to be the core appeal. If erectile dysfunction is the problem, cialis helps you to function normally again. The medication is packaged as a means of emotional security. Trust the pills to get you back to normal. People are praised because they cared about themselves and the effect their condition was having on their partners. By introducing others as victims, guilt at not getting the “cure” is increased – cialis is life-enhancement for both partners. To support this, people are encouraged to begin the art of self-diagnosis and health management. The adverts give a few symptoms and suggest that those symptoms represent a disorder that can then be “cured”. It is uncommon to find the price of the medication mentioned, or any information about whether it is available on health insurance plans.

There is no doubt that this advertising educates the public about their options when faced by health problems and teaches them to believe that taking a pill is the best solution. When that medication is only available on prescription, it promotes business to the doctors. In the case of cialis, it is interesting to note that the FDA has never queried any of the adverts whereas there has been litigation alleging misleading advertising for competing medications. Add to this the fact that the word-of-mouth advertising for cialis has been and remains very strong, and it is easy to understand why this medication has taken so big a slice of the market so quickly.

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