Drug Policy

Study Reveals: Ads Sell Things

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Writing in The Annals of Family Medicine, five doctors report on their experiences watching a bunch of prescription drug ads. They don't seem to have much to say on the benefits of lower search costs for drug-seeking patients, but they've come to some startling conclusions. Apparently, televised drug ads "oversell" drugs. Worse, they've got "limited educational value."

This seems to be a problem throughout the entire advertising industry. The last Cingular pitch I saw added nothing to my limited knowledge of cell-phone network technologies, though it did suggest that signing up would improve relations between me and my mother. I don't think I've ever learned anything about actuarial science from Geico's talking lizard. The last Absolut ad I saw failed to address the current or future state of my liver. And those are all products I don't need anyone's permission to buy.

More here.