Letters to the editor for Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pharmaceutical companies are like illegal-drug pushers

Watching television can be educational, informative and entertaining if you are selective in choosing programs. However, the commercials from pharmaceutical companies that pay big money to legally push drugs over the airways is appalling and, in my opinion, not much different than drug pushers on the street. After watching 10 hours of random programming, I counted 46 commercials by companies suggesting you ask your doctor to prescribe their drug that may cause severe side effects, including stroke or death. What message does this send to our youth or those susceptible to hypochondria?

A typical scenario: Five minutes of program, five commercials ā€”

1. Drug that could cause death.

2. Attorney filing class action suit for damages or death caused by a bad drug.

3. Food eating contest (ridiculous ā€” another pet peeve of mine).

4. End world hunger (possible side effect of No. 3 above).

5. Drug for indigestion or heartburn (possible side effect of No. 3 above).

What is wrong here? I would like to see these commercials banned. Tobacco advertising on television was banned because of the habit-forming drug nicotine. If you do need to take a medication suggested and prescribed by your doctor, you may actually be able to afford it because the pharmaceutical company could lower the cost due to no advertising fees.

Iā€™m going to ask my doctor if he can prescribe something for chronic fatigue of the index finger due to remote-control-mute-button syndrome. Sarcasm set aside, I believe this kind of repeated advertising can be harmful and should be reconsidered.

Judy Watkins

Carson City


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