Should prescription drugs be advertised on TV?

LOLA Pharm.D.

It usually goes a little something like this:

[A young attractive lady in black sits on a park bench looking depressed, then a pretty animated butterfly comes around and perches on her nose, immediately perking up the depressed lady. Her outfit is suddenly transformed to a pretty pink color, signalling the end of her drab emotional state]

Then comes the long list of possible side effects/warnings of said anti-depressant drug delivered in a quickfire speed, in a manner that rivals your favorite rap artiste. 

Sound familiar? Of course it does; it is the typical format of a prescription drug TV commercial.

There is an ongoing debate going on about whether prescription drugs should be directly marketed to consumers. Up until the mid-1980s, information about prescription drugs were given only to doctors and pharmacists, who then relayed that information to their patients if appropriate. Nowadays, drug companies give the general public more direct access to…

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