There are only two countries in the world that can advertise prescription drugs; New Zealand and United States. In United States, according to “What you should know about direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs,” the FDA first proposed the regulation of drug advertising in 1963. Moreover, in the 1970s, the Supreme Court recognized that the first amendment, freedom of speech, supports this idea. However, in 1983, the FDA requested an intentional suspension on DTC advertising due to not having enough policy regarding advertisements, but in 1985, the ban got lifted. Nonetheless, based upon advertisement by pharmaceutical companies, regulations were established to require pharmaceutical companies to advise their consumers of side effects and effectiveness of their product. Because of this, newspapers and magazines started advertising pharmaceutical drugs. Unfortunately, for broadcast advertising, it was not cost effective since the regulation is too inhibiting. However, in 1997, the FDA permitted those advertisements to include the purpose and effect of the product and by 1999, when the FDA issued the final guidance, pharmaceutical advertisements were already being advertised on television, billboards, radio, newspapers, and on the internet. To recapitulate, when prescription drugs are generously advertise in several methods, prescription drugs has become a lucrative industry. About five years after FDA issued new policies about managing broadcast direct to consumer advertising, which allow television ads to promote specific drugs with its information, side effects, and precautions, the marketing of prescription medications directly to consumers remains the focus of debates. Advocates argue that DTC advertising informs consumers about important, treatable health conditions and encourage doctor patient communication, while critics say that this type of advertising contributes to rising drug costs and lead people to demand unnecessary or inappropriate medications. According to “Consumer opinion and effectiveness of direct-to-consumer advertising,” 250 surveys were distributed at a pharmacy, while these consumers waiting for their prescription drugs to be filled. 154 questionnaires were returned that resulted in 62% response rate. One of the questions was asked about the respondents’ level of exposure to DTC advertising. According to the results, more than 70% of the respondents were exposed to direct to consumer drugs advertising four or five times a week, thru television. It is important that the general public to be informed about the amount and method of DTC drug advertising they are constantly exposed to so they know whether they really need to take the medications that are being prescribed to them or are they just being persuaded by the doctors or advertisements. If consumers are only taking the medications due to ads influence and doctors’ assurances, these tactics will result to mostly benefit the doctors that get commission with every prescription they prescribed and also the drug industries that spend millions of dollars in assurance that their advertisements would bait the consumers to buy their products. With knowledge, consumers will be prevented from being ripped off and take the right medications to suffice their medical needs. A great example to this is my own personal experience with a doctor that prescribed me an anti-depressants and bipolar medications. I was prescribed by a doctor to take anti-depressants and bipolar medications after just having me filled out a questionnaire (ten questions, exactly like how they advertise it on television for i.e. Are you restless? Having a hard time concentrating? Etc.). I personally didn’t go to the doctor to get prescriptions medicines but I went there to see if anyone can help me grieve about a death of a good friend since I’m not comfortable calling and crying on the phone with my friends. Without any knowledge about the medications or how and...
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