4_Direct to consumer advertising in oncology - Abel et al.

4_Direct to consumer advertising in oncology - Abel et al....

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220 Direct-to-Consumer Advertising in Oncology T he O ncologist ® What’s the attraction for patients in direct-to-con- sumer advertising? Mostly, it’s an effort, I think, to right the balance of power in a situation in which we feel powerless. The medical profession has the informa- tion and knowledge, but it’s my body: my lumpy, highly imperfect body, but one with which I’ve grown familiar over the years. And now weird, scary things are going on, that you know much more about than I do. I may not know about what’s happening inside my body, but I do know how chemotherapy affected me, and that’s where direct-to-consumer advertising can also find a home. Zofran ® and Neupogen ® , for example, allowed me to get out of the house and lead a seminormal life (if a bald, sweating, anorectic woman can be said to have a nor- mal life). R i g h t i n g t h e imbalance of power in the relationship between physician and patient is the first reason these ads are attractive. Second, and this was not my issue, but I know it’s true for others, is whether we already have a relationship with our caregivers. I knew a long time ago that I would never get sick (we never do), but if I were, I wanted to get my care at the same hospital where I had worked for many years. I also had a long- standing relationship with my primary care physician.
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