Abel, Penson, Joffe et al. 221 www.TheOncologist.com nerships between academia and industry to develop new drugs. That’s fantastic and worthy of our support. But we are not currently discussing the benefits of drug development and medical advances; today’s topic deals only with advertising existing and expensive new drugs. Flooding us with advertisements for Neulasta ® (pegfil-grastim; Amgen Inc.) during the SuperBowl serves only one purpose: to make sure that every person receiving chemotherapy with access to a television will ask his or her physician about the drug the next day. My opinion is that the mission of the pharmaceu-tical companies with direct-to-consumer advertising is to make a profit, artfully disguised as providing a service and educating. We need to think about the financial cost to the general public as well as to consider safety issues. The Vioxx ® (rofecoxib; Merck & Co., Inc.) story is a perfect example of how people really felt they needed to advocate for themselves and ask for a drug they thought was better, when in reality it lead to regrettable complications. Empowering Patients
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