Written Assignment 8

Written Assignment 8 - Michels 1 Megan Michels Skiles COMS...

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Michels 1 Megan Michels Skiles COMS 226 02/25/10 Written Assignment #8: Pharmaceutical Regulations Ill: The current harm that needs to be resolved in this case is that pharmaceutical industries are exploiting consumers by creating appealing advertisements for new drugs in order to make more money on a product that is simply a replica of an existing, cheaper drug. In “Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Pushing Drugs,” they explained that the drug advertisements today depict an ultimate, carefree, healthy lifestyle because the person in the commercial uses any of the various drugs being promoted. The advertisements tell viewers to simply go ask their doctors for these pills, and then they too can have the lifestyle. This, in turn, leads to patients coming to their doctors to ask for prescriptions that they know nothing about, often times putting unnecessary drugs into their body and spending excessive money on these products (“Big Bucks”). Ultimately, these persuasive messages being displayed for public viewers results in billions of dollars being brought in for the Pharma companies, only further encouraging the advertisements. Experts claim that “News coverage that has emerged since the FDA's deregulation of prescription drug ads fails to explore the deeper, ethical issues of creating unnecessary demand, harming consumers, and raising prices” (Coleman 558). Viewers are drawn to prescription drugs that they don’t even need because of the appealing advertisements distributed to them by the pharmaceutical industry. Not only are advertisements a problem, but there is also the problem of bribing physicians to write prescriptions for specific medications. Gift-giving and other forms of bribery have been
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Michels 2 proven to influence the sales of prescription drugs. Research has shown that, “Although medical students do not always remember the gifts pharma representatives gave them, they do remember the gift-bearers and their messages more favourably than they do representatives who gave no gifts (Sandberg, Carlos, Sandberg, & Roizen, 1997)” (Schowalter 128). This process of pharma representatives bribing physicians and medical students to sell their products further contributes to the exploitation of consumers. Although consumers do consciously make the choice to purchase prescription drugs, the drug companies are creating advertisements that misrepresent the available medications. The qualitative significance of this ill is substantial. In the “Big Bucks, Big Pharma” video, a Columbia University Medical Center Professional claimed that between 1998-2004, only 14% of new drugs that came out were actually made up of new chemical compounds, while 78% of the drugs that came out were “me-too” drugs, (“Big Bucks”). The Columbia Medical
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Written Assignment 8 - Michels 1 Megan Michels Skiles COMS...

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