Now here’s a novel use of the web. Consumer Union is lobbying Congress to tighten drug safety laws, following the wave of people who have been injured or worse after taking such approved drugs as Vioxx and Bextra. As part of their effort, they are lampooning the rash of drug and pharmaceutical ads which have become an increasing presence in the media. Quick – how many of you have not heard of “the purple pill”?
Ask anyone who is from just about any other part of the world than the United States, and they will tell you that it is utterly alien for pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to the consumer. But here in the U.S., we are routinely bombarded with ads for all manner of drugs and pharmaceuticals. “Ask your doctor for this drug”, they exhort. This is what happened with Vioxx and Bextra, and look where it got those consumers (heart attacks and stroke, and bleeding ulcers, respectively).
Consumer Union puts the blame for this squarely on the drug manufacturers, and the lax drug safety laws which they claim have allowed this situation.
But they also point out that advertisements for pharmaceuticals, and responding to them by rushing out to get more drugs, is also part of the problem, with this cute animation.
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