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msh's avatar

Do people actually listen to all of the side effects of advertisements for RX commercials?

Asked by msh (4262points) January 17th, 2016 from iPhone

There is a constant bombardment of commercials of active and healthy Actors portraying happy and now-hale people, devoid of any maladies being addressed. These ads are on the upswing over the airwaves.
‘Insty-Cure’!
However, within these advertisements, the voiceover begins to recite all of the dire reactions to the product that may be applicable to any user. Notice the lessening of the crescendo in action and background music as it fits around the possible consequence-portion of the ad? It picks up tempo after the serious business. Or that the serious description of negative results is presented at a slightly faster paced banter than “what a wonderful world will be like” with the useage of their product.
I understand that the commercials for such drugs are for those suffering the very most from the addressed malady. Chronic illness is hell. I get that. However, by listing such side-effects, this doesn’t signal that just one out of a goodly number of people in the pharmaceutical study group had these horrible side effects occur. Do people hear or listen to these warnings? The main message ideal is for the sufferers to “ask your doctor”. But are these ads exploiting the public’s awareness to pressure their physician’s course of treatment prescribed?
The Drug Companies are blanketing doctors with samples, information, pens, cups, toys, you name it. Are commercials really needed? Who hears the downside of hope? Those suffering?

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8 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Some people must listen, because I hear people comment on all the horrible side effects rambled off at the end of a commercial.

I’m actually in favor of advertising drugs, as much as I hate that it probably raised the prices. Too many people don’t know about drugs that might help them.

AshlynM's avatar

I never understood those commercials. No, I usually don’t listen to the side effects. I think all of them you have to get prescribed by a doctor anyway so why are they on tv? Other than informing the public, it’s not like you can go out and buy them at the pharmacy.

johnpowell's avatar

Same as Ashlyn. I have never went to the doctor and asked for a specific pill. And I would really hope my doctor wouldn’t prescribe one for me based on my nagging even if I was convinced I needed it based on a tv advert.

flutherother's avatar

In the UK you can advertise over the counter medications but not prescription only drugs which are promoted only to healthcare professionals. That seems reasonable to me, professionals can make an informed and unemotional decision about drugs which the patient can’t.

JLeslie's avatar

What a lot of you are not realizing is doctors often prescribe what they have always prescribed, don’t always know about new medications, sometimes don’t try older medications when a newer one isn’t working well, and often are unaware of some side effects.

Most patients don’t know there is a medication option, or a different medication option unless they go to the doctor, and the doctor mentions it. The doctor might not. Maybe a drug commercial finally gets someone to go to the doctor. That could be a good thing.

Jak's avatar

I feel like a lot of people like having new medicine the same way some people like having the newest gadgets. They like to list their symptoms, what they used to take, what they told their doctor to get them to prescribe this new medicine, how much it cost then, blah blah blah. They’re taken in by advertising. I’ve noticed what seems to be a new trend is to just have people look long into the camera as it pans back with the most utterly stupid expressions on their faces, or they’re gazing off into the distance with a fan just slightly blowing their hair back. I’d like to see actual numbers regarding demographic factors that go into these commercials. They must be pretty solid because the ads all have the same underlying theme.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jak That made me LOL. It is true to some extent. Although, probably half the ads are about Viagra or something similar.~

Zaku's avatar

I avoid television, and ads, but haven’t succeeded entirely. One reason is it’s hard for me to ignore or not think about all the levels of scummy things it says.

I notice drug ads and their warnings. Though I also noticed they seem to say the side-effect warnings in a tone and at a speed which makes it almost impossible to really hear and digest all of them, but the impression is like, “taking this drug may cause blindness, paralysis, dementia, leprosy, plague, and/or death, homicidal killing sprees, or other dire consequences, but hey, wouldn’t it be great to live in a purple hallucination where everyone is beautiful and smiling?”

My doctor mentions on practically every visit, that any drug advertised on TV is a bad drug.

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