Penny Arcade has a great strip today that sums up how I feel about consumer-targeted pharmaceutical advertising:
I especially like how drug ads are starting to use the verbage “Ask your doctor for a sample of Killzoudedia” – between the drug companies and the insurance companies, doctors are having less and less opportunity to actually diagnose their patients’ ailments.
This article at IOL about Australian artist Justine Cooper dovetails this topic nicely. Justine invented a disease (Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder, or DSACDAD) and a drug for its symptoms, Havidol. According to the article:
But the multi-media exhibit at the Daneyal Mahmood Gallery in New York, which includes a website, mock television and print advertisements and billboards is so convincing people think it is authentic.
“People have walked into the gallery and thought it was real,” Mahmood said in an interview.
In clinical trials, the most commonly reported side effects were mood changes, muscle strain, extraordinary thinking, dermal gloss, impulsivity induced consumption, excessive salivation, co-dependency with inanimate objects, hair growth, markedly delayed sexual climax, inter-species communication, taste perversion, terminal smile, and oral inflammation.
In rare instances, patients reported a sudden urge to change physicians. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to these medicines or to other factors. If you experience sudden loss of interest in your physician let them know right away. Your doctor may need to make a change in the dose that is right for you.
Now that’s what I call truth in advertising.