Candidates on Drugs

Friday 28 June 2019

  In the first Democratic Party debates for next year’s Presidential nomination, about half of the candidates had harsh words to say about Big Pharma, the mega-companies that control the prescription drug business in our country. The main complaint was that these companies are making billions of dollars by charging us outlandish prices for the medicines we need to survive. Interesting counterpoint: I think every commercial break taken by the television stations during the two nights of debates included at least one Big Pharma advertisement.

   Prescription drug commercials dominate television, the internet, magazines, and every other outlet available. Many of them are presented as if they are public service announcements. They aren’t; they are blatant advertisements, playing either to our national hypochondria (are you sure that tummy ache isn’t something serious? Better suggest this remedy to your doctor), or to our fear of personal inadequacy (even your most significant Significant Other can’t bear to touch your scaly skin; contact your doctor, and find true love). Granted that there are some human conditions that need special treatment, not every tummy ache, bout of diarrhea, or skin irritation requires a prescription drug. If your doctor can’t figure out what you need without you telling her or him what Big Pharma recommends, you should get a different doctor.

   Big Pharma spends millions – probably tens of millions – to tout their latest treatments. They get much of that money back from us, as we in the United States pay some of the world’s highest prescription drugs prices. They break even, and we……

   The debates were pretty interesting, and I bet Big Pharma was elated to have the Dems provide a two-night platform for them to air their advertising.


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© Sanford Wilbur 2019