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Rapid Response

“And Now a Word from Our Sponsor”… Big Pharma

Christopher K. Finch, PharmD, BCPS, Bob L. Lobo, PharmD, BCPS
Volume: 101 Issue: 4 April, 2008

Abstract:

“And Now a Word from Our Sponsor”… Big Pharma


A recent CBS News commentary reported that the United States makes up only 5% of the world population yet accounts for a whopping 42% of the world's spending on prescription drugs.1 Americans, as a whole, not only take more medications (an average of 12 prescriptions per year per person in 2004), but we also happen to utilize the television and Internet as a source of information more than the rest of the world.2 Thus, what better way for the pharmaceutical industry to advertise drugs directly to us than when we are enjoying our favorite television show, surfing the Internet, or leisurely reading a magazine.

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References:

1. A Nation of Pill Takers: Americans Swallowing Drugs for Relief and Peace of Mind. CBS Sunday Morning. CBS Television. October 22, 2006. Available at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/22/sunday/main2112942.shtml. Accessed August 27, 2007.
 
2. Crister G. Generation rx how prescription drugs are altering american lives. Available at: http://danmurphydc.com/Critser.pdf. Accessed August 27, 2007.
 
3. Hollon MF. Direct-to-consumer advertising: a haphazard approach to health promotion. JAMA 2005;293:2030–2033.
 
4. Donohue JM, Cevasco M, Rosenthal MB. A decade of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. N Engl J Med 2007;357:673–681.

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