Friday, December 29, 2006

Is It Just Me, or Are You Afraid to Get Sick Too?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dispensing essential wisdom for free since 2005! Before that it cost you a stick of gum, so you're ahead of the game.

Some people like to cook. Some consider it a chore. I fall into the latter category. Therefore I am rarely in my kitchen during the half hour of national nightly news on the telly.

This week I've heard the telly news several times while dicing and slicing. And it wasn't the sorrowful passing of Gerald Ford that made me sit up and take notice. It was the commercials.

Do you watch the nightly news? Have you seen and heard all the pharmaceutical commercials? These aren't happy jingles for Speedy Alka-Selzer. These are ads for serious prescription medications.

So, I'm idly decimating an onion, and I hear the following ad, or something like it:

"Is that persistent anxiety getting you down? Interfering in your life? Putting a wall between you and your loved ones? We can help! Prescription OxyContin will have you feeling completely at ease with yourself and others in just two or three doses! With continued use, you'll find such an improvement in your life you'll hardly know yourself."

(Personal testimonial from an actress) "I had trouble just getting into the elevator at work. Now I'm the life of the party! OxyContin has given me my life back. I'll never be without it again!"

Now here's the part that gets my attention:

"OxyContin is a prescription medication for use only as directed.
Side effects can include the following: cessation of breathing, cardiac arrest, constipation, vomiting, bleeding from the eyes, lack of motor control, insomnia, drowsiness, lack of appetite.
Discontinue use of OxyContin immediately if you stop breathing, as this can lead to serious medical conditions, not limited to brain damage.
Prolonged use of OxyContin can be habit forming. Consult your doctor before discontinuing use of OxyContin, as you may experience violent withdrawal symptoms too numerous to mention in this ad."

So, for the love of fruit flies, who's going to rush to the doctor and beg for OxyContin? (Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "rush.") And that's just an example. I'm pretty sure I heard a commercial for a prescription arthritis drug that can cause bleeding ulcers and stroke.

You've gotta be in pretty serious pain to prefer stroke to your sore hip.

Of course the million dollar question is: "How much of the price of the medication goes into these moronic advertisements?" And the answer is: plenty.

I guess this is what happens when the real medicine-makers get booted from the airwaves. Jack Daniels and Bacardi spring to mind. But I guess they'd have to list their side effects too, and that would make any barfly think twice.



Tennessee Jed said...

I find it odd too they advertise and spend money on telling you about a product only a Doctor can get for you. It seems like they could pass the savings on to the people who need the drug instead of waisting money on tv ads.

What the heck would I know I put light bulbs on bridges for a living...I got my mind right here boss.

BBC said...

I don't watch TV other than movies I get from the library or rent.

Lets see, a thirty pack of Natural Light beer is thirteen bucks.

Yup, got my meds right here. They gave me pain pills when I had my knee operation but I didn't use them.

Putting up with a little pain makes a person stronger, this planet isn't for lightweights.

Angela-Eloise said...

I always think the same things when I see these stupid ads: why are they advertising prescription drugs and the side effects sound worse than the condition the drug is for! I don't think they should be allowed to advertise these drugs but seeing how many of them there are, they must be the networks' primary source of income.

As for your comment about real medicine:

"But I guess they'd have to list their side effects too, and that would make any barfly think twice."

Hehe - that's a good one.

And why are they allowed to advertise beer?

Interrobang said...

That's weird. OxyContin is a painkiller, and the ad makes it sound like an antidepressant.

Addictive? Hell yes.

The reason they advertise drugs like that is to get patients to agitate for that specific drug. In a way, it's an attempt to subvert the doctor's judgement for profit.

Athana said...

I love it, I love it! "... Discontinue use of OxyContin immediately if you stop breathing...."

purvis ames said...

OxyContin is synthetic heroin, much beloved by Rush Limbaugh. The invisible hand of the free market is now plunging a syringe into its arm and shooting up!

buddy don said...

miz bd wuz splainin the hillbilly method of curin a cold:

1. hang hat on bed post
2. drank jack daniels till ye see two hats

yer cured, but ye gut a heck of a hangover.