My boo loves sports radio. Somehow I tune it out, I don’t really hear it. In one ear and out the other as they say.
Until that stupid commercial about AS started playing.
At first I was angry, felt like it was being rubbed in my nose. I get sensitive about having a debilitating disease sometimes for some reason in some way.
Then I was like, hell yeah, empowerment, awesometivity, great, awareness, hi ya!
Then I looked it up. Lovingly brought to you by Abbot Labs, creators of Humira! Those sweet people at Abbot Labs, hoping someone hears the ad, goes to their doctor and discovers their disease and the only way to help it, going on to lead a happy, normal, and fulfilled life.
They are hoping that.
They are also hoping that the rest of the suckers with back pain (because that’s the only symptom the misleading commercial offers) go to their doctors and the following happens:
“Hey, Doc. My back hurts. I think I have Ankylosing Spondylitis.”
“And why is that Randy?”
“My back hurts and other well-thought-out reasons.”
“Well, I don’t see any inflammation in your blood work.”
“It doesn’t always show up. I WebMD’d this shit.”
“Good work, Randy. You’ve done some stand-up investigative research here. I award you with this Certificate of Humira Prescription.”
Back to Non-Hypothetical-World: I’m taller? I don’t think so…if anything, I’m shrinking…oh, yeah. It’s probably because I’m standing ON THIS SOAPBOX.
DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER PHARMACEUTICAL ADVERTISING: A STUDY IN PUKE.
Ok, not a study, just my one-sided fanatical opinions. Let me opine in pros and cons:
- Awareness: Because some of the people listening DO have undiagnosed AS. I had never heard about it until the doctor accused me of having it.
- Induces research: Knowledge is power.
- Gets people talking to their doctors about symptoms they thought were “just” normal aches and pains.
- The argument could be made that it drives down the costs of medications due to market competition, but as there is so little competition with the class of drugs we’re talking about here, I think we can drop this argument for now.
- Induces research: WebMD how many ways you can die from back pain. Happy nightmares!
- Mis-prescriptions: You know that bespectacled creep at work who just kept dogging you about how 9/11 was a conspiracy by Nazi aliens until you finally just agreed with everything he said? Doctors agree to shut you up, too.
- Ads cost money funded by the rising cost of your prescription.
- Companies provide incentives to doctors who prescribe their medication, resulting in misdiagnoses. HONESTY: Giving a patient the pill that will help THEM, not the pill that will get you a Disney cruise in the Bahamas.
- Turns consumers into whiners: “My eyelashes aren’t full enough,” “My perfectly consistent period comes, like, every month,” “My legs are just so restless.”
Personal story: I was bullied into Nuva Ring (hormonal contraceptives you shove up your hoo-ha that works via “localized” [of course, your vaginal walls are like open doors to your bloodstream, shipping those ‘mones all over your body] hormones near your cervix) by not-my-usual-doctor one time. She wouldn’t allow me to get the Paragard IUD (no hormones) until I tried the Nuva Ring (with hormones, which I did not want). She showed me how it works on a cross-sectioned vagina model with a giant NUVA RING logo plastered along the labia.
I didn’t like that. I liked that even less than I liked that stupid thing falling out of me every ten minutes.
Why do you care? Because you’re spending five thousand dollars a month (who are we kidding? We all have insurance because uninsured suckers don’t get Humira) so that Abbot could spend $29.4 million on advertising in Q1 of 2012 (for all you non-biz people, that’s a quarter of a year. A QUARTER.)
What should you do? No idea. Just think next time you see a commercial for “The Purple Pill,” whose advertising was the mystery of my youth. I always thought it was a boner drug since, for a decade, they NEVER TOLD YOU WHAT IT WAS FOR OR WHAT IT WAS CALLED OR ANYTHING! Finally, the internet arrived and rubbing my palms together one night, I typed it in to AOL search once my parents had gone to bed and found out the answer to the mystery that had plagued my childhood and made me feel awkward when the commercial came on when I was watching tv with my parents:
Heartburn. Womp womp.