Many TV ads show happy people living the good life on account of a patent medicine. Viewers are urged to improve their own lives by asking a doctor if that medicine is right for them. The is often a long list of side-effects which evidently doesn’t weaken the appeal of the advertisement. Finally, the viewer is reminded to call the doctor if something goes wrong. You may have a problem, but the advertiser doesn’t have one.
Call your doctor. Don’t bother to call a lawyer, we told you about the risks.
These ads must be effective–they are ubiquitous and expensive. We wouldn’t see them if they weren’t effective. Yet one might not expect doctors to respond to patient requests for a drug they saw advertised on TV.
An article in today’s NY Times clears this up. Ellen Gabler and Michael H. Keller report a spike in prescriptions for cloroquine and hydroxycloroquine, drugs praised by President Trump. Prescriptions were written by “rheumatologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, psychiatrists and podiatrists.” What were these doctors thinking:
- Did they rely on DJT’s expertise?
- Did they passively prescribe what the patient asked for?
- Did drug companies offer incentives?