I went to the drugstore to buy a box of Claritin-D 24. I can’t say I’m miserable during allergy season, but my runny nose is annoying. The pharmacist asked me if I would like the generic version of Claritin which was less than half the price. She said it was the same drug with the same effects. “Why the difference in cost?” I asked, knowing the answer. “They don’t advertise,” she said. Years ago, I took Lipitor for high cholesterol (it runs in the family) and then I switched to a generic drug that does the same thing for $2.00 per month out of my pocket. Why so cheap? Again, they don’t advertise.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my cartoon exaggerates (what editorial cartoon doesn’t?) but it’s clear to me that TV advertising, among other factors, is helping to push prescription drug prices to the moon. Plus, this constant barrage of annoying drug ads that pepper us all day and half the night contributes to our drug-soaked society, whether it’s legal prescription drugs, illegal drugs, over-the-counter meds or legal prescription drugs sold on the black market like Oxycontin.
When the feds ordered cigarette advertising off TV, it helped addicted people who wanted to quit smoking. We can bring down prescription drug prices and slow the abuse of addictive deadly medicines. It’s time to stop selling prescription drugs on TV.