Why new drug ads tout side effects

Pills
I noticed the other day, while watching a TV advertisement, that drug companies are getting more comfortable talking about the side effects of the drugs they are promoting.  At first blush it seems counter-productive.  But, if you consider the inevitable litigation that will ensue, it’s actually a very smart move. As we all know by now, people don’t pay attention to warnings, so why not feature them prominently in TV ads?   

Here’s why this is a good idea. If the drug sounds enticing the potential consumer will focus only on the benefits, and downplay the side-effects. Some people will experience side-effects and sue the drug company.  But when that happens the drug manufacturers can point to the TV ads and say ‘geez, what else do you want us to do to inform you about side-effects?’  A powerful argument, to be sure.  Indeed, this new advertising strategy is so clever that even manufacturers of older drugs are using it.  For example, note how an advertisement for this social anxiety drug briefly touts some benefits, but then gives a laborious list of side-effects. 

Hey, I’m ready to try it myself.

3 Comments

  • DannyHaszard says:

    Eli Lilly 3Q 10% profit rise is nearly all from psyche drugs including zyprexa.

    How have they schemed to squeeze more money from their zyprexa cash cow when pill production has actually gone down?

    ANS-Eli Lilly profiteers have jacked up the price of zyprexa to the federal govt,from the Medicare D payouts.

    Eli Lilly is a big drug company that puts profits over patients.

    They covered up findings that their Zyprexa has a TEN times greater risk of causing type 2 diabetes

    Only 9% of Americans trust big pharma,right around the same rating as tobacco companies.

    Daniel Haszard Eli Lilly zyprexa drug caused my diabetes http://www.zyprexa-victims.com

  • Ernie says:

    Okay, I understood that the drug companies were required to note side effects. I was trying to set up the joke, which was the link to the recording. Tequila is not a regulated drug, but it does have side effects ….such as making your clothes fall off.

  • Sophmom says:

    Hilarious. One of my coworkers got that in an email last week. I loved “…may lead to pregnancy and may be a factor in getting your ass kicked…”!