Advertising in Medicine

        For the most part, I am against advertising in medicine, and find it a conflict of interest.  Before I get too sanctimonious though, I have to disclose I still have a pair of Tagamet socks from the early days- I know it for a fact ’cause I waxed my car with them last spring.  And too, I must admit one time I used some  samples of a forgotten topical steroid to clear up my dog’s peculiar dermatitis.  Before I forget, the hemorrhoid cream samples resolved my brother-in- law’s poison ivy quite nicely.  It worked great- if you read the labels it is all the same stuff.

        In recent years, though, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries have taken the hype to a whole new level.  I don’t have any idea what they spend for all those T.V. ads, but I am sure just a minimal percentage of it would sustain our little clinic in perpetuity (without ever bothering to charge our patients anything) if there was some way for us to put all that kind of money in the First County Bank and run the practice off pass book interest.

        As a doc, though, the advertisement thing never seemed the right way to go.  Besides, we hardly needed it.  I had one old fellow who lived till 107 or 109, depending on which of his two birth certificates you believed.  He told everyone he lived that long ’cause of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, young women (gotta admire the guy) and Dr. Tommy Bibey.  Truth was it was from the Good Lord, good genes, and a knack for choosing the right ancestors, but with word of mouth advertising like that, who needs a T.V. ad?

        Before I go get some coffee, I’d better tell you the cup has a drug name on it.  I’m a good Doc, though- the generic equivalent is just as good on this one, and I always write it anyway.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Philosophy

One Comment on “Advertising in Medicine”

  1. Eric Says:

    I could not agree more. I have had female patients ask me about prostate medicines for themsleves (thanks to commercials) and patients “demanding” (most expensive not covered) the latest meds.

    Dr. M


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