We’ve recently reported on subliminal ads on TV, but the constant barrage of advertisements for new medicines are anything but subtle! Do the prescription drug ads we see on TV make us think we’re sick when we’re not? These ads are part of the new “empowered patient” movement, which means that doctors have lost some of their professional clout when it comes to making diagnoses and prescribing treatment?is this good or bad?

Psychiatrist Jonathan Metzl thinks that these ads amplify people’s cultural expectations, or even change them?for instance, erectile dysfunction drug ads that are featured prominently at sporting events as well as on TV play to men’s perceptions of what it is to be a normal, healthy man. The same goes for antidepressant ads showing women who are able to fulfill their roles and duties as mothers only when they are taking pills.

Studies have shown that patients who go to their doctors and ask for a medicine they saw in an advertisement are likely to get it?which is part of the reason the blitz of ads has escalated every year since the US Food & Drug Administration relaxed the rules for them in 1997. The fact that physicians themselves are exposed to the same ads means that they may be influenced too.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

If you want to stay healthy, get plenty of blue apples!

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