Q. I am a health care provider and I am very concerned with all the pharmaceutical drugs being advertised on TV. I worry that people will believe everything they see and hear in the commercial and dump more money into this industry that is failing us in so many ways. These are some of my concerns. —- Rhonda
A. I don’t know how many readers have paid close attention to these frequently run drug commercials. It is crazy to think that drugs are being advertised on TV…..really?
It is highly unlikely that any of these drugs will make you sing,dance or ace a game of volleyball but you would never know it if you fell for the message in the commercial. Notice how the speaker enunciates very clearly until he gets to the side affects of the drug. Then suddenly he has a manic episode, his speech is pressured and barely audible. The last thing you think you heard is something about coma and possible death. But with those butterflies and beautiful surroundings who focuses on being in a coma.
So ok, you think one of these drugs might help you. You talk to your doctor, who also thinks this drug might help your symptoms and he writes a prescription. Now the scary part. You pull into the pharmacy parking lot with your prescription in hand. The pharmacy tech takes over while you wait. Your name is called and you are told you owe $475.00 after insurance has paid their part. Now you have symptoms related to finding out the pharmaceutical industry is raping you.
So what has happened? You watch a commercial for a new drug with people who are smiling big, some are singing, dancing, growing beautiful flowers and don’t forget the butterflies and maybe the ocean. These are happy people taking their new drug. Who wouldn’t want to smile big and grow beautiful flowers.
So now your hooked. Your doctor writes the prescription. The pharmacist tells you the price. You announce he can keep the drug because there is no way you can pay for it unless you stop eating. Or another issue………Maybe your doctor gives you samples of the new drug and you find it does help your symptoms. But when you are told it will cost $475 after your samples are gone, what is the point.
I was personally given a prescription for a skin cream, with a coupon because the doctor told me it might be expensive. When I went to pick up the prescription the pharmacy tech had a strange look on his face when he told me the small tube of cream was $1042 after the coupon!!
Be cautious. Pay attention to the side affects listed for these drugs. If you can make behavioral or life changes, try that first. Your health and your money are at risk.
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org