August 21st, 2004


drug marketing

I did this AIDS walk thing today and it was pretty fun. less a walk than just a really slow stroll. it's tough to just walk when you know you can run. there were lots of people who brought their dogs. I want a dog so freaking bad.

but anyway, at the end of the walk we all got these baggies with free stuff and coupons in them, and little packages of snack mix, and it was fun. There was also some hand cleaner, a keychain, a notepad, blah blah blah. Then I started looking at the logos on the stuff and exactly HALF of the freebies had prescription drug logos on them.

everyone I know admits that the marketing budgets for these drug companies is off the freaking map. I've got a friend who works in a doctor's office, and she says the lunches in her office are brought in and paid for by drug companies every day except Thursday. There are four companies who want to buy lunch for 200 people every week. the drug companies show their TV commercials in the priciest prime-time slots, buy the full-color back pages of all the popular magazines. They're almost all "iffy" drugs that most people could live without... drugs for allergies, baldness, erectile dysfunction, mental imbalances like ADHD.

the good republican capitalist in me tries to believe this is good, because without ads we wouldn't have as many shiny magazines or free T.V. But it's tough to keep saying that knowing that we aren't all helping to pay for this stuff. I don't use many prescription drugs. Sick people use prescription drugs. Old people use them. I guess my insurance company helps pay for it all, too, but I don't feel that as directly as the seniors and cancer patients and parents of premature babies who have to declare bankruptcy to get out of medical bills.

health care is screwy and if I was president, I wouldn't have a clue how to fix it. normal economic laws of supply and demand don't apply to health care, because there is endless, infinite demand for it. We will all spend whatever we have to for survival.

I had a discussion with a coworker about democrats and republicans and how they're different. we kind of decided that to be a true republican, you kind of have to believe that unsuccessful people are stupid and worthless. to be a democrat, you have to believe that successful people are heartless backstabbers. the whole prescription drug thing... these companies spending millions of dollars on marketing... kind of tells me that the successful people are heartless. so much money on keychains and notepads that I don't really need.