The evening news is a health hazard. The stories are entertaining but often a downbeat selection of horrifying, panic inducing video clips. Every story’s tediously “late breaking”. Fortunately these clips change with each news cycle.
But not so the drum beat of the pharmaceutical ads. Incessantly they remind us that our leaky, respiratory impaired, arthritic racked bodies need a pill. Our exploding high blood pressure, crippling memory loss and colitis will only get worse.
Are you anxious yet? The ads seem to say:
“Pain, pain, pain…. For god’s sake stop the agony now. Had you been paying attention to the 30 minute broadcast you’d see your life depends on our products. You’re obviously in denial and don’t acknowledge your pharmacologic needs- Isn’t that proof of just how sick you are!”
“Your there on your comfortable sofa! You must ring up your doctor immediately! Get that prescription today while you are still able to drag your battered body across the floorboards to the phone. If you wait for the next commercial break it may be too late, you sicko.”
If they targeted these ads at diabetics, or focused on those with hypertension they’d be OK. But they presume that if you’re 50+, you can’t help but suffer some or all of these ailments. They seem to say, “If you are not popping pills, your health care professional is negligent or you are clueless. Either way, you’re at serious risk and need help. Get your but down to the pharmacy immediately!”
Watch one of these ads and you might dismiss it. But the year in year out pharmaceutical bombardment is cumulative. Stare at 14 minutes of med ads during each 30 minute program and you’ll become catatonic.
Now days I hit the mute button, get a drink, eat more chips, or switch to the Weather Channel. Otherwise I’d need an anti hypochondriac prescription.