1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr./Mrs President:
I am an eighth grade student and I think prescription drug advertisements shouldn’t be advertised directly to consumers. This can be the cause of many things revolving around drugs, such as drug addiction, and when they’re advertised, such as drug addiction and death. And the sad thing is, is some children are put in these situation for their whole life.
To begin with, Direct-to-Consumers (DTC) misinform patients. There are multiple reasons why I say this. First, a study found 43% of the claims in DTC prescription drug ads were “objectively true” while 55% were “potentially misleading” and 2% were false. Second, most DTC prescription drug ads spend more time on the benefits than negative side effects. Lastly, 63% of physicians surveyed in April 2013 believed DTC prescription drug ads misinformed patients and 74% of physicians believed DTC prescription drug ads overemphasized the benefits of the drugs, resulting in misinformed patients.
Pursuing this further, DTC prescription drug ads promote drugs before long-term safety information is known. There are many facts that support this claim. First, according to an April 2013 survey, “68% of doctors agree that DTC prescription drug ads are marketed before safety profiles can be known.” Second, although the FDA doesn’t approve ads before they air on TV or radio, 50% of consumers surveyed thought DTC prescription drug ads were approved by the government. Lastly, 43% of consumers surveyed thought the drug had to be 100% safe before being advertised but not all drugs have completed long term safety trials before advertising begins.
Finally, normal conditions and bodily functions are medicalised and stigmatized DTC prescription drug ads. I have many arguments to support this claim. First, DTC prescription drug ads tell consumers that normal attributes to aging, such as thinner eyelashes, or lower testosterone, and wrinkles need to be fixed with drugs. Some people might say that hospitals need the ads in order to gain sponsors for their organization and to stay in business. Part of it is true but it is to risky to not stop the ad production. Second, DTC prescription drug ads create the idea that normal conditions are “bad”, resulting in the people accusing someone of not fixing a normal processes in life. Finally, most ads, such as an ad for low testosterone, make people feel that they need to fix that “problem”.
I feel this needs to be a priority for you. Some young children are exposed to it very often. Please protect them from the decision to take drugs. Please take this into consideration. Thank you for paying attention to my claim.