Monday, February 26, 2007

Prescription Drug Advertisements: How Many are Too Many?

The two blogs I focused on this week were pertaining to misperceptions of pharmaceutical products by the consumer. The first blog discusses the finding of a recent UCLA study illustrating advertising techniques for prescription drugs. The blog analyzes the finding of the study, and highlights some key evidence that demonstrates the subtle nuances of marketing strategies for pharmaceuticals on television. The second blog reflects on an article published by the Washington Post highlighting “low health literacy.” The blog relates the finding of the Washington Post to an article discussed in the authors Health Law Class citing the importance of a lucid understanding of health products and their accompanying literature.

Comment on Blog I

I believe that this is an important blog because it highlights those points of the UCLA study that make a case against the dishonest advertising techniques of many pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, I feel that the blog may be lacking in its consideration of alternative causes for the high degree of pharmaceutical ads, such as a lack of government regulation, and the relative ignorance of the consumers. Also, I believe that the blog could have made a stronger case against the pharmaceutical companies if it argued that the advertisements exploited consumer’s ignorance of health literature.

Comment on Blog II

I feel that this blog brings up an important issue in the U.S. health industry, and that the lack of understanding may cause confusion for the average consumer. However, I feel that this blog suffers because it does not have certain elements that Blog I did, mainly an attempt to illustrate false marketing techniques by the major drug manufactures. This blog could have been stronger if it gave some possible explanations for why Americans have such low health literacy other than their overall literacy skills, which are approximately at the 8th grade level.