"Nearly a third (30%) of adults say they have talked to their doctor about a drug they saw advertised, and 44% of those who talked to their doctor received a prescription for the medication they asked about. This means that 13% of Americans have received a specific prescription in response to seeing a drug ad."
[emphasis added, from the report, Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Consumer Drug Spending, brought to you by the Kaiser Family Foundation]
Marketers would have you believe that 13% of Americans - that's 39,472,404 people - really, truly needed the drug they requested. If this were true, then 13% of our population are capable of accurately self-diagnosing. If you believe that, then I've got a pill to sell you.
In all seriousness, though, whose responsibility is it? That is, who do we hold accountable for this massive addiction? Most folks would assign blame to one or more of the following:
- Big Pharma: The suppliers earn $4.20 (ironic, no?) for every $1.00 invested in advertising their drugs directly to consumers.
- Marketing and Advertising: The pusherman who facilities the deal (pssst, the first one's free).
- Consumers: Too dumb to know any better?
It's not an easy pill to swallow, I know, but 9 out of 10 social entrepreneurs recommend it.