Note from CCHR: Although mainstream press has been running on the fact that 10,000 toddlers (aged 2-3) are prescribed ADHD drugs in the US alone,…
It’s no secret that advertising works. Big Pharma wouldn’t spend over $4 billion a year on direct-to-consumer advertising if it didn’t mean massive profits.
What is more unknown is why drug ads that sow hypochondria, raise health fears and “sell” diseases are often the most common–and effective–even when the drugs themselves are of questionable safety.
The nation’s fourth most frequent drug ads in 2009 for were Cymbalta, making Eli Lilly $3.1 billion in one year, despite the antidepressant’s links to liver problems and suicide. Pfizer spent $157 million advertising Lyrica for fibromyalgia in 2009, despite the seizure pill’s links to life-threatening allergic reactions. The same year, it spent $107 million advertising the antidepressant Pristiq, even though it also had links to liver problems.
Many states have sued over the cost of atypical antipsychotic drugs, especially the cost of treating the diabetes and metabolic disorders they cause, which has decimated Medicaid budgets. Yet now the FDA gives pharma the Christmas present of approving Seroquel and Zyprexa for children and hence, Medicaid reimbursement even as its own Division of Pharmacovigilance (DPV) reported a “a direct association between adverse metabolic effects of treatment with atypical antipsychotics” and children!