Target: Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Goal: Convince the U.S. Government to make the airing of prescription medication commercials illegal
Anytime an American watches television, the likelihood of being exposed to ads offering medication for illnesses from restless leg syndrome to impotency is increasingly great. What these ads don’t show are the increasing rates of addiction and deaths related to prescription medication overdoses. Nor do they show the 41 million Americans who now have traces of prescription drugs in their water supplies due to the influx of people taking them. Tell the Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to stop allowing pharmaceutical companies to “sell sickness” to Americans by banning their commercials from television.
With the exception of New Zealand, no other country in the world allows prescription medication ads to be aired on television. Is this because these countries’ governments don’t want their citizens to be healthy, or is it because they do? Prescription drug commercials make it seem as if choosing a medication to take everyday is a perfectly normal activity, along with choosing a toilet paper brand or a more effective household cleaner. For the many Americans who believe what advertisers tell them, they’re brainwashed to think that they don’t need to eat well and exercise, they can just take a pill to lose weight. Americans are led to believe there’s a cure for everything and that they, therefore, don’t need to take responsibility for their own health.
Drug companies spend $4 billion a year advertising to consumers. In addition to making pill popping seem like a normal necessity, prescription drug ads usually feature newer medications that have not had long term studies performed on them. All too often, a drug is recalled years after it is introduced because it’s caused side effects ranging from hair loss to death. Hence the reason why, amidst the commercials for prescription meds, one will also see ads for attorneys offering their assistance in medical malpractice suits related to the unhealthy side effects of prescription medication.
In 1999, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported approximately 2,500 deaths caused by unintentional overdoses of prescription drugs. By 2008, the number of deaths had steadily increased to 12,000 deaths. Opinions on what is causing this increase are varied. But when you consider how advertising works, common sense would lead to the conclusion that the more people are told they need drugs, the more they’ll buy them.
Tell the U.S. Government to stop allowing greedy pharmaceutical companies to essentially encourage people to be sick and in need of medication by banning prescription medication commercials.
Dear Secretary Sebelius,
Aside from New Zealand, the United States is the only country that allows prescription medication ads to be aired on television. America is fast becoming a country known for allowing corporations to place profits above the health and well-being of people and of the planet. Not only are deaths from prescription medications and addiction to pharmaceuticals rapidly increasing, but traces of prescription medications have even been found in the water supplies of 41 million Americans.
By allowing pharmaceutical companies to air their misleading television commercials, you are permitting American citizens to be brainwashed to believe they would have a better life if they took drugs. The job of prescribing and introducing medication to patients belongs to a doctor. The U.S. Government should stop allowing pharmaceutical companies to plant the seeds of sickness in the minds of Americans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: interfaithwf.org