Every time I turn on the television I hear someone pissing and moaning because prescription drugs cost too much. Well you know what, they do. The biggest reason that the drugs cost too much to the end consumer is because the drug companies are putting so much money into marketing their drugs.
Here is how this whole prescription thing should work. I am hurt, I go to the doctor. My doctor and his 7 year degree examine me and tell me that I am definitely in pain and that I need Vioxx. He writes me the prescription out and sends me on my way to the pharmacy where the pharmacist fills that prescription and then I go home and take my damn medicine.
Unfortunately here is how it really works. I am hurt; I go to the store because my ass is too cheap to go to the doctor. I am looking for Advil or Tylenol and then there is a thing sticking out of the shelf telling me about the wonders of Vioxx. I read the pamphlet and think that Vioxx is the best thing since sliced bread. I end up going to the doctor with this wonderful information filled pamphlet and tell a man who has a 7 year degree and 10 years of experience that this brochure knows more than him and I want Vioxx. To shut me up he writes the prescription out and sends me to the pharmacy where I get my prescription filled and then I get the bill and wonder why the hell prescription drugs are so fucking high priced in America.
At that point I realize that if Vioxx is paying to put their little brochures in every store in America and buying prime advertising space in magazines that it must cost a whole lot of money to do that. I wonder how they make all of that advertising money up; I know, they jack the consumer for it.
Here is the moral of the story. Prescription drugs are out there marketing themselves towards the everyday consumer like they were fucking peanut butter. As a common everyday citizen you have no fucking idea what the hell is good for you and you definitely shouldn’t be in charge of deciding which medicine you should be prescribed. If you think you do, let me ask you a question. What is the difference between Tylenol Simply Sleep (a medicine to help you sleep) and Benadryl (an antihistamine for allergies)? Absolutely nothing. The active ingredient in both of those is diphenhydramine 25mg. The only difference between the two is that one claims that if you take it you will sleep better at night and the other says if you take it you won’t be as affected by the things that you are allergic to, when in reality they do the same exact thing because they are the same exact drug.
If we want to stop paying high prices for prescription drugs in this country then we need to stop the drug companies from advertising. Every pamphlet you see, every pen or coffee cup you see at the doctor’s office or pharmacy, you’re paying for. Pens, notepads, coffee cups. All of that shit shouldn’t even be there. There is no need for the Zetia pen I have or the Clarinex pen or any of the other pens that are dropped off at our pharmacy every time one of these slick fat business men come out to grease the palms of industry by trying to get the pharmacist to push their product. Hey… I’ll give you a nice pen collection if you start mentioning my product over the other ones. How about some golf balls? Of course the golf clubs are reserved for the doctors because everyone knows that those fuckers are bought and paid for like a $2 whore. The pharmacist is rather limited aside from mentioning the drugs, but the doctor is the one that writes down the name of the drug onto the paper that gives you permission to pick up the drug.
So now we come to the other side of the spectrum of the RX drug trade. Does your doctor really know what is good for you, or does he just prescribe whichever drug that the parent company of is paying him the most? I’m sure that doctors aren’t just cut checks from these drug companies to go and prescribe their drugs, but I have no doubt in my mind that they are given rather nice incentives to push certain medicines over others. There might be a pen and a coffee cup in his office, but I bet there is a couple all expense paid trips that you don’t see.
Of course that’s another gripe altogether.