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Questions Raised By Pharmaceutical Ads On Television

There’s a pill for that. (public domain image via wikimedia)

Advertising for prescription medications is inescapable on television here in the U.S.. It seems that there is a pill to help a body do (or stop doing) just about anything you can think of. I suppose that implies that there is a drug to help a person think up new medications to help other people do things…or not.

I wonder if there is a drug that helps pharmaceutical companies come up with side effects and medication names. Whenever I watch pharmaceutical ads I see and hear of things I did not know were problems that needed addressing.

Let’s discuss.

Bronco Dilator

COPD seems to be a disease that takes away the ability to do things like blow pinwheels, inflate balloons, puff dandelion seeds off their stems and blow out candles on a birthday cake. According to the commercials, COPD affects only persons who have grandchildren. It also makes those affected want to do things like blow pinwheels.

These common thin, stick-shaped candles are st...

Back off, Grandma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Breathing is a good thing, even for people who won’t let their grandchildren blow out their own birthday candles. Fortunately, there are medications that restore the ability to breathe that COPD takes away.

Ads for this medication refer to them containing a bronco dilator. According to Wikipedia (the decider of all things), dilation “refers to an enlargement or expansion in bulk or extent.” A bronco is a horse. So somehow, COPD medication makes the patient’s horse larger.

How does having a big horse help someone breathe better? What if someone has COPD, but does not own a horse? Perhaps they can never be healed unless their doctor remembers to write them a prescription for a small horse that will dilate during treatment.

A Much Less Appealing Problem

What could be less appealing than helping people steal the pleasure of birthday candles from their grandchildren? Pharmaceutical ads answer that for us. The ads instruct us to tell our physicians if we “have trouble passing urine”.

What a disgusting issue. I consider myself a pretty open minded guy, but I am not going to be shy about telling you that people who have this problem are disturbed. They should tell their physicians they have this problem and they should hang their heads when they do it.

I have not often encountered the waste of others. When I have, I’ve had no problem going right past it. Even my closest friends could not influence me to linger in its presence. In fact, if any of my close friends have trouble passing urine, I urge you to call me now. I will stand behind you as you get treatment.

Please understand that my offer to stand behind you as you get treatment is not literal.  I am offering to support you in your recovery. What goes on between you and your doctor is a private matter, no matter how repulsive I find you and your problem.

But I digress. I’ll get off my high horse* so I can wrap this up.

Pharmaceutical commercials don’t seem do much for…

Alright, look, I don’t have a point to make. I can’t wrap this up. I just needed to write about things that sound funny to me. Thanks for sticking with me this far. Have you seen the commercial for that medicine that helps people write good endings?

Me neither.

* I’m not using “high horse” to refer to my judgmental position on some issues. My horse is always stoned. He is one burned out bronco.

Horses at Kirkham

Dude, I’m sooooo wasted. (Photo credit: modezero)

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47 Comments on “Questions Raised By Pharmaceutical Ads On Television”

  1. I absolutely agree children should ba allowed to blow out their own candles on their birthday!!

  2. I’ve never understood the idea of advertising these heavy duty medicines as if they are aspirin or cough medicine. Do people actually ask their doctor for a specific brand?

  3. Laura says:

    Difficulty passing urine can be a serious problem for for some people. Imagine you’re a technician working in a medical lab, and one of your colleagues says “hey Oma, can you pass me that urine sample?”. If you have difficulty doing that, people will think you’re being uncooperative.

  4. k8edid says:

    I have often wondered what aliens would think if they landed in my living room and their only source of information about our species was the advertisements on TV. Would they think we cannot pass urine, make our own tears or eyelashes, or manage our digestive systems? Would they think an erection lasting more than 4 hours is a good thing or a bad thing?

  5. Blogdramedy says:

    You might have to change your stance on urine when you get your own personal physician. You know he’s going to make you pee in a cup, right?

  6. Todd Pack says:

    I liked the commercial for the pill to help people feel more conformtable in social situations. One of the possible side effects was uncontrollable bowels. I could picture some guy going, “Man, I feel uncomfortable when I have to talk to strangers, especially women strangers, so I’ll this pill that might make me soil myself and hit the town!”

  7. Wendy says:

    I find that my horse dilates in the spring and summer when the pasture (not “past urine”) is plentiful. Unfortunately, my birthday is in November, so he does not help with candles. Maybe I need to move to the southern hemisphere….

  8. To me, one fitting way to end a post about pharmaceutical ads would be a picture of two people in a loving, committed relationship, sitting in separate bathtubs gazing off into the sunset. I don’t understand that at all. It makes as much sense as blowing out your grandchildren’s birthday candles.

  9. We Found Him Captain! says:

    The last time I had a 4+ hour erection was New Years Eve of 1956 and the last person in the world I thought to call was my doctor. Things were different then. I called every girlfriend I knew and did everything they told me to do. It turned
    out pretty good even though we did not have separate bathtubs on the balcony.

  10. We Found Him Captain! says:

    I’m sorry……I wanted things to be back to normal before the new year. Err! Is your horse’s nose turning orange?

  11. I don’t know what’s worse. Pharm ads or toilet paper commercials.

  12. Bronchodilator. Dilation of the bronchi, which is the passageway to the lungs. You’re welcome (said the medical transcriptionist) As for passing urine, when I smell it I walk faster so I do NOT want a medication that will make me stop and hang around it. That’s just odd.

    • omawarisan says:

      You give and give!

      I’m glad you walk faster. You deserve to hold your head up the next time you see the doctor.

      • Lenore Diane says:

        Oh holy dork, Batman. The passing urine thing flew right over my head. It wasn’t until Kim’s comment that I got hit with it. (I stalk her, so it makes sense. Or not.)
        You are a funny man, Oma. Too bad I am slow sometimes. *sigh*

        In other news, Rob cannot watch the commercial about the roll-on steroid without laughing. I admit, the side effects are pretty horrid and down right laughable.

        Okay. I’m done here. I am going to go walking and see if I can find any urine to pass. I’m curious to see if it will be difficult or not.

        • omawarisan says:

          I’m glad you did, I’m worried what you’d have thought if me if you never did.

          Hope things went well on the walk and that you found nothing that even broke your stride.

  13. robincoyle says:

    Is it just me? I don’t want to take any medicine advertised on TV because of the warnings of death and impotence upon taking said drug. Better dead then impotent, right? And I’m not a man.

  14. mikegee64 says:

    Oh there’s so much to touch on here…

    Viagra commercials are the best, particularly the one where the guy is walking out of the Viagra building (there is a nice bronze plaque on the building with the Viagra logo on it!) he’s got a huge smile on his face as he strolls around the city. Why? Well, we can only assume there were free samples at the Viagra building. I imagine there would be big bowls of it on people’s desks and everyone popping them back like it was Kettle Corn.

    So here’s our guy strolling aroun the city, smiling like he quite literally discovered a long-forgotten limb or appendage. When you watch the commercial, imagine to yourself that he is telling each person he meets exactly WHY he is smiling. Their reactions are priceless.

    Finally I think they should announce as one of the benefits of Viagra “Many older patients who took Viagra reported drier shoes…”

  15. Common misconception. It is actually bronchio-dilator. Which means it causes people from the Bronx to get fat. I’m not sure why anyone wants this medication unless they just want to make fun of people from the Bronx. Or maybe it helps speed up childbirth. I’m no doctor. I need to watch the ad on TV to make sure. Childbirth almost always results in pinwheels and birthday candles at some point, too.

  16. mikegee64 says:

    What about when the side effects include both constipation and diarrhea? There is quite a difference there. Shouldn’t they just say

    “we don’t know what is going to happen as far as your bowels are concerned, you are on your own here people. Maybe you should start taking this drug when you are going to be off for a few days. Be sure to keep a both copy of The Stand by Stephen King, as well as a pamphlet about Six Flags in your bathroom when taking this drug.”

  17. Amy says:

    Whenever I hear the “passing urine” phrase, I can’t help but think of monkeys flinging poo and then it’s just all down-hill from there.

    And you have a high horse. Is that different from a dilated horse?

    • omawarisan says:

      Yeah, my high horse is just stoned. He isn’t even subtle about doing it.

      He’s always got the munches and asks me for a ride to Taco Bell. I have to remind him he is a horse and can get himself there. He leaves, but forgets where he is going.

  18. Betty says:

    So, if I understand this correctly, I don’t have to worry about COPD because I have no grandchildren. Or, for that matter, children. Will being childless save me from anything?

  19. spencercourt says:

    There seem to be a lot of “diseases” that I never heard of until recently, such as COPD, and I suspect they’ve been made up. These are chronic conditions, not diseases.

    And just as Big Pharma wants “diseases” they have a pill for, so too do surgeons want diseases they can operate on. Such as, varicose veins, which has a fancy sounding name I cannot recall right now but has “venous” and “disease” in there along with a another word or two. But they can operate on this disease and “cure” you….I know this from local TV ads promoting the surgery.

  20. k8edid says:

    There are only 2 countries in the world where direct-to-customer advertisement of pharmaceuticals is allowed – the US of A and New Zealand. Whatever do other countries do for television commercials?

    • tokyo5 says:

      Actually, although I’m an American, I haven’t lived there for over two decades so I can only imagine these TV ads you’re discussing.

      But, I can say that America has a bit of a reputation in other countries for prescribing drugs for any minor infliction … even to children.

      In Japan, there are no advertisements for prescription medicine … neither in print or on TV.

      • omawarisan says:

        They’re a constant presence here. And they all list the possible side effects of the drug. Very pleasant. As mentioned in an earlier comment, one lists diarrhea and constipation as possibilities. How is this possible?

        • tokyo5 says:

          Maybe the simply list every side-effect that there might even be a remote chance of occurring … so noone can say that they weren’t warned and then try to sue them (which is another thing that Americans have a reputation for)! 😉

    • omawarisan says:

      Popeil’s Pocket Fisherman!


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