Drug Marketers Continue to Hide, Stretch Truth


It's one thing for a marketer to claim, say, its product will mow your lawn better than any other lawn mower but it's clearly another when a drug maker claims its product will cure certain ills and then cause a heart attack. That's an extreme case but the makers of the cholesterol drug Vytorin are now red faced after a study (which it held for over a year while taking in billions in sales of the drug) found it's drug did not do what it claimed to do.

Vytorin is the combination of two existing cholesterol drugs, Zetia and Zocor, which is supposed to reduce the amount of fatty plaque on artery walls. The study found it didn't which compelled U.S Representatives John Dingell and Bart Stupack to issue a complaint to the drug makers and to the FTC.

Though it's not a black and white issue (the drug does reduce cholesterol levels, just not plaque as advertised, when big money persuades the minds of consumers and doctors in ways that are not entirely truthful, it's a much bigger deal than a lawn mower maker stretching the truth about how well his product cuts lawns.

Certainly there's a need to know about new drugs and the ills they can cure. But when the truth is bent, pseudo diseases are floated to create demand for unneeded drugs and doctors are second guessed by their patients, that, as well, is never a good thing.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Trends and Culture, Worst   

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I think this story definitely serves as a parable to other drug manufacturers, the claims they make and the often times absolutely outrageous ad campaigns they launch. Wonder if this is just the tip of the iceberg in the pharmaceutical marketing world.

Ad Anarchy said it best - check out the spec ad they have posted:

Posted by: Larry on January 24, 2008 1:44 AM