An Interesting Observation

Time’s Quote of the Year:
“Actually, I thought we were going to do fine yesterday – shows what I know.” – President Bush on the midterm elections

CLASSIC.


An interesting observation I don’t know if anyone has already made or if anyone will pay attention to – Time‘s 2006 POTY issue carried 14 medically- or pharmaceutically-related ads. Two of those ads were full-color spreads related to two major pharma companies: AstraZeneca (an ad letting you know they can help/care) and Eli Lilly (touting the benefits of Cymbalta). I couldn’t help but stop and stare at Ambien CR’s ad pages. Ambien CR, a version of the popular sleep aid developed sanofi aventis has a WHOPPING 3.5 pages. Three-quarters of the first page is the Ambien CR color ad and the bottom quarted is  “Important Safety Information” in a blue box. Turn the page and there is nothing but fine print black text streaming across TWO pages. As if a quarter-page of safety information and a FULL two pages weren’t enough, flip the page again, and more “information for patients” continues for a half-page. I’d like to  know someone that’s actually read ALL those warning/safety information things. How many people actually READ all two and three-quarters (2 3/4) of safety information? I’ll be honest with you; I sure don’t. I skip all that stuff. But it’s there so when people suffer side effects, the company can say, “Hey! We  included this in our advertisement! It’s everywhere; you have no basis to sue.”

AstraZeneca, the maker of antipsychotic drug, Seroquel, writes in its ad (click on the thumbnail to see the modified scanned version):

AZ“A pharmaceutical company saving you the money on the medicines it makes.Imagine that. [larger font]

If you take any AstraZeneca medicines, you may be surprised that there’s someone you can turn to for help if you can’t afford them: Us. A family of four without prescription covrage making up to $60,000 per year may qualify for patient assistance. The AstraZeneca Personal Assistants can assist you in signing up for programs that can provide you free medicines or significant savings IF you qualify. [emphasis mine]
We’ll be the first to admit we don’t have all the answers. But as a pharmaceutical company, we recognize that when you trust us to help you, we feel we owe you the same trust in return. That’s what AZ&Me is all about. A place we’re creating to put the personal touch back into healthcare.

Please visit AZandMe.com or call 1-800-AZandMe.”

AstraZeneca Personal Assistants??? What is this? A department store? I can hear it over the loudspeaker now: “Now, calling all patients who use AstraZeneca medicines, we have personal assistants who can help you select the right care and plan to help you get the medicines you need.” And the cute slogan AZ&Me slogan. How adorable. It just makes you want to cuddle right up to Big Pharma! Because remember, they’re putting the “care” back in “healthcare.”  (sarcasm)

If anyone has used AZ&Me to get Seroquel for free or at a discount, e-mail me ASAP at suicidal.recovery AT gmail.com. I’d love to communicate with you.

About these ads

6 Comments

  1. December 26, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    I am Daniel Haszard took Eli Lilly zyprexa 4 years for PTSD didn’t do me any good made me gain weight and gave me diabetes.The zyprexa cost $250.00 a month all during that time too.
    Only 9 percent of adult Americans think the pharmaceutical industry can be trusted right around the same rating as big tobacco.
    Zyprexa, which is used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, accounted for 32% of Eli Lilly’s $14.6 billion revenue last year.
    Zyprexa is the product name for Olanzapine,it is Lilly’s top selling drug.It was approved by the FDA in 1996 ,an ‘atypical’ antipsychotic a newer class of drugs without the motor side effects of the older Thorazine.Zyprexa has been linked to causing diabetes and pancreatitis.
    Did you know that Lilly made nearly $3 billion last year on diabetic meds, Actos,Humulin and Byetta?
    Yes! They sell a drug that causes diabetes and then turn a profit on the drugs that treat the condition that they caused in the first place!
    I was prescribed Zyprexa from 1996 until 2000.
    In early 2000 i was shocked to have an A1C test result of 13.9 (normal is 4-6) I have no history of diabetes in my family.
    —-
    Daniel Haszard

  2. Ryan DeBarr said,

    December 26, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    The whole idea of prescription medication being advertised bothers me a great deal.
    When I go to the doctor, I don’t go there because I want to take medicine. I ask him “I have this medical problem and and YOU TELL ME what is the best way to fix it.”

  3. Ryan DeBarr said,

    December 26, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    I mean really, these pharmaceutical commercials are not much different than surgeon commercials would be (if they existed):
    “Does your knee hurt? Ask your doctor if reconstructive surgery is right for you!”

  4. ttq said,

    December 26, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    I don’t qualify for prescription help since I have insurance. Seroquel would be a breeze to pay for if: I didn’t have to take five other psych meds along with it. Thanks Big Pharma! Although I am not symptom free, it’s a HUGE improvement. I’m not about to upend the apple cart to cut costs though. But you would think that six psych drugs three times a day is a huge profit margin..makes you wonder. Maybe AstraZeneca will set me up with a Personal Assistant to dispense them to me?

  5. December 28, 2006 at 10:51 am

    “The whole idea of prescription medication being advertised bothers me a great deal. When I go to the doctor, I don’t go there because I want to take medicine. I ask him “I have this medical problem and and YOU TELL ME what is the best way to fix it.”
    It’s unfortunate because people associate name brands with what ails them. I find it creepy that people can walk in and say, I have HPV or herpes, can I have this because I saw it on TV? At the same time, I do think it is up to the patient to do research on drugs that a doctor has prescribed for them. Especially one that is unfamiliar to them.
    “I mean really, these pharmaceutical commercials are not much different than surgeon commercials would be (if they existed): “Does your knee hurt? Ask your doctor if reconstructive surgery is right for you!”
    Oh my. I think I’ve heard/seen a commercial like that. I’m not kidding.

  6. December 28, 2006 at 11:04 am

    “I don’t qualify for prescription help since I have insurance. Seroquel would be a breeze to pay for if: I didn’t have to take five other psych meds along with it. Thanks Big Pharma! Although I am not symptom free, it’s a HUGE improvement. I’m not about to upend the apple cart to cut costs though. But you would think that six psych drugs three times a day is a huge profit margin..makes you wonder. Maybe AstraZeneca will set me up with a Personal Assistant to dispense them to me?”
    My doctor gave me Seroquel samples. Not surprising since I’m sure the reps are really pushing it on him. But I AM glad the Seroquel is helping you. I don’t suppose you suffer from the dreaded “drowsy” effect. That’s what keeps me away from Seroquel. That and weight gain. I’ve heard stories of people gaining 20-30 lbs. on Seroquel.
    As for the Personal Assistant to dispense medication, I’m sorry, Big Pharma makes too much money off of your insurance and pharmacies to give you a P.A. But you could always go to a department store and ask the P.A.’s there to dispense your medication for free!


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