Do not get sold on drug advertising

Ads for prescription drugs are everywhere. You can’t watch a sporting event without seeing an ad touting a treatment for erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or joint pain.

Drug marketing is a big business, and companies are willing to spend a lot of money to offer you an easy solution to a health problem you may or may not have. From 2012 to 2015, yearly spending on prescription drug advertising in all media outlets (except digital) rose from $3.2 billion to $5.2 billion, and that figure is expected to only go up.

“Older men are a prime target for prescription drug advertisements since they are prone to multiple chronic health conditions, but they should approach them critically as a resource for information and not as answers to questions about treatment,” says Dr. Ameet Sarpatwari, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School who studies pharmaceutical marketing.




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