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Medications Should Not Be Advertised on TV

February 20, 2011

Just Keep Reading. It will all make sense.

“Wait, people still get Gout?” I shouted as the commercial for the newest miracle medication continued playing on television. “To the internet! Surely Wikipedia will know.” And then things got scary…

Yes, apparently people still get Gout. By all accounts the condition is quite painful and debilitating. This discovery made me start to wonder about all the other medications that are advertised on television for various ailments, illnesses and diseases. Because let’s be honest, nothing ruins a night of watching television like a commercial detailing possible medicinal side effects like anal leakage, muscle weakness, yellowing skin and/or death.

More troubling is that even the commercials themselves often state that the scientists don’t know exactly how the medications work. If I was suffering from an exotic disease and some new fancy medication promised relief, I would still question the wisdom of ingesting any substance that the best minds of medical science can only claim “is thought to work by interacting with the Serotonin re-uptake cycle” or some other such nonsense.

Of course, this whole diatribe is probably more the result of frequent accusations that I am not eating enough fruits and vegetables than any television commercial for new medications. My mother and fiancee apparently still believe that beer is not one of the 4 major food groups. I remain unconvinced (although I do think this may explain how I contracted Scurvy.)

In fact after reviewing my daily diet and nutritional requirements, I am reasonably sure that I should be marketing my own trendy diet plan. I’ll call it Body by Drunkle. The television commercial would go something like this:

Do you really think you should have another beer?” asks the frumpy-looking rotund woman to her friend while they sit at the bar.

Sure. In fact, it’s on my diet. I also need at least 2 more full servings of nicotine before lunch if I’m ever going to lose all this weight.” responds the fashionably emaciated blond woman to her friend. “Don’t worry so much. I’ve already lost 23% of my bone mass in just 3 weeks and I feel great! Now help me pick up that toothpick. I think I have some alcohol stuck in my teeth.”

Then the announcer would start reciting the following legalese and disclaimers:

In several shoddy clinical studies, Body By Drunkle diet participants lost an average of 6.3 pounds per week until the trials were halted by the FDA. The most commonly reported side effects included worm-like tongue movements, frequent urges to urinate on puppies and rapid hair loss. Additionally, although rare, some participants did die horribly, agonizing deaths while on the Body by Drunkle diet. If you develop any of the aforementioned symptoms, seek emergency medical treatment immediately. Or have another beer. It’s probably too late for medical science to save you anyways.

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