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Nobody needs to discover what drugs are suitable for them. This is medicine, not a restaurant menu.

If you're diagnosed with a medical condition or have a specific ailment, then you can investigate potential treatments.

The status quo "compromise" solution gets this exactly backwards. "This drug will make your life better. So ask your doctor so they'll comb through your medical records and history looking for something kind of like what we claim to treat[1], so they can prescribe our drug for you." Lies and failure to mention side effects are not the only problem with advertising. The problem with advertising is that it seeks to persuade people, using every trick in the book short of actionable lies and omissions, to buy drugs that even doctors can't properly evaluate because drug research is pathologically flawed. And those advertising tricks are effective at getting people to buy drugs which they don't need and which will do harm, because most drugs do some kind of measurable harm whether it's potential liver or kidney damage or increased risk of dementia or cardiovascular problems or cancer or whatever.

Pharma companies that seek to extract rent from your "conditions" are the last entities you want telling you what you might have, and they're the least trustworthy entities to be allowed to get you thinking that their drug might be your best option for treating your "condition" because you heard about theirs first and they made sure their advertisement stuck a bunch of positive associations to it in your mind.

"Ask your doctor about our drug instead of asking for advice on whether other things, including exercise, eating better, and getting better sleep might help, because those take time and effort and you have no time and no willpower except when you're dancing in a field of flowers like we showed you doing when our drugs solve all your problems so you should pay us rent for life for your 'medical condition'."

[1] Have you noticed most drug advertisements don't even claim to treat anything specific, or are intentionally vague? The charitable explanation is that the condition is often something taboo or embarrassing, but I think a bigger part of the reason is that pharma doesn't want you losing interest in the drug before you ask your doctor about it.




> If you're diagnosed with a medical condition or have a specific ailment, then you can investigate potential treatments

I know at least a few people who didn't realize they had an ailment until seeing the symptoms listed on an ad. There is a balance between promoting new drugs (and the affiliated afflictions) to the general public and pushing medicines to doctors.


In Australia you're allowed to advertise about the existence and symptoms of medical conditions just not to recommend any specific treatment other than "talk to your doctor". The pharmacist is also obliged to offer generic versions of drugs at purchase.


I think that’s a good compromise.

BTW, it’s actually pretty common in many US states for pharmacists to be required by law to fill prescriptions with their generic equivalents.


That's because medical companies made it up to sell more drugs. Restless leg syndrome wasn't a thing until pharma starting pushing drugs for it.

Legit palsey is a completely different story.


Well this country's medical system is too bad to even begin to try to do preventative medicine. (You can think of it as a 400 million person medical poverty trap. We all live in medical poverty.)

We're that fixed you would learn about conditions you didn't know you had from the doctor. Or therapist.




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