Saturday, May 19, 2007

Abilify Calling



I can't believe how far this Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical marketing has gone.

I went to the Chinese take-out place ("take-away" for you Brits) tonight to pick up some General Tso chicken, and outside the place I see the phone above. Sealed onto the outside casing of the phone, and obviously part of a marketing scheme that Verizon is making money on, is this huge ad for Abilify (aripiprazole), an atypical antipsychotic drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

That's just going too far.

18 comments:

dinah said...

I thought you were going to say there was pharmaceutical advertising in your fortune cookie. Now that would be too far.

NeoNurseChic said...

Kinda like when I stood on the platform at 30th St Station waiting for my train, and looked around and saw ads for Rozerem on every single bulletin board. I wonder how many more Philadelphians either started taking Rozerem or at least asking their doctor about it after that little 30th St. Bulletin Board campaign.

Take care,
Carrie :)

tangent 90 degrees said...

I have seen that same ad for Abilitfy numerous times -- as a full page ad in my citiy's largest dailty newspaper (both daily and Sunday editions; 512,000 daily circulation and 539.000 on Sundays.) Newsweek ran a similar two page ad last year.

I used to read the cereal box as I ate my breakfast. Now I read the patient information or prescribing information instead.

Driving Miss Delusional said...

I never realized that a compulsion for Chinese takeout was one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

tangent 90 degrees said...

@driving miss delusional:
Chinese food is a compulsion on for rapid-cyclers 30 minutes after they're done they are back for more.

Murky Thoughts said...

What isn't too far when it comes to advertising medicine to patients? It's like cigarette ads on TV: Just can the whole business, because it's all insidious ("Ask your doctor why you should trust him or her over what wise and beautiful believe could easily solve all your problems".) Or let the drug industry pay the FDA to market drugs as it sees fit.

Kaliki said...

Have you seen the TV ads for implanted defibrillators? Yeah, Doc, I gotta have one of those! I don't wanna drop dead playing with my grandbabies!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Hi, I'm new here. I just found this place after following the link when Roy left a message on my blog.

I've never noticed advertising like that here in Britain. Do you think it happens in the States because the patient pays for their own health care? Is there a danger that doctors would prescribe Abilify just because the patient has asked for it and is willing to pay?

Roy said...

Mr Man, Murky, Neo- I agree, the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of giving pharmco's too much latitude in advertising their wares. And, yes, MMWife, there is a risk that docs will say "Okay, since you are already favorably disposed to taking Abilify, I'll prescribe it for you... but here is what you need to know about the risks/benefits of this drug, versus the other appropriate products which are out there."

The problem is, some may not take the time to have the latter part of this discussion.

Why do we permit pervasive drug advertising here? Some combination of free market, freedom of speech, and the power of capitalism to influence national policy.

Gerbil said...

But see, it could have been oh-so-much worse.

It could have been an ad for Zyprexa next to a donut shop.

Gerbil said...

ps to Neonursechic: my parents, who frequent 30th St. Station, are thankfully immune to the Rozerem ads :)

NeoNurseChic said...

Gerbil,

Small world, eh? Well, I always walk through the Amtrak portion of the station, but the ad boards are up on the platforms for the SEPTA regional rail, depending on which rail system they use in and out of 30th St! I took a picture of one of these ad boards back when somebody made a post here about Rozerem a long while back, but it's on my old cell phone that doesn't work any longer! I think they change the bulletin boards monthly!

The rozerem ads didn't make me want to run to the sleep psychiatrist, but the fact that I want to sleep 24/7 withOUT sleep meds sure does make me want to make an appt! The last thing I need is a drug to make me sleepy!

Roy, One thing I loved in England (amongst so many things!) was the lack of DTC ads for drugs!

Take care,
Carrie :)

Anonymous said...

Whoa they've finally gone to far (friendly sarcasm)!!

Anonymous said...

http://pharmalot.com/2007/05/butter_up_docs_with_risperdal.php

dinah said...

Wow, I was cleaning out my closet the other day and I actually did come across a packet of risperdal popcorn. No, I'm not kidding, but Roy if you want to come hang out it my office, we can pop it. Clink, the last time you got near one of my microwaves with popcorn, it was not a pretty smell.

sparky said...

I was ok with Risperdal pens used in my Outpatient Psychiatry Serivce, but when I walked into the women's restroom and saw Risperdal hand soap - that was too much. Out it went into the trash.

Can't we have bathroom privacy??

Sarebear said...

No, he just hears voices coming out of his cookies. They tell him to hide under the floorboards (okay, w/all sensitivity to mental illness sufferers, of which I am one, I still think I can make jokes.)

haha, tangent and dmd! hey you guys (said like the dood in Goonies), now I'm craving Chinese (and sound like a dork, not that that guy is necessarily a dork . . . but I referenced a movie w/Corey Feldman in it, for goodness sakes!)

Dinah, that makes it sound like there's risperdal IN the popcorn, even though there's not. If a drug name can be slapped on something, it sounds like it is.

Hey, can I have some Xanax popcorn? Wait, you don't prescribe that (hee hee hee hee!)

drug co. hand soap . . . what about if they made Sarafem (isn't that the pms version of prozac) tampons in the dispensers in the restroom, or viagra condom dispensers . . . eeek!

Unknown said...

If psychiatrists limited prescribing Abilify to patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, the ads would disappear within 30 days.