Are Drug Companies “Pushing” Drugs Through Coupons?
The drug pusher on the street is obviously “hooking” kids on drugs and is often arrested for his (or, her) efforts. But, what about large pharmaceutical companies? Are they “drug pushers” as well? Drug companies are getting “heat” from the coupon programs they are offering, which, when coupled with their commercials that encourage consumers to ask their doctors for drugs, may be “sucking them in” to becoming “users” of their drugs!
“Coupons ‘can increase the patient’s desire to take a drug that may or may not be the most suitable drug … This is not shampoo,’ said Susan Sherry, deputy director of Community Catalyst, a Massachusetts-based group that has joined 22 others seeking a Food and Drug Administration ban on the giveaways… The FDA has raised concerns. In a notice earlier this year, the agency said prescription drugs promoted with coupons or free trial offers may be seen as more widely indicated, more appropriate and/or less risky than they really are.'”
Drug companies make drugs, and drugs are their “product.” They aggressively market that product because they are in the industry to make money!
“Harvard’s Avorn said the coupon trend was ‘the same symptom we have seen in the drug industry for years – the ascendancy of marketing over science’ as companies fight for market share. ‘They are getting so preoccupied with marketing, and unfortunately they seem to be less successful in coming up with creative drug solutions,’ he said.”