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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Direct-To-Consumer Advertising – 9 December 2007
By Mary T. Hoffman

Looking through the latest issue of Public Citizen Health Research Group’s “Health Letter,” I learned that at present the United States and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow direct-to-consumer (DTC) promotion of prescription drugs. I didn’t know this, and assumed that such ubiquitous ads had become commonplace world-wide.

I remember a time when prescription pharmaceuticals were not promoted to the public, and when medical professionals and attorneys did not advertise as they do nowadays. According to a “Health Letter” article, 1996 marks the year when ads for prescription drugs were unleashed on the public. This has resulted in patients pressuring their physicians for the latest medications they see advertised. This encourages the companies to turn out new drugs, which according to the article, have “weaker safety records” and are “driving up the cost of health care.”

The pharmaceutical companies have been so successful in their strategy in the United States that they are seeking to introduce DTC ads in Europe, since the rejection of their first attempt in 2002.

According to the World Health Organization, when it comes to overall healthcare quality the United States ranks 37th. So, I guess the public’s health hasn’t improved much since they started asking their doctors for all those medications they see advertised!

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