By John Matonich
This is the time of year when the temps are cold and the daylight is short. I really don’t mind. My bride and I enjoy the evening time together with a fire in the fireplace and something good on the boob tube. We usually can find something we both would like to watch and enjoy the time together. Lately, I have been paying more attention to the commercials as they are really centered on prescription drugs.
I am not sure why that is except maybe it’s the channels we are watching or it is happening on all the channels. I have never seen so many prescription drugs now available for things I never knew existed before. On top of that, the names crack me up. There must be a room somewhere full of marketing experts coming up with them. Trintellex, Incivek, Adcetris, Yervoy, Viibryd, Zytiga, Xgeva just to name a few. I shake my head every time an ad for them hits the airwaves.
I also chuckle when the legalese starts. The ad shows a nice young lady blowing the fuzz off a flower and the announcer can be heard saying, “Please don’t use Xarelto if you are allergic to Xarelto.” How the heck am I supposed to know if I am allergic to the new wonder drug if I don’t ever take it?
I remember talking to my doctor not too long ago and asking him what he thought about these new medications. He told me he really didn’t like when a new ad came on about some new wonder drug. He said it was inevitable that any number of his patients would call the next day and ask for a prescription because the ad said if you have Type 2 diabetes you may also be susceptible to cardiovascular disease and this new wonder drug can fix that. It won’t help with your diabetes, but could save you from CV trouble. I guess it is better living through chemistry.
The other reality of these new wonder drugs is they come at a premium cost. I guess this is why the ads are on so often. I don’t believe I have ever seen an ad for a generic version of a prescription drug. I guess the $3 monthly cost versus the $300 monthly cost doesn’t allow the companies to advertise much.
I read an article once about prescription drug lobbyists who are always trying to woo our folks in Congress. The article said there were seven lobbyists for every single U.S. senator. Since they are only representing one segment, I can imagine why it is so difficult to get things done.
I am at a point in my life where I need to take a few prescription drugs to keep some things in check, but I opt for the generic versions. They seem to work pretty well and the amount I need to pay at the pharmacy is pretty manageable. I have been thinking about switching to a couple of the ones with the fancy names just to see if they work any better. I haven’t done that yet as I may be allergic to them.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Image credit: frankieleon