Watch TV morning news and nearly half the commercials are direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug ads. Watch evening news and you will likewise be inundated by drug commercials. They all follow the same script: People living their lives, having fun, happy, while the potential side-effects of these drugs are recited. The happy visuals serve to make the side-effects mentioned seem remote.
So I thought we should parody a DTC drug ad. This is not for any drug; it’s for how to avoid being exploited by the healthcare system and by doctors. Sure, we need them when there is injury, infection, or a genetic condition. For the vast majority of common chronic modern health issues such as high blood pressure, fatty liver, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes and numerous other common chronic health conditions, you can obtain results that are superior to what is passed off as “health” by doctors and the healthcare system.
I therefore asked my filmmaking friends in San Diego, Ron and Karen Cook, who also produced all the wonderful Wheat Belly and Undoctored success story video interviews, if they would be interested in making an Undoctored “drug’ ad. This is the terrific result they came up with.
DTC ads don’t promote drugs that cost $2, $5, or $10. These are drugs that typically cost $4000 per month, $40,000 to $100,000 per year. Imagine if the ad for Skyrizi, a drug for psoriasis, had to include its cost: $52,609.60 every 3 months. Oh, but good news: If you use one of the discounting services, you can save 47% off the retail price and get your prescription for only $27,561.40!
Personally, I find the whole world of DTC drug advertising abhorrent. It drives up healthcare costs, it encourages use of higher cost products, it obscures the fact that genuine health is achievable without costly prescription drugs. The biggest downside, however, is that now nearly all major media outlets, broadcast and print, are no longer willing to air any content that could be potentially antagonistic to their biggest advertiser: Big Pharma. You may have noticed that, over the last few years, book authors (such as myself) who write on health topics, investigative TV news reports on the problems in healthcare, reports on the crippling costs of healthcare, are no longer aired. There are virtually zero reports on the awful, exploitative, and financially crippling industry called American healthcare. And anyone who might say something antagonistic to Big Media’s number one advertiser are now effectively blacklisted.
I can therefore only hope that messages of truth like this “drug ad” strike a chord and help everyone realize that health is something you achieve on your own without the interference of the doctor or healthcare system.