Big Pharma Shoves America Off the Wagon
Percentage of people using prescription drugs is staggering.
In the first 3 months of 2009, the pharmaceutical and health-care-products industry spent more than $66.5 million on lobbying Congress -- about $1.2 million per day, or $50,000 an hour, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And big pharma's total spending on advertising certainly hasn't declined significantly, either: Advertising Age recently reported that it spent $12.7 billion on marketing in 2008, with more money than ever dumped into television commercials. Fourteen of the top 100 advertisers are pill-pushers.
The recession has presented drug companies with an opportunity to tell everyone that a cure for depression, impotence, and the sniffles is only a tiny pill away. Close to 10% of men and women in America are now taking drugs to combat depression, and, in the United Kingdom, 2.1 million more antidepressant prescriptions were written in 2008 than in 2007.
Rare conditions have a way of becoming common when a drug is developed for them.
And in this recession, former big shots whose stars have fallen are looking for a quick fix for what ails them, and the list is long: depression, panic disorders, attention deficits, and (gasp) erectile dysfunction can all result from chronic stress and general misfortune -- or so big pharma would have you believe. Sources of such stress could mean anything from being on the end of a losing trade to going bankrupt when your company collapses.
And chronic stress can lead to reduced testosterone -- which means diminished sexual desire, possible marital conflict, and lower self-esteem. Drug makers know this, and have flooded our TV sets with commercials for erectile-dysfunction drugs: There's Viagra, and Cialis (GSK), and Levitra (SGP) -- all just what the doctor ordered.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.
Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Daily Recap Newsletter