Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What can spending $10 billion a year in advertising sell?

Have you ever wondered what it would cost to completely skew the minds of the masses in America and sell a product that is not only proven not to work, but proven to make you worse? Well you can spend money in many ways to advertise a product, but to sell a product and make everyone believe they need it without regard to any clinical evidence takes a lot of money and well organized/strategic marketing.

This product is so well sold in America, even when research surfaces, that clearly discusses the evidence that this product is harmful to your health and shows only negative effects to the body, the masses of America still defend it. They defend something that has taken years to ingrain into each of our brains that this product is necessary, against all odds, against all real research, the product must be good because doctors prescribe it and celebrities use it.

The top 10 pharmaceutical companies spend $10 billion dollars a year on marketing to the uninformed public.  
  1. Pfizer
  2. Eli Lilly
  3. Abbott Laboratories
  4. Merck
  5. Amgen
  6. AstraZeneca
  7. Allergan
  8. Boehringer Ingelheim
  9. GlaxoSmithKline
  10. Otsuka Pharmaceutical
These companies have mastered the art of selling you and me products to help heart burn, lower cholesterol, help the common cold, and vaccinate us from the years flu bug.

But how has this marketing strategy really affected us?
Whether or not you know what Psoriatic Arthritis is, or how it affects the body, we, as Americans, all know that Phil Mickelson suffers from it. We know that he is a professional golfer that has a condition that can only be helped by taking a very specific medication and if he doesn’t take it, he will never be able to play golf again.

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Enbrel: a medication that is classified to block TNF or tumor necrosis factor will help stop the production of inflammation that is correlated to Psoriatic Arthritis.

Before the commercial talks about the side effects that come along with this medication such as: increased risk of diabetes and heart disease or increased risk of serious infection, this advertisement makes each of us believe that if Phil Mickelson takes this medication, it must work, and if I have pain in my hands or legs, I must have Psoriatic Arthritis, and this medication will help.

This advertisement is designed to put a personal touch on a celebrity or professional athlete and help each middle age American male think about if their pain that they are suffering from can be treated with this MIRACLE medication called Embrel. So we all tread off to the overworked, understaffed, ever too busy medical doctor and ask if this will help. All the doctor has to do is ask if you have pain, and when you say yes, you are linking yourself to the symptoms that Phil suffers from on the television, and you are not there for anything other than the same medication he uses. This means you are already a customer to this Pharmaceutical Company, and you are a lifetime buyer of their product. This is successful marketing, but at what cost???

Always pay attention to the “fine print”

We have all been taught to analyze the “fine print”. We know that in the fine print you will find things about any product that you would not like. Like the interest rate on a credit card. It is not in big bold print on the front, unless it’s a 6 month promotion of 0%APR, but the fine print will say something like, if you don’t meet your minimum payment or any carried credit balance will be subject to 21.99%APR after the 6 month grace period. So to be clear, we all know that the “fine print” of any product give details that the provider does not want you to focus on, and they create a diversion to keep their perspective client focused on the “good” of the product and not pay attention to the “bad”.

When you have $10 billion to spend on marketing, you can make sure that each one of your ads are professionally designed and ran through many control trials to analyze their effectiveness to the consumer before they ever hit the public eye. The entire ad is designed to get your attention, make you feel like you or someone you care about is suffering from the condition they are trying to exploit, and then show you the only way it can be treated, their miracle medication. After the commercial gets you all warm and fuzzy inside, and you have already self-diagnosed yourself, all you have to do is get your primary care physician already on the phone to schedule an appointment to get your prescription, then they lay the “fine print” on you. This comes in a form of extremely fast, monotone script of the many side effects that come along with the minute benefits of this miracle drug ,but you are already so warmed up from the well-designed commercial that you don’t even make an effort to pay attention.

Side effects like increased chance of infection, rapid pulse, increased urge to gamble, drowsiness, etc do not mean anything to us. We are not worried about what can happen, we are only focused on what we want to happen, and these pharmaceutical ads are genius at telling us that they can do just that.
I am not writing this blog to solely reiterate what we all know about the dangerous side effects that come with all medications, the fact that they exist, and the fact that we all ignore them. I am writing to tell you about how spending billions of dollars on advertising can sell anything, even things that can harm your health by trying to help it.

Have you ever wonder how much it cost to make a medication?

Would it alarm you if you know that a study shows that pharmaceutical companies have reached a level of domestic sales to a number of $235.4 billion, in the US alone. Research shows that 13.4% of this amount is spent on research and development of new medications.  To do the math for you, about $32 billion is spent on research and development of new medications.

How much is spent on marketing their products?

The same research paper states that pharmaceutical companies spend 24.4% of their sales on promotions of their products. This is how pharmaceutical industries spend $57.4 billion dollars on marketing. About $10 billion goes to direct marketing to consumers in the form of TV ads, billboards, and celebrity promotions. The rest is spent on Pharmaceutical Reps, Salespeople, doctor’s lunches etc.
With this volume of advertising, we can not help but become clients. It is all we see, all day, every day. A pill for this, shot for that.

Do you think it is odd, that if you get a flu shot at CVS, they will give you 20% off your store purchases that day?

I am a well-researched anti flu shot physician. I know all of the harmful side effects, and lack of scientific evidence that it is even remotely effective to prevent the flu, and I almost went and got a flu shot to get the 20% off.
The biggest industries have the most power and influence over us.  We need to stop buying into the system, and start a proactive way of living to promote our own health and stop being pawns in the medical scheme.

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I truly respect this quote, and I only wish things were this simple. My thought though, does our food system pay attention to our health system?
The truth of this quote is, “people eat food with no regard to their health, and seek health care from an industry with zero intentions of helping.”

~ Dr. MOZ

 If you are tired of seeking pain relief with no results, call (812) 799-0668 TODAY and schedule a FREE CONSULTATION, and let's get you back to the PAIN-FREE Life you are missing.

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