Page 10 - Boca ViewPointe - November '19
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Page 10, Viewpointe                                                 November 2019
      Flu Shot Clinic                                     Should Prescription Drugs

          The Boca Pointe Community Association hosted
       BPCA Management office. Residents received Flu  Be Advertised On TV?
       a Flu shot clinic on  Wednesday, October 2nd at the
       and Pneumonia vaccinations sponsored by Walgreens
       Pharmacy. We would like to thank all of the residents   By Harold Katz, R.Ph.
       that participated and to Walgreens for providing this
       opportunity to our Boca Pointe residents.             For over two decades,
                                                           one of the frequent “bridge
                                                           table” subjects that has
                                                           confronted consumers (and
                                                           Boca  Pointers) has been
                                                           the advertising on TV and
                                                           other media of drugs only
                                                           available on prescription.
                                                           The FDA (Food and Drug
                                                           Administration), after careful study, allowed this to
                                                           commence in 1997. Initially, all the professions had a      It is interesting to note that only two countries in
                                                           negative attitude towards these ads. This article attempts   the world allow direct to the consumer advertising of
                                                           to describe a recent history of this DTCA (Direct-To-  prescription only drugs: The United States and little New
                                                           Consumer Advertising) approach.                 Zealand.
                                                              In 2015, an article in the JAMA (Journal of the      Here is another point of view, this one offered by
                                                           American Medical Association) stated: “There are   marketing people: We live in a capitalistic environment.
                                                           concerns among doctors about the negative impact   If the research-oriented drug firms did not earn a profit,
                                                           of commercially driven promotions and the role that   or if their research did not offer an opportunity to earn
      Harvey Kaplan                                        marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices.   a profit, investors would invest their money elsewhere,
                                                           DCTA inflates demand for more expensive drugs, even   and the tremendous research facilities of PHRMA would
                                                           when these drugs may not be appropriate.”       shut down. This U.S. industry is responsible for more
                                                              Another article in the same prestigious journal   “break-through” medicines than any other country in
                                                           (JAMA) one year later offered this opinion: “DTCA can   the world. It has helped to advanced health care and
                                                           motivate patients to bring to their physicians’ attention   even the length of life of humans since its inception. A
                                                           information they receive about diseases and products.   drug patent is exclusive for 20 years, beginning with the
                                                           Constraints on physicians’ time make it vital for patients   registration of the patent. It takes most of those years to
                                                           to be educated outside of the physicians’ office so that   set up and conclude studies of the drug to convince the
                                                           they can use time with their doctor as effectively as   FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of its safety and
                                                           possible. DTCA also motivates patients to discuss issues,   efficacy. Frequently, there are only 5 years or less of
                                                           especially highly stigmatized diseases such as depression   exclusivity left upon approval. Getting a new medicine
                                                           or attention deficit disorder (ADD).”           known quickly by DCTA efforts increases the time frame
                                                              The Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of   for earning a profit (and most likely reduces the cost of
                                                           America  (PHRMA)  published  this  review  in  their   marketing the drug and its ultimate cost to the patient).
                                                           journal in 2018: “An important benefit of DTCA is      Effective July of this year, the FDA is requiring these
                                                           that it fosters informed conversation about health,   advertisements to include pricing information if the cost
                                                           diseases, and treatments between patients and their   of the medicine is more than thirty-five dollars for three
      Cheryl Sivak and Sherri Costello RPh, Walgreens Pharmacist  health practitioners. This serves the public health by   days of treatment. It will be interesting to view how this
                                                           increasing awareness about diseases, educating patients   new regulation is implemented.
                                                           about prescription options, motivating patients to contact      Many of us are frightened by the list of side effects
                MEDICARE                                   their physicians to engage in dialogue about health   (which must accompany the advertising.) Most of us
                                                           concerns. In addition, this can increase the likelihood
                                                                                                           have difficulty pronouncing the chosen trade name of
        OPEN ENROLLMENT                                    that patients will receive appropriate care for conditions   the drug as we see it on TV. However, all of us would be
                                                                                                           thankful if the need for that particular medication arose
                                                           that are frequently under-diagnosed and under-treated,
                                                                                                           and our doctor was familiar with its existence. To that
                                                           and it encourages compliance with prescription drug
                                                           treatment regimens.”                            end, DCTA serves a worthy purpose.
                                                              So here we are almost 2 decades since DTCA began,      This writer invites your comments.
         10/15 - 12/7  FOR 2020 PLANS                      and there are still varied opinions among professionals
                                                           about the value of this approach to the public.     Harold Katz, R.Ph., is a resident of Costa del Sol. 
            REVIEW YOUR PLAN
                 FOR CHANGES
                                                                                                                      Norbert Graber, R. Ph.
                   AND VERIFY                                                                                        and Lynn Graber, R. Ph.

                 ALL BENEFITS

               PETER GRATZON

                  TOP INDEPENDENT
                  MEDICARE AGENT


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