Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising

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In the modern world of medicine, large pharmaceutical companies have often been part of a strong debate. The controversy concerning Big Pharma is about the marketing malpractices used by these large pharmaceutical companies that have resulted in negative implications for consumers. In James Le Fanu’s book, The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine, the existence of secrets held by the drug companies is highlighted. These secrets can be broken down into a group of four: (1) Drug companies underestimate side-effects that are dangerous to consumers, (2) Drug companies control the information doctors receive, (3) Patients are prescribed drugs they do not need, and (4) Drugs target symptoms, not causes. The Big Pharma controversy encompasses these secrets, which revolve around the pharmaceutical companies, government, consumers. This controversy exists between supporters of the marketing tactics used by pharmaceutical companies and the critics of these tactics. These secrets held by drug companies inevitably raise the question: Is it ethical for medical professionals to profit at the expense of the patients? A balance between the pros and cons of marketing tactics used by the pharmaceutical industry must be achieved if the system is to benefit all. To do this, it is important to consider the ethical issues pertaining to these tactics.

Numerous ethical dilemmas exist when examining the pharmaceutical industry’s tactics. This paper will serve to examine a mere few of these examples. Today’s world of medicine is dominated by industry, as physicians and patients alike rely on pharmaceutical companies to provide medications that address patient health concerns. Pharmaceutical companies intend to profit from the d...

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