70% of drugs advertised on TV are of “low therapeutic value,” study finds

Original study:

Information on the legality of this practice in other countries can be found at:


I’m unsurprised. Drugs that do have therapeutic value get sold to doctors and pharmacies and don’t need to be hawked on the shopping channel.

The drugs in question still need to be prescribed by a health professional and dispensed by a pharmacy. The goal of the advertising is to have patients show up at their doctor’s office and ask about the drug. There will often be a parallel advertising campaign going on targeting doctors so when the patients show up the docs will be primed to prescribe the company’s product.

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BTW, here in Canada the regulations are that if the name of the drug is specified in the commercial, you cannot mention what the drug is used for. Advertiising companies have come up with some creative ways to get around that:

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