Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The pharmaceutical ads on television generally crack me up, but the funniest has to be the ads for menopause drug, Boniva. “There”, former Flying Nun actress, Sally Field smiles, “I just took my osteoporosis medicine for the month”. Wow, now she has freed up valuable time to do whatever it is she does with the rest of her month. Like, my God - taking a pill EVERY DAY! Who’s got that kind-a time?!?!

Oh, I donno… maybe dialysis patients who are hooked up to kidney machines for five hours at a stretch three days a week! But what’s a little time out of your life if it keeps you alive!

The ads for cholesterol lowering drugs Zetia and Vytorin were still airing even after research was publicized showing that neither of these drugs had any effect on reducing cardiovascular disease.

It frightens me to think that there might be some very clueless women out there taking Boniva every day with along with their multi-vitamins. My God… none, I hope!

We depend on our physicians to tell us what is good for us and what we need. Unfortunately that target keeps moving as we find that our trusted medications we may have been taking for years are actually ineffective, or worse, bad for us. Oh well, there was once a time when doctors told patients that smoking actually aided digestion.

So who are we to believe? Our doctors? The FDA? Chinese herbal medicine? I guess there’s always the Internet.

[Right: Back cover advertisement from Sept. 1936 Science and Mechanics Monthly magazine.]


Kara said...

i like witch doctors. not so much for their medical knowledge as for their outfits.

Mary Witzl said...

I used to work in a doctor's office and there was a dialysis unit next door to us. Every three days I would see the same people going in, going out. How incredibly inconvenient their lives must have been, but I'm betting none of them forgot their dialysis appointments.

My doctor is good nutrition, much to the misery of my kids. I go for organic produce, leafy green vegetables, bright orange squash roots and squashes bursting with beta carotene -- all that sort of thing. My poor kids, come to think of it...

Robert the Skeptic said...

Kara - Yes, a doctor who is a snappy dresser clearly has the edge.

Mary - Yes, for some time I thought "good nutrition" meant low-salt potato chips and lite beer.

Mary Witzl said...


My husband still buys low-salt potato chips (crisps here) and feels he's made his contribution to our healthy lifestyle. And my kids pray that one day I'll see the light and start buying junk food. Poor little tykes.