In 1999 “Big Pharma” went to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and got permission to advertise drugs, drugs, and more drugs directly to the American consumer. Their intent, as it became obvious, was two things: (1) sell more drugs to the American consumer, and, (2) control the media, especially US television..
TV network news, it appears, got the lion’s share of advertising dollars. I estimate that 55% percent of all advertising during the News Hours are paid for by “Big Pharma.” More, about a third of the entire newscast, itself, is focused on how wonderful your “local drug peddler” actually is. Almost every night a new wonder drug (snort) is presented, that will absolutely save humanity – and, of course, this never actually happens. Network TV news is just about ALL advertising hype – with the occasional brainless “car chase – endlessly documented by the 3.5 million dollar ($3,500,000) network helicopter.”
Television News departments have sold out for the money – there is no doubt about that. Even more, the networks, beyond the news features, couldn’t go even part of a season without another boring TV series about life in a hospital – without ever mentioning that those same hospitals are the number one (#1) killer of Americans, ahead of heart disease and cancer.
Yes, US television has sold out to “Big Pharma.” There is no doubt about it. But, the question is “Did TV do ‘Big Pharma’ any good?” And the answer is “no, it did not…” and, we can all laugh about that.
What do I mean “no, it did not..?” There’s an easy answer – in two parts:
(1) Despite the fact that “Big Pharma” spent billions of dollars, since 1999, on television, a recent Harris poll shows that only nine percent (9%) of the American public believes what the pharmaceutical industry says is the truth. In a recent article on Common Dreams newswire, titled “Fact squad on prescription Drugs” it is explained that:
WASHINGTON – December 7, 2005- According to a October 2005 Harris Poll, only nine percent of the American public considers the pharmaceutical industry generally honest and trustworthy. If perception were reality, the prescription drug industry would be in Chapter 11.