Communication Essay

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Prescription Drugs: Good for you or Good for Them

Tricia Hunter

January 2011

Everyone has their own opinion about the use of prescription drugs; the patient, the doctor, and the pharmaceutical company. The appearance of prescription drugs in advertising can leave the viewer with questions on whether it could really improve their quality of life. Both an article by Abigail Zuger and a video from advise readers about the relationship between prescription drugs, the patients who use them, the doctors that prescribe them, and even the companies that advertise them. Do these drugs really improve the health of the consumers or are they merely a ploy for financial gain?

Abigail Zugar writes about the relationship between doctors prescribing habits and whether patients actually take the medication in We Love Them. We Hate Them. We Take Them. She says that “without constant discussion and re-evaluation” just prescribing medication is not the same as “treating a patient” (2004). Abigail discusses that although physicians may believe they are practicing medicine by prescribing the latest medication. It really depends on if the patient actually takes the medication that was prescribed. In the strategy she uses, Abigail explains to the reader that she may not even take a particular medication yet she prescribes it to her patients. Abigail then also presumes that they will take it correctly and as directed. This point should alert anyone that has received a prescription to definitely ask a lot of questions about the need to take a particular medication. The video Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Pushing Drugs describes the extensive use of advertising that pharmaceutical companies use to sell their drugs. They get patients involved in asking their physicians about the drug and requesting prescriptions for it as well. In the past marketing from drug companies was mostly directed at physicians and other healthcare providers, but in more recent...