A world of hilarity: Pharmaceutical Disclaimers

glaucon

tending tangentially
Registered Senior Member
I've been on vacation this week, doing little beyond sitting in the sun and reading. When I inevitably end up going to the computer do do some work, as I often do, I turn the TV on, just to have some background noise. Happily, this has led to much hilarity, as I've discovered the entertainment gem from the US known as the Pharmaceutical ad.

Here in Canada, it's illegal to advertise drugs of any sort, so I've been enthralled with these ads.
What has killed me about these things is the unending list of 'possible side effects may include...'. These things are way too funny. I actually timed one today. The ad was a 30 second spot. Of that, 12 seconds were spent on the nature and possible efficacy of the drug, while the remaining 18 seconds were spent on listing possible side effects (up to, and including death). LOL Seriously, way funny.

God bless you Yanks.


By the way, what does "otc" mean????
 
I've been on vacation this week, doing little beyond sitting in the sun and reading. When I inevitably end up going to the computer do do some work, as I often do, I turn the TV on, just to have some background noise. Happily, this has led to much hilarity, as I've discovered the entertainment gem from the US known as the Pharmaceutical ad.

Here in Canada, it's illegal to advertise drugs of any sort, so I've been enthralled with these ads.
What has killed me about these things is the unending list of 'possible side effects may include...'. These things are way too funny. I actually timed one today. The ad was a 30 second spot. Of that, 12 seconds were spent on the nature and possible efficacy of the drug, while the remaining 18 seconds were spent on listing possible side effects (up to, and including death). LOL Seriously, way funny.

God bless you Yanks.


By the way, what does "otc" mean????
You have to see the potential side effects and adverse reactions listed for psychotropics medications. They can be really rather fantastic.

Here's a link to a common one, Xanax, which is not especially strong....

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/xanax-side-effects.html

If you scroll down this delightful page, each time you think the list is going to end, well, it does not. OK, it is true they then break down side effects according to body system so there is some doubling, but it is really quite amazing.

I had a family member on one of the older psychotropics. He and his wife were well aware that he got sudden blood pressure drops - however no one told him that this was a side effect of the medication. No one told him that the drug caused temperature sensitivitives which could be quite severe in his case. When I heard him complaining one day about his 'ailments' and knowing a little about the medication he was on, I just googled it on his computer and printed out the list of side effects. He was stunned to find that much of what he took to be his aging was on the list. He went to another psychiatrist who eased him off the drug and....

he was suddenly a younger man.

Not that this was your point at all.

I suspect litigious Americans was more the issue and the funny side effects of our litigious nature.

Of course informed consent is probably at least an ideal in most of the countries that find us amusing. (correctly find us amusing, amongst other less pleasant adjectives)
 
It probably means "over-the-counter".
That's correct.

America is way too obsessed with governmental warnings, but of course it's the threat of lawsuits that drives it.

My favorite "warning" ever was on a bottle of mouthwash designed for children. I was visiting with a friend with young (4-5 years) children and happened to notice the label on the bottle. I've always been an avid label reader, but this one really took the cake. It was called "Happy-Mouth", or something equally juvenile. The entire front of the bottle was devoted to cartoon characters exhorting the benefits of the product and how much fun it was to use - aimed directly at children. Obviously.

The kicker? On the back, at the top of the "instructions", in bold print, was the admonition:

Keep out of reach of children.


I laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes... I love labels - could go on for ages about the stupidity of some of them, and it's not limited to the medical / health fields.
 
OK.
And what does that mean?
Just go to the pharmacy, apothecary and buy it. No doctor intermediary needed.

The products are over the counter, out where you can just pull them off the shelves. The good stuff is behind the counter and you need a prescription.
 
Just go to the pharmacy, apothecary and buy it. No doctor intermediary needed.

The products are over the counter, out where you can just pull them off the shelves. The good stuff is behind the counter and you need a prescription.

ooooooh.

Weird.
 
ooooooh.

Weird.
Really. Do you mean weird category? I assume Canadians have the same kind of breakdown. I hope I didn't mislead you with 'good stuff'. It's really the more powerful more potentially dangerous stuff. Can't you guys buy things like antibacterial creams and weak acne medicines and so on just by getting it off the shelves, but need a note or message from a doctor to get the presciption stuff?
 
Really. Do you mean weird category? I assume Canadians have the same kind of breakdown. I hope I didn't mislead you with 'good stuff'. It's really the more powerful more potentially dangerous stuff. Can't you guys buy things like antibacterial creams and weak acne medicines and so on just by getting it off the shelves, but need a note or message from a doctor to get the presciption stuff?

I meant weird yes, as in category.
Though, in retrospect, I guess it makes sense for Americans, given that they actually do have ads for drugs in general, so, the distinction must be made.
Sure, I can go into a pharmacy and grab say, Tylenol or Vitamin C tabs, but it's just understood here that anything generally heavier, likely requiring some professional medical input, will require a doctor's scrip.

So.. basically, just culturally weird I suppose.
 
I meant weird yes, as in category.
Though, in retrospect, I guess it makes sense for Americans, given that they actually do have ads for drugs in general, so, the distinction must be made.
Sure, I can go into a pharmacy and grab say, Tylenol or Vitamin C tabs, but it's just understood here that anything generally heavier, likely requiring some professional medical input, will require a doctor's scrip.

So.. basically, just culturally weird I suppose.
Still not getting the difference. The part in bold is the same in the US.

What's the weird part? Or is the weird part simply that side effects are in the ads and not the otc/prescription distinction?
 
Still not getting the difference. The part in bold is the same in the US.

What's the weird part? Or is the weird part simply that side effects are in the ads and not the otc/prescription distinction?

The weird part is that product X has to be mentioned as being otc or not.
Here, that distinction would never be mentioned; it's understood that for Y's you need a scrip, for X's, you don't.
 
The weird part is that product X has to be mentioned as being otc or not.
Here, that distinction would never be mentioned; it's understood that for Y's you need a scrip, for X's, you don't.

more marketing. It's in the companies best interest to get a product to OTC status because they can sell more faster. It's as if they're saying, "Hey, now you can come get some anytime".
 
The weird part is that product X has to be mentioned as being otc or not.
Here, that distinction would never be mentioned; it's understood that for Y's you need a scrip, for X's, you don't.
I think in the US you can now advertise prescription medicines. Long not OK because, well, it's kind of odd to put the idea in the lay person's head first, before any doctor has considered it.

Hi, my name is Frank, I like the sound of X. Please give me a presciption for X. Y make me bloated. They say X doesn't. Giive me X

Patients can shop around until someone agrees.

But now it is legal to do this. So saying it is otc means you can just run in and buy it. And since some products look pretty similar on either side of the counter, say painkillers, they need to let you know. You don't want people showing up at the pharmacy asking for the aisle number for morphine.

OK, most would know that one. I know.
 
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