Pharma TV

Monday, April 9, 2018


I’m not a big TV watcher anymore, but I do have a short list of titles that I watch on a regular basis.  You know, as you get older, you don’t always pay so much attention to all the commercials anymore.  I’ve noticed that recently, there are quite a few pharmaceutical advertisements airing.  And, the content of these ads is difficult to understand.  I find it more fun to watch them without sound, and try to guess what kind of ailment they are designed to treat. 

The names of these medications are difficult to pronounce, because they have a lot of J’s, X’s, Y’s and Z’s.  It’s so much easier to just describe the commercial to your doctor when requesting a specific medication.  For example, “Oh, doctor, I’d like to try a new medicine that just came on the market.  I can’t remember the name of it, but when I’m out on a date night with my wife, it’s supposed to make her laugh a little harder at my jokes.  Do you know that one?  It’s the one that had some side effects like dry mouth, projectile vomiting and in some rare cases, sudden unexplained death. 

There was another one I wanted to try out.  It makes listening to music more enjoyable when played on a vintage record player. The side effects of that one were halitosis, diarrhea and a possible outbreak of rashes all over the body. 

And there was a commercial for a drug that will make you a better fisherman.  It had some weird name, but I clearly remember that the side effects were only temporary paralysis of one side of the body, spikes of high blood pressure and blurred vision. 

One medicine boasted making your dog more affectionate toward you, when you sit on a recliner.  But you can’t take that one if you have high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction or sleep apnea.

It might have been my imagination, but I seem to recall a theme park funded medicine called Minnestra™ that gives you the patience to enjoy yourself more while at the theme park – even with larger than normal crowds.  The only visible side effects of this one were sweaty palms and an uncontrollable urge to buy cotton candy, churros and souvenirs. 

There was even one that helped raise your bowling average while using a hexagonal bowling ball.  Afterwards, the bowler rode home on a bike with square wheels.  This one didn’t appeal to me, though, because I can already bowl well with a traditional round ball, and think that the bumpy ride on the bike might aggravate a past back injury. 

There are so many aspects of my life that I’d like to improve upon and the future looks much rosier now, since the formulation of many new types of drugs.  I didn’t always feel this way, but I might be willing to suffer an occasional seizure if it would allow me to fold my clothes a little more professionally.  And I’ve never really had a strong desire to hang out by the lake with my family, but if a little male pattern baldness would make that scenario more appealing, I might be willing to try that new green pill. 

What I’d really like to see on the market is a small round pill that makes the pharma ads easier to decode.  Or maybe the big pharma companies could save their money with the FDA approval on that, and just make better commercials that make more sense.  Or, and I’m just thinking out loud here, maybe they could stop the ads and work on cures for some of the yet unsolved illnesses.  I mean, aren’t there already enough medications on the market that make people want to mow their lawn?

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