PANEXA: ask your doctor for a reason to take it!

This Stayfree magazine spoof of a fictitious drug called PANEXA would be hilarious if it weren’t so eerily close to how Big Pharma is actually marketing prescription drugs.  This “Ask Your Doctor” type of ad  is what Big Pharma calls Direct To Consumer advertising – and it really works. 

PLEASE READ THIS SUMMARY CAREFULLY, THEN ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT PANEXA AND HOW TO PROVIDE YOU WITH LARGE QUANTITIES. THIS ADVERTISEMENT DOES NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF ADVICE FROM YOUR DOCTOR; RATHER, IT PROVIDES YOU WITH NEW INFORMATION ABOUT NEW DRUGS YOU SHOULD BE USING.

PANEXA is a prescription drug that should only be taken by patients experiencing one of the following disorders:

  • circulation
  • menstruation
  • cognition
  • osculation
  • extremes of emotion

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“Sleazy example” of drug company’s reminder ad on Twitter

Twitter Levemir Ad

This is a page from Twitter.  Each of the <140-character postings in the middle column is called a Tweet, purportedly written by American racecar driver Charlie Kimball, who “partners with Novo Nordisk to prove his high performance career is possible with diabetes”.

This is what drug companies like Novo Nordisk call a “branded Tweet” and a “Direct to Consumer” (DTC) ad.  All that very fine barely readable print on the left sidebar is about Novo Nordisk’s long-acting insulin called Levemir.

The branded Tweet does not mention any benefits of Levemir because  it’s a reminder ad, which is not required to include side effect information if it does not mention any benefits. Instead, this reminder ad for Levemir lets Charlie Kimball act as the shill for Novo Nordisk.  Continue reading