Will Big Pharma’s battle for billions ever stop when America holds the loosest consumer drug advertising laws in the world?

Billions of dollars in vaccinations later, Big Pharma companies are still selling their products far and wide, just as a car salesman would, but on a whole different monetary level.

Have you ever thought about the car commercials you see on TV that are so often followed by a pharmaceutical advertisement pushing a certain drug onto viewers lounging in their homes?

A car is a product and so is a drug. Both manufacturers have the same drive to push their products at consumers. But one is a physical product and the other is a body-altering prescription product that is only accessible through the medical system. Even so, it’s still sold to our minds on the couch at home.

It’s a deceptive yet legal marketing tool in America, but did you know that we’re one of the only countries with such lax regulations on drug marketing? The U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs.

Take a second to recall in your head the image of the old couple walking the beach, maybe playing frisbee, maybe playing with the dog or the grandkids. You can likely easily picture this scene because it’s how many of the drug ads are portrayed here in America. The voice in the background details how much the drug will save your life, followed by a speedy ramble of the life-threatening effects. It’s pure deception.

The FDA’s loose regulations help Big Pharma sell. After all, Americans take some of the most prescription pills in the world.

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The prescription medication advertisement criteria the FDA has set are:

  • Be truthful 
  • Fairly present both benefits and risks of medications
  • Share information that is relevant to the product’s advertised uses
  • Include a brief summary of every risk described in the product’s labeling

Pfizer used indirect consumer marketing during the Covid-19 pandemic, likely to protect themselves legally, but our own government took on the responsibility of directly marketing to Americans.

In one ad, children are used to tell the audience to get vaccinated.

“I love being vaccinated,” one child claims. “Everyone stay safe and hope you get the vaccine” another child encourages.

Advertisements work, which is why many companies and politicians use this costly mode of persuasion consistently. In 2016, pharmaceutical companies spent $9.6 billion on DTC marketing.

According to a government document from 2021, DTC marketing spiked starting in the 1990s. Before then, they exclusively marketed to health care providers.

“In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have maximized sales of their products through aggressive marketing tactics such as direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising and sales tactics directed at physicians,” the document states.

These requirements lead us to a striking conclusion: the government and pharmaceutical companies work hand in hand to sell Americans extremely expensive, mind-altering chemicals, and it’s got a lot to do with bottom-line profits.

A recent battle between two powerful Big Pharma lords has just begun all because of money…. Moderna has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Pfizer.

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Pfizer’s revenue nearly doubled from $41.9 billion in 2020 to $81.29 billion in 2021, according to statistics. The company’s income rose over 100%, meaning the costs charged to the government and other customers were far more than the previous year. Moderna’s 2021 revenue rose to $18.7 billion, also massive growth and almost completely from Covid vaccine sales.

Didn’t that work out well for Moderna and Pfizer? 

But that’s not good enough for the money-hungry pharmaceutical companies. Moderna claims Pfizer stole its vaccine technology patents and is suing. Ironically Moderna is currently being sued by two of Pfizer’s partnered BioNTech companies, Arbutus Biopharma and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, for the same thing it’s claiming that Pfizer did – patent infringement.

It’s all about profits.

Aside from the battles for billions in lawsuits, the bottom line comes down to persuasion and consumer marketing. These multi-billion dollar corporations use psychological tactics to influence our health choices and desires.

If the FDA, CDC, NIH and USDA are really all about health, maybe it’s time they consider following the example of the rest of the world and protecting Americans’ bodies from being used for profits.

As they say, money is the root of all evil.

Silence Dogood, who writes under Benjamin Franklin’s famous pseudonym, is a staff writer with the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance.

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