Losing the sanctity of the doctor’s office



Don’t know about all of you, but I am rather tired of hearing/seeing drug advertisements fill the airwaves. It is bad enough that they perpetually dot the TV map, but not you have to listen to these digitized pseudo-diagnoses while waiting for your doctor trough CNN”s Accent Health. It’s a wonder we all have not become hypochondriacs – or perhaps we already are.

Prior to going further, just for the record and the sake of open disclosure – a number of members of my family, both past and present, have worked or are working for a large pharmaceutical company and I do own shares of stock in it too.  That being said, I still think pharmaceutical and most other types of advertising have gotten way out of hand.



Promoted as a network about good health, Accent Health television programming seems to be popping up like dandelions in every sort of medical-related facility imaginable.  Short three to 10 minute discussions on health topics are often punctuated by a blizzard of prescription drug advertisements for everything that ails you. I thought listening to soap operas in the doctor’s office was bad, but I’ll take that any day over being bombarded by yet another form of droll advertising.

As a college graduate who majored in marketing, I know exactly why the pharmaceutical companies are doing this – to get patients to ask for their hoped-for blockbuster drugs by name. And just so you don’t forget, they will endlessly pump the product’s name to you every step of the way, including in the waiting room. Mother Mercy, can we please have some sanctuary from advertising somewhere on this planet?

You can’t push a shopping cart without advertising on it – even the store aisles had advertisements plastered to the floor. Looked at you prescription lately, the bag it came in has advertising all over it. Gone to a movie or rented one lately – more advertising. Advertising for those who clean the roadsides; for those who plant landscaping in medians; for those whose parking space you are sitting in; for those services are off the next exit ramp; for who installed you windows; for this and that and everything in-between.

To me, and I know I am sort of old-fashioned here, the sanctity of the doctor’s office should be off-limits to audio or video advertising. Leave a freakin’ brochure already and be done with it. Shame on my doctor or any other doctor who allows Madison Avenue to permeate their organization. Such over-allegiance to the almighty dollar (peso, pound, euro, rubles, etc.) only serves to chip away at the doctor-patient relationship – that being what’s best for the patient, not what’s best for next quarter’s bottom line.

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6 Responses to Losing the sanctity of the doctor’s office

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    When I was in the Army the “first time”, I had to fend off drug salespeople from talking to our Medical Officers due to the fact the they didn’t have authorization to purchase drugs clinic by clinic…there’s a procedure in procurement that these salespeople couldn’t or wouldn’t “understand”…


  2. Terry Nobbe says:

    Rick: Welcome to 2013 and the newest age of advertising. Remember when ALL billboards were static, or when billboards on buses were fairly tame, or when (and if) the FTC ruled that a TV show could have only one auto commercial per program intermission? I remember that when I first began posting on LinkedIn there were no little squares of advertising popping up along the right edge of one’s screen.
    Advertising is BIG BIG business these days and the greed driving this business knows no bounds. Get used to it, none of it is going away anytime soon.


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