Note: I’ve been working in and around alternative healthcare for more than thirty years. So this topic is near and dear to my heart.
I picked up a copy of Woman’s Day for research purposes but what I discovered was a little different than what I expected. If you’ve ever thumbed through a woman’s magazine intended for moderately mature women (35 and up), you’ve probably noticed the abundance of drug advertisements. I was so startled at the over-abundance of drug ads in this issue that I thought I’d do a little analysis.
So I pulled out the drug ads and laid them out on my rug. When the ad appeared on both sides of a page, I photocopied the back page so it would be possible to see the entirety of all the ads. I laid them out so it was possible to visualize the full extent of the drug advertising in this issue and took the photo below.
There are 136 pages in this magazine + two outside covers and 2 inside pages to each cover = 140 pages. That means that 17% of this magazine is devoted to these drug ads. I didn’t even include a few over-the-counter medication ads, just the pharmaceutical ads in their full side-effect-listing glory.
What drugs are being advertised?
- Breo: asthma
- Cosentyx: joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis
- Taltz: psoriasis
- Verzenio: breast cancer
- Opdivo: lung cancer
- Fasenra: asthma
- Xejanz: psoriatic arthritis
- Belsomra: insomnia
- Dupixent: eczema
- Ozempic: diabetes
- Entresto: heart failure
Because I’m always fascinated by the catastrophic side effects that these ads so blithely list, I did a little inventory of some of them. Some are catastrophic and life-threatening, some of just truly a pain in the a$$.
- Breo: fungal infections in mouth, weakened immune system, sudden breathing problems.
- Taltz and Cosentyx: ulcerative colitis.
- Verzenio: diarrhea to the point of dehydration or infection, susceptibility to serious infection, blood clots in lungs that “have led to death.”
- Xejanz: serious infections such as TB or infections from bacteria, fungi or viruses. “Some people have died from these infections.”
- Belsomra: “Sleep-walking” or doing other activities WHEN YOU ARE ASLEEP like eating, talking, having sex, or DRIVING A CAR. (Emphasis added.)
- Dupixent: worsening eye problems, sores in mouth or on lips, hives.
- Fasenra: swelling of face, mouth or tongue, fainting.
- Ozempic: cancerous thyroid tumors, pancreatitis.
- Entresto: swelling of a lower layer of the skin resulting in difficulty breathing or death.
I think this one is the winner:
- Opdivo: inflammation of the lungs, tears or holes in the intestines, hepatitis, kidney failure, skin blistering, inflammation of the brain.
Opdivo is a drug for advanced stage lung cancer. Their promise is “A Chance to Live Longer.” I guess to practitioners, it’s worth this risk. But you have to wonder if patients are warned in any detail about the possible side effects.
Do these advertisers actually expect to sell these drugs to women through these ads? Perhaps not in a direct manner. I believe the primary benefits are these:
- When the doctor says “We’re going to put you on _____ (drug name),” the patient is more likely to have a positive reaction because they read about that drug as they were browsing their favorite magazine.
- More patients with some of these conditions may seek out their doctors to ask about medications that can make their lives more convenient or symptom-free.
As someone who has worked for many years promoting healthier ways to live, I consider this display of greed and disdain for the true, inner health of their audience totally repulsive. I suppose some of these drugs may help a few people. But in most cases, I believe, there are alternative, drug-free solutions that get passed by in favor of a profitable drug that only takes a doctor a moment to prescribe. It takes longer to build better health with improved nutrition, supplements, exercise and changes of lifestyle and attitude. It takes more of a practitioner’s time to educate and guide a patient to healthier living and doctors or nurses are unlikely to be compensated for that time by the big insurance companies.
So who is really practicing medicine? (I’ll help you with the answer: Insurance companies, Big Pharma and distant, corrupt government agencies. Actually, if you’ve read this far, you probably didn’t need the help!)
Pharmaceutical companies continue to promote and sell their toxic solutions and impose these side effects on American men and women. The FDA continues to be completely blind to this disgraceful practice—instead, their officials go after small businesses for the most ridiculously minor infractions because those companies don’t have the funds to fight back, bribe officials or offer lucrative jobs after these FDA officials retire from that agency.
I can only hope that these pharmaceutical companies get their comeuppance sooner rather than later. Followed by or preceded by the governmental agencies that are asleep at the wheel. .
(PS: Ironically, the cover gushes “THE BEST NATURAL CURES: Beat bloat! Lift brain fog! Ease aches!” Bloody hypocrites.)