With the advent of the customer-centric approach in today’s economy, the levels of product advertisements have increased in a bid to create healthy competition for the realization of affordable yet quality products for consumers. Drug companies have also raised their modes of advertisements in the market by adapting to consumerism and this has raised various contentions with regard to the morality and ethicality of the practice. From a subjective perspective, I believe that drug advertising is an unethical practice. First, the promotional information given in advertisements contains the symptoms and diagnosis of the illness in which the medication is supposed to relieve (Flood, 2006). Consequently, the consumer is coerced into individual diagnosis that is often deceptive as the presence of the given symptoms may not necessarily be indicative of the ailment. Additionally, the consumer may resort into acquiring the drugs in nearby pharmacies because of the self-diagnosis and this may lead to the creation of intricate medical conditions.
Secondly, advertisements are very costly initiatives that are charged according to the size and placement of a picture in print documents or the length accorded in audio and audiovisual media. Drug companies therefore tend to release limited information that coerces the consumer into their desired selfish end and this is often a misleading action as it leads to uninformed decision-making (Parker & Charles, 2006). Thirdly, the practice influences doctors’ decisions as patients tend to accord pressure towards being offered the given prescription based on the information gathered in the advertisements. Fourth, the history of pricing adversely impacted healthy decisions with the techniques of pricing to infer superiority that associates high priced products with quality and vice versa. With this knowledge, manufacturers have becomes manipulative to the victimization of the consumers. Therefore, consumers tend to be misinformed and therefore bear the complete adverse cost.
Flood, C. M. (2006). Just medicare: what’s in, what’s out, how we decide. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.
Parker, R. S., & Charles, E. P. (2003). Ethical Considerations in the Use of Direct-To-Consumer Advertising and Pharmaceutical Promotions: The Impact on Pharmaceutical Sales and Physicians. Journal of Business Ethics, 48(3), 279-290.