- Drugs, Dinner, and Deception: The Ethics of Direct to Consumer Advertising
Drugs, Dinner, and Deception: The Ethics of DTCA, Big Pharma, and the FDA
Advertisements for pharmaceutical drugs are virtually everywhere we look–television, radio, internet, newspapers, and magazines have bombarded us with these ads at nearly every media channel we can think of. These advertisements have not always been this common. How did we get here and are these advertisements ethical? This course will examine the ethical considerations to keep in mind when viewing these prescription drug advertisements. The course will also take a brief look at Food and Drug Administration ethics and more specifically the ethics of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.
- Understand what the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments are
- Identify current direct-to-consumer advertisement (DTCA) requirements
- Identify arguments both for and against DTCA
- Identify the role of pharmaceutical drug representatives and the ethical dilemma raised between them and providers
Beth Cleavenger (PharmD) is a 2012 University of Montana Pharmacy School graduate. She was born and raised in Montana and moved to Arizona in the summer of 2012 to start her pharmacy career. It was this move that would change her life, her health, and the direction of her career forever. In pharmacy school Beth was taught to believe the lie that alternatives to conventional medicine were simply unnecessary and unreliable. She was led to believe that the only medicine and treatments patients could trust were rooted in clinical guidelines and FDA approved drugs. Ironically, after battling a “mysterious” chronic illness for four years it was naturopathic medicine that had saved her life.
Beth was halfway through pharmacy school when her health began to dramatically decline and she wholeheartedly embraced the medical wisdom she thought she had gained. Over the course of three years she went to 7 physicians and 3 specialists only to be dismissed as “normal”. Beth was hopeless, desperate, and on the verge of needing a medical leave of absence from her job. Realizing that she had nothing else to lose, Beth made an appointment to see a naturopathic physician.
At just 27 years old, Beth was battling a severe case of chronic fatigue syndrome, stage III adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, and a number of food intolerances. Little by little she has regained her health back with the help of natural supplements, a real-food diet, and even the anti-viral drug, valacyclovir, for her high Epstein-Barr viral load.
This journey has taught Beth more than the value and effectiveness of natural and alternative medicine. It has made her not only a more compassionate pharmacist, but a better one. This experience drives Beth to educate patients, colleagues, and friends on the benefit of integrating both natural and conventional medicine to improve quality of life.