HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Sunday, February 6, 2005

The Latest in Pharmaceutical Ads -- The Sleeping Pill

Remember those recent pharmaceutical advertisements -- when a number of us learned more than we liked about male impotence and the number of unpleasant side effect diet drugs had on an individual's digestive tract  -- well, according to Lisa Marsa, writing in Mother Jones, this year we are going to learn about the importance of sleep and sleeping pills.  Specifically, we will be provided information about our need to get a good night's sleep that current medicines cannot provide but that new prescription drugs can.  The article is an interesting read about the pharmaceutical industry, its need for new blockbuster drugs, and the impact of advertising to not only sponsor drugs, but also to promote a health problem that may or may not exist.    According to Marsa's research, there does not exist any conclusive evidence that not getting sufficient sleep makes one more prone to illness or other ill effects.  Furthermore, her research shows that the new prescription drugs that are supposed to provide a wonderful sleep, actually provide little help and are not much more effective than current remedies.   

The only good news that I can find in these new ads results from the fact that I will not have to explain sexual dysfunction to my child if we are watching television together.  [bm

Thanks to for the update.

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