Note: aafter reading Bob Erhlich’s latest post on defending DTC…well, I had to respond (http://dtcperspectives.com/blog/)
You usually take a fairly wise approach to these issues, but in this post you really toss the softball to irresponsible pharma marketers — as in having a BODY DOUBLE for Dr Jarvik doing the rowing. That is plain and simple false and misleading and unnecessary since Lipitor is a great drug and Dr Jarvik does a fine job without the deception. Pharmalot has even create a poll asking readers to judge whether Dr Jarvik should be dumped as spokesperson (http://www.pharmalot.com/).
DTC is not monolithic — there are as many truly helpful and ethical commercials as there are ones that create these false Gods of Health (I think of Flomax and their incessant use of phallic symbols, kayaks, fishing poles, etc.)
DTC is about how you do it, not about doing it at all. We need DTC, but with a higher degree of education and patient engagement, versus patient "push"…one example: why not have a 60 second commercial that is only a tease to drive them online for more information. Why not create educational curriculum for patients to help them understand what is happening to their bodies overall, not just this pinpoint condition and treatment. Or DTC that focuses on compliance for the mega-brands with a supportive program offered to the viewer…
DTC is needed, but with a much higher level of patient engagement and servicing their needs rather than just herding them into the doctor’s office.