Last updated on: 3/13/2014 | Author:

Martha Rosenberg Biography

Author and Health Reporter
Con to the question "Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?"

“Seventeen years after direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising was instituted in the US, 70 percent of adults and 25 percent of children are on at least one prescription drug. Topping the adult pill category is–surprise!–antidepressants which are used by an astounding one in four women between 50 and 64. Topping the child pill category is–another surprise!–ADHD meds, though kids increasingly take blood pressure, diabetes and insomnia meds too. (Babies are actually given GERD medicine for spitting up.) Twenty percent of the population is now on five or more prescription medications. Ka-ching.

DTC advertising has done two pernicious things. It has created a nation of hypochondriacs with depression, bipolar disorder, GERD, Restless Legs, insomnia, seasonal allergies and assorted pain, mood and ‘risk’ conditions and it has reduced doctors to order takers and gate keepers. Thanks to TV drug ads, patients tell doctors what is wrong with them and what pill they need, coupon in hand. Drug company-funded web sites even give patients talking points to use when they see the doctor, lest they don’t ring up a sale.

Selling prescription drugs like soap makes a mockery of a medical school education.”

“Following Success of DTC Drug Advertising, DTC Radiation Advertising? What?,”, Feb. 13, 2014

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Investigative Reporter, Consumers Digest, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Los Angeles Times, Providence Journal and Newsday, 2006-present
  • Health Columnist, Huffington Post, AlterNet, CounterPunch, BuzzFlash, Foodconsumer, NewsBlaze, YubaNet, Scoop, and Epoch Times, 2006-present
  • Editorial Cartoonist, Evanston Roundtable, 2000-present
  • BA, Philosophy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?