Marketing Drugs To Your Children

Yesterdays news carried a recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics to monitor cholesterol in children as young as 2 years old and to use cholesterol lowering drugs on kids as young as five for the rest of their lives. Many physicians are appalled by this recommendation. There is no data – none – that suggests that this is correct course of treatment.

I’m not going to get into the medical side of this recommendation but I do feel strongly about the marketing ramifications. First, this opens up the door for drug companies to run more of their ubiquitous commercials for drugs. Only this time they will be marketing to children a drug that they will have to take for the rest of their lives for which there is no medical data to show it will prevent one heart attack. Nor is there any data to show what will happen to your body after taking these statins for 40 or 50 years.

The mainstream broadcast media (which seems to get the majority of their advertising dollars from drug companies) reported yesterday’s report like it was the gospel. None of the facts (why let facts get in the way of making money) were reported about the lack of any kind of good medical data.

Lastly (and here is where you follow the money) none of the doctors on the academy’s nutrition panel have disclosed whether they have any
financial relationship with makers of statin drugs. However, the report’s lead
author, Dr. Stephen Daniels, told The Associated Press that he had
worked as a consultant to Abbott Laboratories and Merck, but not on
their cholesterol drugs. We have to take his word that he would not be biased in any way toward the companies that are paying him (quite well, I’m sure) for his advice. As I mentioned, the rest of the panel hasn’t come clean one way or the other about their relationships with the drug manufactureres.

I don’t know about you but I’m getting that same feeling I get when I hear a politician say they are not swayed by the lobbyists who pump big dollars into their campaigns, parties, travel, etc. They only vote their conscience.

It makes me want to go take a hot shower.

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