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The Dollars and Sense Behind Drug Company Ads

Sunday's Chicago Tribune ran a great front page piece in their business section about the economics behind Big Pharma's manic drive to grow their marketshare for new medications -- often much like the same old toxic drugs -- and how medical insurers have often pushed back.

This comes as major drug firms increasingly push their product marketing to the public in more obscene numbers merely to drive demand. If you're curious just how obscene those dollars really are, here's a short list of the top 5 drugs in terms of advertising dollars spent versus sales:

  • Nexium (AstraZeneca) -- $257 million (advertising) vs. $3.1 BILLION (sales)
  • Clarinex (ScheringPlough) -- $129 million vs. $685 MILLION
  • Allegra (Aventis) -- $125 million vs. $1.6 BILLION
  • Viagra (Pfizer) -- $112 million vs. $1.6 BILLION
  • Lipitor (Pfizer) -- $109 million vs. $6.8 BILLION

Think about this: It costs those 4 drug companies a combined $725 MILLION to generate $14 BILLION in sales on those 5 toxic products. That's just one of many reasons why I'm so committed to my vision to transform the existing medical paradigm from the curtrent model -- addicted to pharmaceuticals and quick-and-dirty treatments that merely hide the symptoms -- to one focused on treating and preventing the underlying causes of disease.

Chicago Tribune November 28, 2004

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