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Free Drug Giveaways: Marketing Trumps Safety

Drugmakers are so desperate to beat all the negative headlines -- think the blinding power of Viagra -- some heavy hitters aren't hesitating to reach into their bag of evil marketing tricks to pull out another insidious maneuver to push their toxic, useless products: When in doubt give them away...

Unfortunately, the drug giveaway is working. Drug wholesaler McKesson Corp. has processed coupons/vouchers from more than 10 million patients for free drugs over the past 12 years alone, even though an embarrassing side effect of one of the giveaway drugs -- Ambien -- can make you eat in your sleep.

Or, what about the obscene practice of giving freebies to children (free music downloads) whose parents buy the useless acne drug Differin? At least in that case, Nestle and L'Oreal felt the heat and promptly dropped the campaign.

Just don't expect the hobbled, fatally compromised FDA to ever take on the drug companies, even though support for a ban is growing. In fact, the FDA considered a study measuring the wisdom of hawking free samples of a bogus drug, but withdrew it.

Remember, as it's currently configured, the FDA works in the best interests of the mega-drug manufacturers, and not you!

Yahoo News August 14, 2006

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