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Deceptive Drug Marketing Moves to Internet

If you've been seeing way too many banner ads on your favorite Web sites of popular brands of prescription drugs -- almost anywhere BUT here -- you're not imagining it. In a move sure to dodge the scrutiny of federal regulators for a little while, the mega-phamaceuticals have increased their online advertising budgets exponentially, according to eMarketer.

The estimated number of ad dollars expected to be allotted to the Internet via drug companies and the healthcare industry next year -- almost $1.2 BILLION -- will represent a four-fold increase over 2003 numbers ($291 million), and a 19 percent bump from $975 million this year.

Branded Web sites and search engine placement top the lists of areas you'll be seeing drug propaganda spending increasingly pop up. No wonder, Merck -- makers of the toxic drug Vioxx -- is slashing TV ad budgets in favor of online communities to help them launch needless concoctions like the human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil.

Unfortunately, the evil marketing geniuses employed by the major drug companies have stayed one step ahead of the game, using tricks as insidious as targeting an Oscar-winning film for children to promote the harmful flu drug, Tamiflu.

That's why it's imperative for you to do your homework about the often problematic drugs doctors reflexively prescribe, and seek out safer solutions for your health issues.

eMarketer April 2, 2007