Day 6 – Lipitor vs Fries: Who Wins? and who loses?

I see the weirdest things on TV sometimes – and I don’t even watch much TV.  Last night a commercial came on urging me to “ask my doctor if Lipitor is right for me”.  That’s not the weird part; pharmaceutical ads have become so commonplace that we accept them as normal.  However, the very next commercial wanted me to go to a well-known chain fast food franchise.  That ad featured fried crawfish, a mayonnaise-looking sauce for dipping, and French fries.

Now I’m sure you can see what was weird about that.  You are right!  Wouldn’t all the grease in the fried-everything meal make a person need the Lipitor?

Wait, do you suppose that the big pharma companies own major shares of the fast food companies?  It seems like some government agency would try to prevent such a thing.  Hey, you can’t cause a bunch of health problems by selling a product as food that is actually quite bad for people – and then also own a company that sells pills to help fix the problem you helped cause.  Can you?  Could be quite a money-maker.

The other weird thing about the juxtaposition of the back-to-back commercials is that they are both targeting the same audience.  You.  Me.  Anyone watching that popular, long-running show at a prime-time hour.  Is it a coincidence that the same targeted audience who would be influenced to go buy Brand X Fast & Fried Food would also be influenced to actually ask their doctor about prescribing Lipitor for their high cholesterol?

This is like a badly lopsided game of tug-of-war – with pharmaceutical companies and fast-food companies on one end of the rope, and you on the other.  How do you win?  Your best hope is to walk away.  Say no to the fried stuff now so you can say no to the prescription drugs later.

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