Fear tactic advertising

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 44, No. 2, March 2002, Page 69 Letters

…[I]t is most distressing to see an international drug manufacturer taking out half-page ads in the National Post (page SP8, 15 December 2001) to shill Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering drug with the spiel “Which would you rather have, a cholesterol test or a final exam?” [autopsy?] with a picture of a toe-tagged stiff on a gurney…

I believe that cholesterol tests a few years ago were costing the BC Medical Plan some $4 million annually with very little health benefit to our population.

Fear tactic advertising to sell drugs is in very poor taste and is socially irresponsible at a time when we are attempting to keep health costs down and still provide an excellent health care system.

—Frederick Spohn, MD 

Dr Spohn also sent this letter to the National Post, the Advertisers Standards Council, and the BC Ministry of Health Services.—Ed.  

Frederick Spohn, MD. Fear tactic advertising. BCMJ, Vol. 44, No. 2, March, 2002, Page(s) 69 - Letters.

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