The power of doctors

In relation to last week’s theme, this week Dummit focuses on the ways in which pharmaceutical companies use advertisements to market their drugs. In particular, he focuses on the way in which grammar is used in these advertisements. He goes on to describe the five steps in which pharmaceutical marketers use in order to successfully ensure brand compliance with the consumer. He also provides us with an important insight on the process by which prescription drugs enter the market.

While I do agree with the main tenets of this article, my concern lies with the power of self-diagnosing and convincing the doctor. It is clear that marketing techniques are significantly powerful in the sense of personalizing the diagnosis and providing the patient with information to guide the doctor to diagnosis. However, their legitimacy is unclear in a doctor’s office. For instance, after watching a commercial for depression, it may motivate me to consult with my doctor about my symptoms, however, as much as I may think I feel ‘depressed’, I will not be actually depressed. Thus, when I arrive at the doctor the power of the marketing techniques fades. I am not arguing that these tactics have not been successful in identifying certain illnesses, as it is clearly demonstrated in their profit margins. I am simply pointing out that this article does not mention the power doctors have at overriding these marketing techniques. After reading this article, I am concerned with the significant influence this type of marketing has as health is such a pervasive issue in our lives. I would hope, however, that it is not the only influence and that the power of our doctors supersedes this. 

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