TV Prescription Drug Ads—Friend or Foe? Novus Medical Detox Encourages FDA’s Study of Drug Commercials’ Influence on Public

Lengthy prescription drug ads have prompted the FDA to consider taking action amid concerns that the ads downplay the potential side effects of meds and could be stimulating consumer demand for prescription drugs. Novus encourages the FDA’s proposed limitations, as the current advertisements likely lessen the public’s understanding of the possible risks and increase their chances of addiction.

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The ads that we see on TV make the general public believe that prescription drugs are an absolute cure for any affliction - but the end result is people unwittingly becoming addicted to these medications.

New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) March 24, 2014

As widely available prescription drugs remain a threat to American society by contributing to more than 16,000 fatal overdoses annually (1), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is studying whether disclosure limited only to serious side effects in TV drug ads would improve consumer understanding of the inherent risks of prescription medications (2). Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, encourages the FDA’s oversight, as the advertisements could be contributing to widespread addiction. Novus officials also warn the public against relying on prescription drug advertisements for health information, but rather that they should seek unbiased medical reports via credible sources.

Prescription drugs ads often include a lengthy list of risks read in a banal manner that may cause consumers to overlook the worst dangers of the medicine—and this is partly why the FDA last month announced plans to begin a study to determine whether those lists can be shortened over concerns that they may “reduce consumer comprehension” and sensitivity to dangers (3). A 2013 study found that these prescription drugs ads influence not only consumers, but also doctors:

10% of adults polled say they have asked their doctors for a prescription for a drug they saw advertised; 41% of those patients say they were given the prescription they requested and another 25% say they received free samples from their doctor (4).

Furthermore, new research has cited doctors as the primary source of prescription drugs (5), dispelling the long-held belief that that the prescription drug epidemic is caused largely by abusers obtaining their drugs without prescriptions—typically from friends and family. According to Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon, the finding only further validates his assertion that many addicted individuals were once contributing members of society who were prescribed medications—often following an injury or surgery, or to combat chronic pain—and who then became unwittingly addicted.

“The ads that we see on TV make the general public believe that prescription drugs are an absolute cure for any affliction,” said Runyon. “But the end result is people unwittingly becoming addicted to these medications — and many don’t realize until too late that the addiction has already taken hold. The advertisements constantly reiterate the benefits of the medications, but minimize their hidden side effects.”

Runyon maintains that it is the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies, as well healthcare practitioners, to not only fully disclose the potential dangers to consumers, but to also ensure that such consumers fully comprehend the risks.

Runyon advises those considering prescription drug use to first do the following:

1.    Have an open, in-depth conversation with a doctor. A medical professional should disclose best course of action for each individual’s health—and this might not contain prescription drugs.

2.    Be skeptical. Remember that ads often paint a positive overall picture of a drug, but the consequences could be worse than the ailment you’re trying to cure.

3.    Be open-minded. Doctors may suggest treatment options other than medication. In many cases, common symptoms or discomfort can be assuaged with natural remedies.

“By understanding the risks as well as the benefits, you are then enabled to make the best decision for your health,” added Runyon.

Because the addictive qualities of prescription drugs lead to a difficult withdrawal process, abusers often avoid detox and rehab at all costs—leading many individuals afflicted with drug addiction to continuing their drug use, even when they desire to live a sober life, according to Runyon.

Novus opened its doors with the purpose of fixing the detox process to ensure that anyone could overcome prescription drug addiction comfortably. Unlike many other detox programs, Novus pays particular attention to strengthening its patients’ bodies through a proprietary I.V. vitamin cocktail that is tailored to make the detox process as painless as possible and replenish nutrients lost during drug abuse. The vitamin I.V. is an advanced medical finding that has allowed Novus to handle the toughest of drug and alcohol cases—cases that are rejected from other facilities as “too high a risk.”

Runyon advises those who are dependent on any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those with integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible. After proper detox, the road to recovery and real rehab are possible.

To learn more about the Novus Medical Detox center and its addiction and detox programs, visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, television, DVD player and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

1.    Kroll, David. “How Can We Prevent 16,000 Deaths In The U.S. This Year?” Forbes.com. Forbes Magazine, 31 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2013/08/31/how-to-prevent-16000-u-s-deaths-this-year/.

2.    “TV Drug Ads May Trim Long-Winded Confusing List of Side Effects.” Businessweek.com. Bloomberg, 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. businessweek.com/news/2014-02-14/tv-drug-ads-may-trim-long-winded-confusing-list-of-side-effects.

3.    Warren, James. “FDA Looks into Limiting TV Commercials’ Rambling Lists of Drug Risks.” Nydailynews.com. N.p., 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. nydailynews.com/news/national/fda-studies-limiting-tv-ads-drug-risk-lists-article-1.1617940.

4.    Fleck, Carole. “Poll: Prescription Drug Ads Influence Consumers.” aarp.org. AARP, 01 Nov. 2010. Web. 6 June 2013. aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-10-2010/poll_prescription_drug_ads_influence_consumers.html.

5.    Girion, Lisa, and Scott Glover. “Doctors Are Top Source of Prescription Drugs.” Latimes.com. N.p., 3 Mar. 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. latimes.com/local/la-me-rx-source-20140304,0,3275352.story#axzz2vewEsYv7.


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