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  • Writer's pictureDavis Young

DY: In Just a Few Words (#64)

Bet you can't say some of these names 10 times fast...

I don't know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I turned on the TV and didn’t see an ad for Cymbalta or Otezla or Plavix or - heaven forbid - Cialis. Remember when TV ads were for Brut and Brill Cream and Pall Malls? Ah, the good old days.

CBS, not CVS, says drug companies spend more than $5 billion (with a B) annually to promote products to readers of this blog and the small group of others yet to discover DY: In Just a Few Words.

Are you familiar with Ocrevus? The company that produces Ocrevus spends more than $15 million a year promoting it on TV. And, Ocrevus was not even in the Top 10 Ad Spenders in Big Pharma for 2020. According to, that list includes names like Humira, Dupixent, Xeljanz, Skyrizi, Ozempic, Trulicity, Rinvoq, Eliquis, Opdivo and Otezla.

Beginning to understand why it costs you and me SO MUCH MONEY to fill our prescription medication orders? We are all financing the very ads that are aimed at us. Not sure that’s the best use of my healthcare money. Maybe yours, but not mine.

I recently learned of a new drug to treat Moderate Cognitive Impairment (MCI). There are plenty of days when I think I might have a touch of MCI and on some days even an avalanche of MCI. Would you be surprised to learn that this drug goes for the low price of just $56,000 a year? What’s the big deal? That’s only $153 a day, each and every day, 365 days a year. Got to pay for that TV time.

Do these ads work? I’m not sure. The bottom line is that I have never suggested to a doctor that I might be a good candidate for a specific drug whose ad I saw while watching a rerun of Law and Order: SVU on ION. Never once have I asked for Ozempic or Otezla or any other drug I discovered from watching TV. And never, ever has a doctor said to me, I was watching TV last night, Davis, I saw a commercial about a new drug with some fancy name that might help you. Do you want to give it a try?

Right now I’m clearing the decks for another long day of drug commercials.

Yikes! Spare me!


DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.

This blog is a product of DY Author & Speaker LLC. Feel free to quote content with attribution. Respond. Agree. Disagree. Share the content with your friends. Heck - even invite him as a speaker for your group! Enjoy!

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Jan 05, 2022

Thanks, Davis. It is pretty scary to understand and review the costs of drugs and why they cost what they do. I would like to hear your thoughts on the book, and tv series, Dopesick. Michael Keane does an excellent job as protagonist and prescribing physician. Keep on opening our eyes!

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