Big Pharma’s Latest Pals

Google, Yahoo and Big Pharma have joined forces, and you know nothing good could come from that. They’re working the feds right now, as you read this – pressuring the government to relax the rules for drug advertising so that online ads don’t have to follow the same rules as the ones you see on TV, hear on the radio and read in newspapers. 

Pay attention… because if you don’t, one of these days you’ll wake up to find a new world on the Internet – one where Big Pharma makes it harder than ever for you to figure out the truth about the side effects of their meds.

Right now, drug ads have to follow a simple rule wherever they are: If you’re going to mention a benefit, you also have to mention the side effects.  This isn’t a very strict rule — and it certainly hasn’t hurt drug marketing.

The industry spent more than $4 billion last year on ads aimed at patients, so it’s safe to say they’ve figured out how to make it work. In reality, they’re practically drooling over the idea of selling you meds without ever having to mention the side effects.

Google and Yahoo would love for drug ads to fit into those lucrative little “sponsored link” boxes you see every time you run a search… but those are limited to just 25 words. Big Pharma also wants to sell you meds on Twitter where messages are limited to 140 characters.