Effects of Direct Marketing Pharmaceuticals to Consumers
Direct-to-consumer advertisements of pharmaceuticals first gained popularity in 1997, after FDA created a “draft guidance” outlining the rules for the advertisement of pharmaceuticals. The company had to provide a summary of the side effects of the product in published advertisements, and only the major risks of the drug in broadcast commercials (Fain and Caleb Alexander para. 2). Direct-to-consumers advertisements became very popular with pharmaceutical companies and peaked at 3.3 billion dollars in spending in 2006 (Fain and Caleb Alexander para. 4). These advertisements quickly became a controversial issue. The main criticism against such ads lies in the lack of medical knowledge of the consumers. Therefore, these consumers can insist on prescriptions inappropriate for their conditions (Fain and Caleb Alexander para. 5).
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Direct-to-consumer advertisements can be responsible for a wide range of poor judgments from customers. Consumers are driven to the advertised products in search of efficacy but due to their lack of medical knowledge tend to rely on anecdotes, lay theories combined with various biases and heuristics. A rational decision-making model would assume that consumers would weigh the risks and advantages of these products. On the contrary, people have to make so many decisions in their everyday life that they tend to rely on less accurate decision-making methods (Ilyuk et al. p. 319). Some of these biases are very disconcerting to me, especially the tendency to choose a “no pain, no gain” approach when assessing side effects and negative reactions to the drug. A consumer might continue to take a drug that is harmful to them because they perceive it as efficacy (Ilyuk et al. p. 315).
Debate around Marijuana
Marijuana has been a controversial drug for decades. The main argument against marijuana centers on its perceived status as a “gateway drug.” Since the start of medical marijuana legalization in the 1990s, this concern persisted amongst politicians while public opinion became more favorable towards the drug. During a discussion, marijuana is often presented as a stepping stone for heroin use (DeAngelo and Redford p. 3). The rise of heroin use in recent years has coincided with the rise of prescription opioid abuse (DeAngelo and Redford p. 4). Could the more accepting view of marijuana lead to it being a gateway drug for the increasing heroin use? Analysis of the accumulated research found that while the legalization of marijuana leads to its higher use, it could not find any evidence that there is any connection to the increased use of heroin, disproving the notion of marijuana as a gateway drug (DeAngelo and Redford p. 19).
Another point of controversy concerns the use of marijuana among teens, especially in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. Research indicates that while there was an increase in marijuana use among teens during the mid-2000s – 2011 period, legalization of marijuana did not have a statistically significant effect on it (Anderson, Mark et al. p. 23). Personally, these findings leave me leaning in support of marijuana legalization.
Recall and Recognition
Different people can have different preferences for tests. If I have a choice, I usually pick an essay. I find it to be a well-structured way of delivering information as well as a chance to create a clearer memory of the presented information. While writing an essay in class, I use recall to reconstruct all the learned information on the given subject and then organize it into one paper. Nevertheless, recall is not the only way to remember information. I use recognition daily to remember passwords, events associated with songs, and solving of rudimentary puzzles.
Two models of information processing are often recognized: recall and recognition. Recognition utilizes associations between events and objects to access memory related to them; it is considered mostly an unconscious process (Ornstein p. 245). People who prefer multiple-choice tests use this model to remember the right answer utilizing the information presented in the test. On the other hand, recall is used when the event or object is not currently present, relying directly on memory for information (Ornstein p. 245). According to Ornstein development of recognition does not rely on societal needs or surrounding stimuli, and might be determined by genetics, while the development of recall can be more dependent on environmental stimulation (p. 254).
Individualism and Collectivism
Individualism and collectivism can be considered opposites due to differing values they represent. Individualism praises self-reliance and independence while collectivism prioritizes working in groups and compliance. Individualists are more likely to care only for themselves and their immediate family in this perspective, and collectivists divide into ingroups and outgroups, expecting their ingroups to provide security in exchange for loyalty. Both can be presented positively and negatively. For example, a person could be so focused on their goals that they hurt the wellbeing of others; in this case, individualism can be seen as selfish and damaging to society. On the other hand, an individualist could be expected to need less from the government and advance in a career while facilitating a competitive economic environment. Collectivism at its worst can disregard the needs of the people and treat them poorly while exploiting their loyalty but a productive collectivist society is united and promotes solidarity, empathy, and cooperation (Taras et al. p. 217).
Surprisingly, a meta-analytical study found these two ideologies are much more alike than it was previously considered. Due to the way the research of this topic is done the accuracy of their differences is hard to measure. The choice of demographic data, the level of analysis, instruments used to collect data, cultural regions can have a strong effect on the results. It proposes the development of a more unified and quantifiable instrument for research on this topic (Taras et al. p. 234).
The difficulty of Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders
Personality disorders are quite common in our society. People with personality disorders have problems in interpersonal relationships but often are not aware of them and end up attributing these problems onto others. The research on this disorder is lacking which leads to many people living with an undetected personality disorder. Also, it could be misdiagnosed, and they could be receiving insufficient or even harmful treatment in the result. Premature mortality and suicide are also associated with a personality disorder, making its diagnosis a priority (Tyrer et al. p. 717).
Partially the difficulty of diagnosis is in the fact that a personality undoubtedly exists, but there is no clear definition of what is considered an ordered and disordered personality. The diagnosis has to be made of a disorder that is lifelong or at least of many years’ duration in interaction with other people is a main element of the disorder. There exists no biological or any other kind of marker for its identification. Lack of awareness from the position of the patient also provides difficulty in diagnosis (Tyrer et al. p. 718). Even if the disorder is diagnosed this lack of awareness can prove difficult to overcome to treat the patient, and the treatments themselves are not well documented except for borderline personality disorder (Tyrer et al. p. 719).
Anderson et al. “Medical Marijuana Laws And Teen Marijuana Use”. American Law And Economics Review, vol 17, no. 2, 2015, pp. 495-528. Web.
DeAngelo, Gregory, and Audrey Redford. “Is Medical Marijuana a Gateway Drug?: The Effect of Medical Marijuana Legalization on Heroin Use Rates.” 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas. No. 229981. Southern Agricultural Economics Association, 2015.
Fain, Kevin M. and G. Caleb Alexander. “Mind The Gap”. Medical Care, vol 52, no. 4, 2014, pp. 291-293. Web.
Ilyuk, Veronika et al. “Efficacy Expectations And Adherence: Evidence Of Consumer Biases And Heuristics In Pharmaceutical Marketing”. International Series In Quantitative Marketing, vol 20, 2013, pp. 315-344. Web.
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Ornstein, Peter A. Memory Development In Children (PLE: Memory). Hoboken, Taylor And Francis, 2014.
Taras, V. et al. “Opposite Ends Of The Same Stick? Multi-Method Test Of The Dimensionality Of Individualism And Collectivism”. Journal Of Cross-Cultural Psychology, vol 45, no. 2, 2013, pp. 213-245. Web.
Tyrer, Peter et al. “Classification, Assessment, Prevalence, And Effect Of Personality Disorder”. The Lancet, vol 385, no. 9969, 2015, pp. 717-726. Web.