If, like me, you are an educated senior who watches the news on t.v. more than once a day, you may be as bewildered as I am at some big pharma commercials and their casual use of esoteric language. I used to pride myself on spelling and vocabulary but here are some examples that baffled me before I turned to google.
Ozempic, a drug for diabetes that sounds like a merger between Olympic and the miraculous land of Oz, warns against usage by anyone who has multiple neoplasia syndrome type 2. I hadn’t even heard of type 1 and wondered how many people were affected by this - turns out to be 1 in 35,000 or less than .0003% Humira, perhaps suggesting something to put you in a good mood, is a drug used for several diseases including psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. If you use this, be sure not to take it if you also use orencia, kineret or cimzia. Another drug for similar use is Xeljanz, anomalously pronounced as if that Z was at the front of the word. It should never be used if you are allergic to tofacitinib, a tongue-twister I yearn to use the next time a waiter routinely asks “any food allergies?” Although I doubt it’s a food, who knows where it might originate or lurk?
My guess is that Big Pharm is well schooled in all sorts of advertising cues and that giving drugs exotic names turn basic ingredients into magical potions that are meant to justify inflated prices But I wonder, as our culture becomes more and more fixated on the evils of racism and sexism, why we tolerate ageism - discrimination against the elderly. Most of us struggle to remember where we put our keys and the names of our nephew’s twins - do we really need to contend with crazy spelling and unfamiliar language at the pharmacy? How about drugs called Fixit, Nopane or Mobetter? And how about eliminating the pretense of Pharma concern in favor of reminding people that all prescription drugs must be ordered by a doctor, someone who would know whether you had multiple neoplasia syndrome type 2 and would not be ordering Ozempic for you. Surely liability can’t be determined by a two minute fast-talking commercial with more information than a smart 30 year old could absorb.
Just tell the oldsters Fixit works well for diabetes unless you’ve got one of the 30 other diseases listed on the package. Ask your grandson to read those to you and if you do or think you do, call your doctor or ask google - despite her name, that lady is really smart.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here