Promotion of pharmaceutical drugs
Marketing of pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs have influenced consumers’ choice and behavior in that consumers have more information to decide the kind of drugs to use. Consumers have control over the drugs they use after the legalization of direct-to-consumer promotion of pharmaceutical products. In some cases, consumers give direction to physicians about the kind of drugs they would like administered on them. Today, consumers have a wide range of choice on the kind of drugs they use. It has been identified that many people are seeking medical attention for very minor illness since they have adequate information about the kinds of diseases that may affect them (Donohue & Berndt, 2004).
Since information about almost all drugs in the market is available, I have adopted the behavior of researching about the drugs prescribed to me by physicians. Effective marketing of drugs has improved my awareness about some diseases and this has encouraged me to visit the doctor frequently than before. Online channels have been of great advantage to consumers when researching about drugs. Manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies use internet to promote drugs, inform consumers about using drugs, where to obtain them and other relevant information that may be required by the consumers. The challenges of researching health information online are that some companies use false information to entice consumers. It has been observed that some companies do not reveal side-effects of drugs to their customers when promoting them through online channels (Micromedex, Multum & Kluwer, 2010). Consumers with low literacy are forced to accept the choice of drugs prescribed to them by physicians. Such consumers have little choice about the kind of drugs the use. People with low literacy about the available drugs in the market have also been identified to have inadequate information about diseases that may affect them.
Many cultures have accepted provision of information by specialists to people. Traditional communities had herbal specialists who could advise on the best drugs to be administered for specific diseases. There are spiritual leaders who used to guide the community about herbal medications in most traditional communities (Givaudan, Pick, Venguer, & Xolocotzin, 2002). For example, my grandfather taught me how they used to gather herbs from the forest. They would be guided by their herbalist about the best herbs to gather and the mode of preparation to make drugs for different diseases.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established a global health program to eliminate health problems in poor countries by using developments in science and technology. Lack of adequate funding for health programs in the world encouraged the founders of this program to come up with a foundation that could focus on poor communities living in poor countries. For example, the program was introduced in China and has helped many poor families overcome health problems they encounter. The goal of this program is to use science and technology to solve health problems in poor countries. The program also focuses on solving health problems in poor countries which receive little funds and attention from the government. The program addresses the problem of poor health in these countries by discovering new tools and drugs, delivery of these materials in the most efficient manner to the areas where they are required and advocating for policies to better utilize the available resources for advancement of the program (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2010).