In American society medication is one of the most controversial topics. People either believe that the pharmaceutical companies are out to get them and are only interested in making a profit with no concern for possibly fatal side effects, or people believe that medication is the best invention since sliced bread because of its potential to make painful ailments disappear. People are concerned with the biomedicinal aspect of medications such as hormone injections or something as simple as vitamin deficiencies. The fact is that most patients place too high of a value on trust in a pharmaceutical company when they should be more concerned as to whether or not they will actually be doing any harm to their bodies by taking medication. Our cultural values have now become based in mistrust in pharmaceutical companies. We are more concerned with whether or not we are being taken advantage of instead of whether or not we are going to be cured of our illnesses. The film “Pill Poppers” was a perfect example of how people, not just in America, are taking a large amount of time to analyze whether or not their medication is also used in a money-making “scheme”. The fact that the film exists is evidence of our fascination with pills and the profits behind them. I believe that we should stop making pharmaceutical companies into “Big Brother” and start seeing them as a potential source for a cure for cancer, Alzheimer’s, or any number of awful diseases. Since the following commercial was made by the pharmaceutical company itself, it does not get at the implied mistrust in the company but it does share some interesting cultural perspectives:
This commercial gets at the essence of a happy lifestyle. People suffering from depression are not likely to want to spend time with their family because they do not feel like being social. However, the point of the videos in the commercial is to show that these same people actually do want to spend time with their family if they were no longer depressed. The commercial also targeted people in all sorts of typical social roles (i.e. wife, father, etc.). The medical information came last in this commercial because it was mostly a list of side effects potentially caused by the medication. This was meant as an advertising technique because the advertisers did not wish to turn a potential client off of the medication from the very start of the commercial since that would have made the commercial pointless. As in most commercials, the potential client was told to ask his doctor before he started to use the medication, which supports the cultural belief that doctors are more knowledgeable than their patients. The slow music in the background of the commercial was used to put the potential clients in a calm mood so that they would not have any problems sitting and listening to the whole commercial.
Pill Poppers (BBC Documentary) [Video], accessed July 31, 2014, http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/147392/Pill_Poppers_BBC_Documentary/.