In american society, medications play a huge role in biomedicine and treatment of individuals. In the context of biomedicine, many individuals with medical conditions are automatically prescribed medications when they seek treatment from a doctor, rather than first being encouraged to find natural alternatives or other types of treatment (such as talk therapy for psychiatric conditions). Many americans believe conditions can be “fixed” with medications but do not realize that there can be many harmful repercussions to over medication, such as detrimental side effects, some that can even be permanent, or over dependency on medications. Americans’ tendency to believe that medications are the answer implies that our culture seeks a quick fix for medical conditions rather than being willing to work at improving health over time or using treatments other than medications. It also shows how we as americans have become so reliant on medications for even the most minor of things, such as falling asleep.
In the advertisement below, Alli is advertised as a weight loss medication. This advertisement shows how americans as a culture highly value thinness and go to great lengths, such as taking medications for weight loss, in order to correct being overweight or to lose weight in general. This and other advertisements for Alli are also almost exclusively marketed towards women, showing that women are the ones in the US who should be preoccupied with weight loss rather than men and keeps women in a constant struggle to lose weight instead of encouraging them to be comfortable with themselves and focus on more important things. Alli is advertised as being FDA approved and works in the digestive tract, rather than in the stomach or the mind to achieve weight loss. Doctor and patient interaction is not shown in this ad, but other ads for the same product encourage individuals to consult their doctor before taking the medication.