Drugs are advertised in the newspapers and school authorities press of parents to make their children take these drugs. The situation described isn’t a scene from the fiction movie but a real situation American society faces at the moment.
Parents of the children with deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) make an effort to confront big industry producing ADHD drugs, which can be dangerous and cause addiction. New legislative initiative such as the signing of a law in Connecticut quickly spreads all over the country. The parents, disturbed by the growing pressure to put their children on ADHD drugs express their concern and turn to legislation to defend their rights. They have to confront a serious power presented by the whole industry, which produces these drugs. It will take time to develop such legislative levers, which would take ADHD advertising under control without breaking the right of producers but the process is worth effort as it concerns the health of children.
New legislative trend aiming to limit advertising of drugs in mass media and to limit social pressure on the parents who have children with ADHD appeared lately. This initiative expressed by the parents of children with deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) gains more and more popularity in many states of the country. Medicines, used for children and adults with ADHD are “considered Schedule II controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration, they are among the most addictive and abused drugs that are still legal”. Unfortunately, this information is very often kept in secret and companies aiming to disclose it and to limit the selling and production of such drugs meet obstacles.
ADHD drugs producers create resistance to new legislative trend and use any means to prove their right to make such kind of advertisements. They justify their actions by the wish to inform the public about the existence of the ADHD medicine. As Clarke Ross, head of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder states, such kinds of ads has no other aim than “public awareness of the existence of ADHD.” It’s worth to mention, though, that this association is partially financed by drug-making firms. From the other side, ads provoke additional demand for this type of medicines. In their advertisements they don’t tell all the truth. “And that’s particularly dicey in the case of drugs like those used for ADHD, which the DEA puts in the same category with morphine, cocaine, Demerol and Oxycontin.”
Practically, there is now official tool to stop this kind of advertisements as in the most of cases ADHD drugs advertisements don’t name the drugs directly and only shape the problem and hint on the possible remedy. This means that they are not within the Food and Drug Administration jurisdiction. Unfortunately, this “agency doesn’t have the authority “to treat advertisements for controlled substances any differently” from those for other drugs.”
Society must put attention to the problem of ADHD drugs advertising as the scale of the problem grows with every day and the concern of the parents and public organizations shows that the problem can’t be neglected any more. New legislative initiative of the parents has to fight big industry of ADHD drugs production and it looks like that withstand will be severe. Both have things to lose. Parents think about the health and normal life of their children and ADHD drugs producers can lose millions of dollars. The question is whose part will take local and state authorities.
References Novak Viveca, New Ritalin Ad Blitz Makes Parents Jump (http://www.ablechild.org/newsarchive/new_ritalin_ad_blitz_9-10-01.htm)
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