New Medical Scam
a variation on pandering to hypochondria

T   
he Purple Pill (Nexium) is the first major player in a new medical money making scheme. The new shtick is to pitch prescription drugs to the public at large. This is actually a well developed scam in the "Purple Pill" instance. So, perhaps this has been in the process of being perfected for some time unbeknownst to me.

To prove it to be a con is rather simple. Why pitch a prescription drug to the public in the first place? Certainly, a doctor is more aware of medical conditions than his patient. After all that is his career. But perhaps there is another altruistic reason for bringing the judgment of amateurs into the picture.

Here are some possible reasons. Pick what you believe to be the most likely. The makers of Nexium want to:

  • A) Notify the public of a new scourge of mankind that must be stopped if civilization is to survive.
  • B) Get more people to visit their doctor regularly to improve the general health of all peoples of the world.
  • C) Cure diseases that drug companies don't normally go after because not so many people have them.
  • D) Make lots of money off suckers who eat too much spicy food.
I know it's a tough decision so take your time thinking about it.

Times up!

If you chose an option other than D, you are a salaried employee of a drug company. Clearly, what they are hoping for is that hypochondriacs throughout the northern hemisphere will hear the clarion call to do battle with this newest artificially constructed "demon of bodily disfunction". Many rich (or even upper middle class) people are hypos and such fools can easily be parted from their money.

One of the main ingredients in the scam is proper bedside manner. They tell you of the side effects to be expected when taking this drug so as to appear responsible in a "doctorly" way. Who wouldn't feel at ease with someone who was so up front and even-handed about the upside and downside of their product. Notice that such side effects only occur in a small percentage of those who get "sucked in" (we don't want to scare them after all ... just show that we are reliable).

Remember, if you burp ... you have a condition ... and you need treatment
(for a price).

Still not convinced? Contemplate the cost of national commercials during prime time. Do you think these companies aren't finding lots and lots of diseased people who formerly weren't aware that they were seriously ill. Would they continue with the advertising if they weren't making money hand over fist?

Why don't doctors do something about it? Well, they are part of the problem not part of a solution. Remember, this is a prescription drug. After the patient has determined that he has acid reflux disease, he needs a doctor to write the prescription ... and ... the doctor gets a "kickback" from the drug company on every prescription he writes. That's standard practice in the medical profession. It's just carried to new heights in this instance.

Now, I see there is a "new" women's tummy disease (concerned with gas, constipation, pain, bloating etc.) that promises to be an even more effective revenue enhancer than the Purple Pill. Most hypochondriacs are women. So this is the first disease which is both artificially constructed and targeted. Same "doctorly" tone. "If you are a woman and your tummy hurts ... you need our prescription pill."

Focus Factor

This is another prevalent scam though not structurally related to the former. It's a medical variant on the "Video Professor Scam" which is still ongoing though not presently as virulent. [These things run their course like a computer virus ... or a regular virus ;o)]

In the "F_ckus Factor Scam" as I call it, you pay a mere $4.95 in shipping charges to receive a "free" $77.00 bottle of the stuff on the assumption that you will be so thrilled with it that you will shell out that huge amount in the future.

Well, what you are having shipped to you is a bottle of Gator Ade knockoff for $4.95. The cost of the bottle is probably on the order of 25 cents and the shipping is about 1 or 2 bucks ... so their profit is around $2.50 for each bottle they ship. Get it?

It's the shipping charge ... stupid!

"You may think we're crazy but we're not ...(but we know you are)"

There is also the fool who sends for a second bottle at only five bucks thinking that he will beat them out of the 77 bucks if they don't check their records and realize he's already got his "one bottle per household". Of course, they will ship you another bottle. They will ship you any number of bottles at $4.95 a "pop"!

And ... there is also the extremely rare "hooly" who orders a years supply (one per day) at $77 per bottle. No doubt that would elicit many howls of laughter latenight in the "were-house".



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