YouTube Gives Straight Dope On Big Pharma

    June 4, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Add Big Pharma to the list of corporate magistrates that will faithfully and gradually raise consumer ire – that list already including Congress, Big Oil, telecoms, cable, tobacco, and media – as "the people," i.e., the organic proletariat that operates outside of the boardroom, subvert the previously impenetrable by taking their complaints to YouTube.

YouTube Gives Straight Dope On Big Pharma
“YouTube Gives Straight Dope On Big Pharma”
YouTube Gives Straight Dope On Big Pharma

Whatever YouTube was worth in dollars to Google, multiply that value by the earnestness with which the public is using the site to create their own expository media. AdAge calls them "budding Michael Moores."

If your politics don’t allow for Michael Moore love, choose a documentarian you can sink your teeth into.

It’s exciting enough to see the realization of the Citizen Press, which is in the end YouTube’s and the blogosphere’s greatest gift to the public, but it is dizzying to think that pharmaceutical companies, those Goliaths, are worried about little ol’ me and you, and the damage we can inflict with a keyboard and digital camera.

Rich Thomaselli says the FDA and Congress aren’t as frightening as YouTube – most likely because there is no lobby outside the halls of a website, no fine dining or dinner jackets, no trips to hot spring resorts.

Better, with YouTube, you can upload your message and wait for light bulbs without having to go through the gated media community with its own agendas and entangling alliances. Your message – so long as it doesn’t interfere with the RIAA, it would seem – is broadcast loud and clear.

And now, former pharmaceutical sales representatives are returning spoonfuls of medicine, sans the sugar, to their previous employers via video messages on YouTube. This Eli Lilly rep, for example, notes part of his job description:

"We were instructed by our camps to downplay those side effects and to focus on the efficacies of the drug."

The drug he speaks of in this confession is Zyprexa, which was causing a large number of patients to "blimp up," possibly increasing instances of diabetes.   

Of course, what can be used for good can also be used for…well, counter-arguments. Nothing bars Big Pharma from producing their own positively spun messages on YouTube as well.

And they’ve got a nice budget for video advertising, thanks to Congress allowing TV ads at this millennium’s start, and thanks to doctors and you and me for paying the pusher what he wants at the pick-up counter. We’re paying for their advertising – nice of us, isn’t it?