Drug Disclaimers

We’ve all been shocked, amazed and amused by the disclaimers we hear on commercials for presecription medications: “May cause rectal bleeding and/or sudden death. Ask your doctor if it’s right for you.”

Lori takes special pleasure in these pieces of marketing mastery.

Now, a West Virginia humorist has gone beyond the call of duty to translate what one pharma company calls “the truth about treatment effects” from an unusual weight-loss drug called Alli into plain English.

Here’s a quotation from the company’s web site (not from the humorist, I swear):
You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.

CAUTION: Not for the easily offended or chronically mature. May cause tearing of the eyes, uncontrollable laughter and personal humiliation. Call a doctor for erections lasting more than 48 hours.

Click here if it’s right for you.

3 responses to “Drug Disclaimers

  1. Thanks much for the rating system, Frank. Allowed me to go straight to the good stuff, like this one. I tried to read it to my husband. I really did. But I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to get the words out. This was truly priceless!

  2. I used to work in the pharmaceutical industry, writing computer programs to tally up adverse drug effects so they could be reported to the FDA and eventually (if the drug got approval) be printed in illegibly small type on the folded paper slips that come with your prescription medication.

    I thought the “translation” of the “treatment effects” page for alli was hilarious. I can’t divulge particulars on anything I worked with, but we fell on the floor laughing when we discovered that Viagra was originally a heart medication, and one of the “treatment effects” that showed up in clinical trials routinely was very hard “wood.”

    Pfizer got an epiphany that their heart medication was really a miracle cure for erectile dysfunction that didn’t involve surgical implantation of plastic tubes in your wee-wee. Then Pfizer had a couple of stock splits and we stopped laughing. 🙂

  3. Am I missing something here? This drug is supposed to help people lose weight by causing them to be unable to digest more than 15 grams of fat per meal. One of the more common causes of obesity is a love of fatty food. If someone can keep their fat intake down to 15 grams per meal (and their meal intake down to 4 or 5 meals per day, I suppose…), they can digest the fat, or do whatever else they want with it, and still lose weight, unless they’re REALLY pigging out on the carbs and proteins. So what the heck do they need this drug for?

    I guess the whole (pun partially intended…) idea is a sort of sadistic Pavlovian training scheme – if you eat too much (or even a reasonable amount – 15 grams is not all that much…) fat, rather than get the slow negative feedback of the stuff eventually showing up as a bit more embarrassing jiggle on your hips or whatever, the feedback (sorry, but I couldn’t think of another word…) is rapid, messy, smelly and oh so much more embarrassing than a couple of extra pounds (kilos) on your outback…

    On the other hand, if this stuff helps you shed the extra weight, you won’t be needing your old oversized clothes anymore, anyway… (Please note: there are some contributions even the folks at Goodwill are not to enthusiastic about…)

    My best wishes to anyone who tries this stuff…

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