There seems to be a proliferation of "real" diseases that "primarily affect middle-aged women." That, for example, is how fibromyalgia is described (see "Drug Approved. Is Disease Real?"). The "real" adjective figures prominently in Pfizer's TV ad for Lyrica, which was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia (see "Living with Fibromyalgia, First Drug Approved").
You've probably seen the commercial -- if not, you can find it on the official Lyrica product site here.
On the left/above is a frame from that video showing a woman in distress after reading from her diary about the pain she suffered "all over." (God, look at the signs of distress in her face and neck!)
She also took the time to write in her diary "But until June 2007 there were no medicines approved by the FDA to manage fibromyalgia." I notice she used the word "manage" instead of "cure" or even "treat." If she used anything else than the FDA approved language, I am sure she would have gotten a letter from the FDA. Damn that FDA! Haven't they heard about the "free speech" rights of patients?
But I digress, as usual.
It's not just this woman who I see suffering in TV drug ads. There's that poor woman suffering from pain caused by depression in the Cymbalta TV ad and the woman who suffers from the "needles and pins" pain of restless leg syndrome (RLS).
As I think more about these women, I'm beginning to believe they suffer more from lack of love than a "real" medical condition. Take that woman suffering from RLS ... please (bada boom). At first I thought she was blaming it all on her poor husband over whom she threw the bed sheet in disgust. But then I noticed that he was sleeping with his back to her. Wouldn't she feel better if they slept like spoons in a drawer -- you know, in a loving embrace?
I notice that other women in some drug ads are very happy and pain-free, especially the ones in the Cialis and Levitra ads (surprisingly, women are missing in the recent Viagra ads --- see "Viva Viagra Ad is No Cure for Morte Sales"). And don't forget that woman in the Amitiza ad (see "Amitiza DTC Ads Won't Win Any Awards, But..."). She obviously has a loving relationship with her husband and looks VERY happy. Of course, she's just "dropped the boys off at the pool," but we don't see her blame her husband who obviously stays at home while she goes off to work. Maybe that's the key to a great marriage?
Of course, the happiest women of all are the ones in the Botox reminder ads! They "remind" me of The Real Housewives of Orange County. They are beyond love and sex with their husbands and have the money to sublimate their desires through cosmetics, shopping, and eating lunch out every day.
I think women like the fibromyalgia sufferer could benefit from more love, not drugs. But then, I'm a product of the "make love, not war" sixties, which makes me biased (although some of us did use "drugs" back then -- but NOT me. Kids, in case you're reading this, get back to your books!).
P.S. I am ready to be pilloried in your comments!