TV commercials touting the latest prescription medication cure for god knows what malady absolutely
dominate the airwaves. I don’t have access to the exact statistics, but I’ll bet they account for a third or more of all network spots.
Some are well done. Most are formulaic and banal. All carry those wild side effect warnings at the end (some of which say the meds might actually cause the malady they’re intended to prevent).
My favorite meds commercial is for Mirapex, a drug intended to lessen restless leg syndrome (who knew restless leg syndrome even existed before these spots began to air?). Anyway, at the end of these ads, a stern, male voiceover warns that taking Mirapex might lead to uncontrollable gambling urges. Now, there’s a first. Taking a prescription med might make me break out a deck of cards and, say, challenge others to a winner-take-all game of five card stud? Amazing. Alarming. Astonishing.
Card playing requires one to maintain, well, a poker face. But, suppose one suffers from restless leg syndrome, pops a Mirapex, has a sudden and uncontrollable urge to gamble and then proceeds to ‘tip off’ his or her strategy with a shaking leg? Wouldn’t that be counterproductive? Actually, it could make for a nice line extension for Mirapex. Maybe they should produce MirapexFullHouse, a pill that controls leg spasms for the duration of a card game. After all, you’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them and, if you’re popping Mirapex, know when to keep them from shaking.