You’ve probably seen it coming – smelled hints of it on TV – pharmaceutical companies are getting into what we call “lifestyle drugs”; products that focus on “enhancing” your life rather than “extending” it.
Yes, there is a big difference, and you may think that “extending” life pays big, “enhancing” life may pay even BIGGER. (just ask the Botox people.)
It’s only a matter of time before pharmaceutical companies shift their focus from “therapeutic intervention” to “lifestyle / recreation” because they now deal with a ready-and-willing customer base who are willing to pay.
This also creates a more dramatic shift: one of bargaining power from the physicians to the patients. Eventually, pharma’s customers will become the patients more directly than before, with doctors becoming more of a “broker” – the people who writes the drugs but apart from that having no real power. Doctors are already complaining about patients leaving them if they don’t do what they’re told by the patients – “if you don’t write me this drug, I’ll go to someone else who will!”
There’s a bit of theatrical irony if this happens, because doctors will get a taste of what pharma sales reps have dealt with for years: being punted to the position of a measly “order taker” or “human sample dropper”. How about doctors eventually becoming “order takers” and “human Rx writers”?