You Know It’s Bad When…

We are all aware that Super Bowl ads cost an obscene amount of money. $5 million for just 30 seconds of air-time.

That is why I was so surprised by one of the commercials that aired during the game.

It was an “educational PSA-type” ad, not for opioids, but for Opioid Induced Constipation (OIC). This minute-long spot was paid for by AstraZeneca and Dalichi Sankyo, two biopharmaceutical companies that also happen to market the OIC relief drug Movantik.

For the ostensibly educational “OIC Is Different” campaign, these two for-profit pharma companies joined forces with organizations like the U.S. Pain Foundation, The American Chronic Pain Association, The International Pain Foundation, amongst others.

What was most disturbing about this ad, though, wasn’t the awkward content or the blatant conflict of interest. What is truly disturbing is that the opioid issue in this country is now so severe, so mainstream, and so pervasive, that it’s created an “audience” large enough that marketers can justify using the most expensive advertising platform available to promote opioid side effects medication.

Now that is pretty scary.