Here is a new EpiPen commercial from Pfizer, currently airing in Canada. It features Trish Magwood, this time hosting a lunch for some friends.
The script is as follows:
Ladies, lunch is served (puts bowls of food on the table).
There’s nothing better than great food and great friends, but if you have allergies to nuts, shellfish, or other foods, you need to be careful and consider carrying an EpiPen auto-injector.
(Friends are at the table eating). Even if you avoid certain foods, you can’t be sure what your food has come in contact with. So although you can’t always prevent a severe allergic reaction, you can at least be prepared, with EpiPen.
(Walks to the table to join her friends) Save some for me.
For more details, talk to your health care provider, or visit epipen.ca.
By stating that “you can’t be sure what your food has come in contact with” and showing all the guests eating, this commercial teaches allergic and non-allergic viewers that this sort of exposure to one’s allergen is inevitable. It further teaches them to assume that they can’t always prevent an allergic reaction and that they should consider having an EpiPen. Instead, it should state that you should do everything you can to prevent an allergic reaction (even from cross contact) and if (not when) your precautions fail, you must use an EpiPen promptly, call 911, and proceed to the emergency department for follow up care.
I came across this statement in a video sponsored by Mylan from Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics: “If Internet information you read frightens you, it’s wrong. If you’re scared by what you read, it’s probably not helpful.” I find this statement incredibly dangerous, especially coupled with commercials like this one that minimize the precautions you should take to avoid your allergen, as though having an EpiPen with you is all you need.
This is precisely the wrong message to send. If you can’t verify that food hasn’t come in contact with your allergen, the safe thing to do is not to eat, or to bring your own safe food. All allergic individuals should have not one but two EpiPens with them at all times, which is to be used within 5 minutes of the start of a serious reaction, but the goal is to do everything within your power to avoid having to use them. An EpiPen injection must be followed by a hospital emergency room visit, where you’ll be under observation for several hours, and could wind up fighting for your life despite the injection.
Unfortunately in most of Pfizer/Mylan’s marketing efforts, their messaging misses the mark, and this is a shame. I submit that they’d meet their goal of selling more EpiPens if they followed the messaging I proposed above. What do you think?
To see Pfizer’s other recent commercials, click on the links below.
Click here to read: Misleading And Dangerous EpiPen Ad Campaign Launched By Mylan Specialty Continues
Click here to read: New EpiPen Commercial By Pfizer Canada, Does It Hit The Mark?
Click here to read: The Saga Continues: Pfizer’s Dangerous New EpiPen Campaign
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