Disease-mongering of overactive bladder in ads

This ad jumped out at me from the recent edition of Prevention magazine.

Pfizer overactive bladder ad copy.jpg

• “overactive bladder symptoms do not always have to happen as you age” – Well, what that does is subtly put the thought in your head that it DOES happen to a lot of people as they age. “Gee,” you might then ask yourself, “am I having that problem?” So you keep reading.

• “first you heard it was caused by having children” – Actually, you may not have heard that. But now you have. And, yes, you did have several children. So again you might ask, “Am I having that problem?” So you keep reading.

• “then you heard it’s an unavoidable part of aging” – round two of this point.

• but you may not have known it can be caused by “bladder spasms – and you may not even know that’s what you’re feeling.” – The disease-mongering coup de grace: a scary sounding problem – spasms – that you didn’t even know you were having.

One of the best debunkings of overactive bladder disease-mongering was a video done by Consumer Reports. And, yes, the ad in question is for the drug Pfizer is selling.

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Phillipa Rispin

July 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

You say: “first you heard it was caused by having children” – Actually, you may not have heard that.
Well, if you’re a man, perhaps not. Among middle-aged women it’s a fairly common belief.