» Pre-Viewing Lesson PlanMedia Messages
» Lesson Objectives:
Students will learn key concepts of media literacy and consider how these concepts apply to prescription drug advertising.
» Materials Needed:
» Time Needed:
One class period
Though consumers complain about the high costs of prescription drugs, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a trade association representing pharmaceutical and biotech companies, argues that high prices are necessary to fund the expensive process of researching and developing new drugs. Industry analyst Richard Evans, however, tells FRONTLINE that 16 cents of every dollar spent on prescriptions goes into advertising -- more than the drug companies spend on research and development.
Prescription drug advertising is one of the main issues presented in "The Other Drug War." Drug companies spend millions of dollars on marketing. Their efforts include direct-to-consumer radio and television commercials, as well as practices that target doctors, such as giving them free samples given to increase the likelihood that name brands handed out to patients will become the drugs of choice.
Note: The principles of media literacy provided on the handout are concepts that are generally accepted by U.S. media educators. You can find more information about these concepts at the California Newsreel Web page and an Appalachian State Web page created by media literacy Professor David Considine.
» Method of Assessment