Recently, an ad popped up on my blog that caught me by surprise. If you are a blogger with WordPress, a free account comes with many great features and storage space to start blogging immediately. The caveat is that sometimes, ads may pop up in my blog that are beyond my control. It hasn’t bother me, until now.
Few days ago, I noticed an ad from InnoviCares has popped up in my blog. This is an organization that offers “free drug payment cards” to physicians and patients. In the forefront, they position themselves to help with financial assistance of medications for patients who cannot afford them. But behind the scene, their goal is promote brand name medications, even for medications that already have generic options available on the market.
When I saw the ad, I went ballistic!
This is similar to the recent news with concerns of electronic medical records including e-prescribing modules that are connected with ads promoting specific drugs. Clinicians need to have objective space to provide patient care and this includes the ability to access unbiased information to prescribe medications.
This blog is my voice, my identity, my objective view on medications, pharmacy practice, and many things related to our health care system. I have no sponsor, I have no affiliation with any pharmaceutical company. I have many followers and supporters who I value. While my blog is not an e-prescribing module, it has become a source of information for some colleagues and clinicians. So for me to see this ad to show up in my blog, I feel violated.
It speaks volume to the power of internet, technology and data mining in the cyberspace. I have somehow become a social influencer for specific medications without my knowledge.
Let me be as clear as can be. Those are not my ads; those are not my endorsement. Perhaps I need to consider paying a fee to remove the ads from my blog. But I am only a small fish in a big pond. How can I compete against the shark?