3690: A Journal of First-Year Student Research Writing

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Overview: A prominent debate that is currently sweeping the field of health care is the practice of direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising by pharmaceutical companies. Two primary perspectives on the issue, those in favor of the advertising and those who oppose the advertising, continually clash over the implications that DTC advertising has on the health care process. Taking into consideration the various arguments presented from each of the competing viewpoints, it is evident that direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising should hold a place in society. DTC pharmaceutical advertising (DTCPA) can be a crucial factor in benefiting the health care process, and can positively influence and alter how health care is perceived. Accordingly, this paper will examine (1) background information and the history of DTC prescription drug advertising, (2) common arguments presented for and against DTC advertising, and how DTCPA is an ethical dilemma, and lastly (3) how an ethical analysis of the practice can demonstrate why DTC pharmaceutical advertising is an important part of the health care process.

Author's Reflection: My name is Brian Verbickas and I am currently a sophomore here at St. John Fisher College. I am a chemistry major on a pre-pharmacy track, and have just recently been accepted into the Wegmans School of Pharmacy class of 2020. I will be starting Pharmacy school in fall of 2016.

Overall, I found the writing process to be rather rewarding. Personally, the most rewarding aspect of the writing process was finally being able to see a semester’s worth of work come together to develop my final paper. Of course, however, there were several challenges I encountered along the way. For me, a challenging aspect of the writing process was finding a way to accept arguments that opposed my own opinions, so that I could incorporate them into my paper to strengthen my thesis. Until this paper, I had never written a piece that so heavily considered the opposing arguments. Even more challenging than simply including the naysayer arguments was defending my thesis against each specific piece of opposition. By addressing and providing a potential solution to some of the common arguments against my opinions, I was able support my thesis to an even greater extent.

It is safe to say that I am now much more confident in my writing abilities after completing the 199 course. I now have a better understanding of the writing process as a whole, and have learned what it takes to create a solid research paper. The majority of controversial topics are not simply black and white, rather they are multi-dimensional, meaning there are more than two ways to view it. By addressing an ethical issue in my paper, I have also learned to appreciate every side to a disagreement in order to develop my own opinions regarding the topic. The 199 experience will surely have a lasting impact on my writing for years to come.

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