Art of Medicine
Aug 2019

If _____ Is Right for You

Alana Noelle Snyder
AMA J Ethics. 2019;21(8):E697-698. doi: 10.1001/amajethics.2019.697.


This mixed media collage, assembled from magazine drug advertisement fragments, explores pharmaceutical companies’ influence on the daily lives of American citizens and on patient-physician relationships.


Figure. If _____ Is Right for You

Figure 1 artm1-1908


Mixed media collage.

This work is a mixed-media exploration of how pharmaceutical companies can influence the daily lives of physicians and members of the public through consumer media. Using a single year’s subscription to 2 popular magazines, If _____ Is Right for You is assembled from drug ads torn from each magazine. The layering of prescription drug advisory pages mimics the barrage of highly specific technical information that permeates print media. These advertisements target patients, and physicians must respond to those patients’ questions, concerns, and enthusiasm about a drug since they have authority to write a prescription.

Logos and slogans centralize a theme to a viewer. Although designed to be aesthetically pleasing, labels and slogans can lead patients to ask for unnecessary or inappropriate medication. The phrase “Ask your doctor if _____ is right for you” facilitates pharmaceutical companies’ intrusion on patient-physician relationships and clinical encounters.


AMA J Ethics. 2019;21(8):E697-698.



The viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.