Patient Influencers, Patient Advocates, Mental Illness Awareness Week

Yesterday in the New York Times there’s a great article, “When Actors Can’t Sell It, Pharmaceuticals are Turning to Actual Patients.” It’s true. This article breaks down and names the different types of businesses who are always hunting for people to be in commericals, do paid public speaking, appear in print advertising, that kind of thing. Ad Agencies like Young and Rubicon in NYC actually have departments specifically for prescription drugs. Talent Agencies who specialize in it. Casting Directors. Producers, PR firms like Spectrum Science PR, Coyne PR, The Lockwood Group specialize in special events at conventions like the American Medical Association’s annual event, the APA, Psych Congress.

Caveat: You must be a real patient, truly benefiting from whatever drug you’re being paid to promote. Drug companies make industrial videos, too, for internal use, to show their sales team, to inspire those who have to get out there every day and convince distracted, hurried and harried Doctors to try these products with their patients.


This is difficult to do, because most doctors and many patients are reluctant to try brand new drugs, because we know the least about them. Prozac, for example, was approved on the basis of 5 6-8 week studies that showed the drug to be somewhat more effective than placebo. (Individual Experiences may Vary, I took off like a rocket and burned brightly for 8 straight years and then crashed)

However, if you think it’s worth it, and you want to make a difference and make money at the same time to be able to afford your medical expenses, you might A: Check it out, or B: Remember the next time you see ‘Actual Patient’ written in black or reverse white below someone on television, that they are a professional patient.

If you are interested, next week, I’ll have more details, including how I did it. My story begins way before there was a drug, I was in a side affected jackpot and looking for clues on how I could reclaim my life….another thing to consider.