Summary: Drug companies create dummy drugs with horrifying side effects in order to drive customers to another product that is less scary.
BIG DRUG COMPANY owns DRUG A, which treats CONDITION X, with a few side effects, some of which are alarming.
In order to make the side effects of DRUG A more palatable, they create another drug, DRUG B, which also treats CONDITION X, but with a long list of horrifying side effects. They run ludicrous commercials for DRUG B, listing the horrifying side effects, urging people with the condition to "talk to your doctor."
A consumer with CONDITION X calls his or her doctor about the condition, but voices concerns about the side effects of DRUG B, the dummy drug.
The doctor notes that there is a safer alternative; DRUG A. DRUG A's side effects seem much safer when compared to the horrifying side effects of DRUG B.
DRUG A is then sold, because pushing drugs on television is legal, for some reason.
I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan.
My website is at danmanning.com