9 Memorable Drug Mascots

FEBRUARY 24, 2016
Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor
OTC and prescription drug mascots may play a larger-than-expected role in patients’ health care decisions.
The United States and New Zealand are the only countries in the world that currently allow direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. Taking advantage of the opportunity, US drug manufacturers spent $3.4 billion on advertising for the top 10 brand-name prescription drugs last year.
The FDA oversees drug advertising to ensure that all ads are truthful, balanced, and accurately communicated. However, the agency does not have a say over pharmaceutical mascots.
Throughout the years, these mascots have ranged from abrasive germs to cute creatures that offer solutions in a soothing tone.
Drug branding and DTC advertising are powerful tools that can take medicating out of the hands of prescribers and pharmacists. Pharmacists in particular are in a great position to describe the risks and benefits of medications that patients frequently see on televisions.
Here are some of the most memorable OTC and prescription drug mascots: