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As Seen on TV, an occasional column, brings you the inside story behind TV drug ads.

Scientists rendered in moody lighting peer into microscopes; a CGI cell bursts like a microscopic Death Star; and a disembodied voice reads the opening lines of Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” over a flourishing orchestral arrangement.

This is a drug ad.


Or rather it’s an ad for the people who make the drugs. The spot, which debuted Monday, is the work of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug industry’s biggest lobbying group, and it’s the tip of a marketing spear that will see the organization spend tens of millions of dollars each year to mend its ailing image.

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