61. Not Sold Over the Counter



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One of Barb's favorite activities since moving to the United States was watching television. She especially loved watching the commercials. "You really can buy anything here in America!" she told her friends. One afternoon she was watching television and saw a commercial that really grabbed her attention. It showed a cartoon woman tossing and turning. The woman in the commercial was unable to sleep because she was busy thinking about the day that had passed and worrying about the day ahead. Barb wasn't quite sure what the commercial was advertising. Was it a bed? Was it a pillow? Was it just a public service announcement urging people to sleep more? Suddenly a voice on the television began speaking very quickly, listing side effects of the sleeping pill the commercial was advertising. One of the side effects was insomnia. Barb thought that seemed like an odd side effect for a sleeping pill.

The next day Barb happened to be in the local neighborhood pharmacy picking up a few things. She remembered the commercial she had seen the night before for the sleeping pills. She walked up and down the aisles looking for them. Since she saw it advertised on television, she thought she might try them. Sometimes she had a hard time sleeping. When she couldn't find the pills on her own, she walked over to the pharmacy counter and asked the pharmacist where she could find the pills.

"Do you have a prescription?" the pharmacist asked. Barn explained that she didn't, but she saw the pills advertised on television and thought she would try them. "Those are not available over the counter," the pharmacist explained. Barb thought it was dumb for there to be a commercial for something she couldn't just go get at the store. She walked out of the pharmacy without buying anything.





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