In the year 2000, Merck spent $590 Million marketing Vioxx. Total sales of $40 Billion, of which Vioxx's category comprised $2.3 Billion. These are just two pieces of financial data uncovered by Elisa Camahort in a piece called Pharmaceutical Marketing Costs.
Most of the marketing effort is targeted at doctors. So when the drug companies say "consult your doctor", know they already have. Transparency and the ethics of marketing might be good point to make to Health Canada. It has opened the floor to you, as part of a public hearing into Cox-2 Inhitibtors, anti inflammatory drugs. The public hearing is slated for June 9th . You can participate through a Health Canada website. It is rather detailed process to get to the survey form. However it is your chance to influence some health care policy. It is worth the effort.