in Television

‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ Tackles Drug Companies In Season 2 Premiere

last week tonight john oliver

In case you missed it, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver came back for its second season on HBO. And John Oliver came back strong, taking on Brian Williams, Downton Abbey, the President of Argentina, and RadioShack in just the first few minutes.

But Oliver devoted his longest segment to tackling prescription drug companies.

Prescription drug companies apparently spend $24 billion dollars marketing to healthcare providers; no wonder about the “ask your doctor” slogan that comes at the end of prescription drug commercials. They also spent more money on marketing than doing research on their products. Cue Oliver: “Drug companies are a bit like high school boyfriends. They’re much more concerned with getting inside you than being effective once they’re in there.”

What I love about Last Week Tonight is that Oliver often provides helpful links or a call-to-action. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, people can search a federal website to see all the perks given to physicians by pharmaceutical companies: https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/

The last topic was Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, who attacks anyone who criticizes him — including an 18-year-old Twitter user. “How are you getting involved in a Twitter war?!” Then Oliver went on to brilliantly roast Correa and encourage people to tweet him @MashiRafael.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs Sunday nights on HBO.