Is pain racist? Advil seems to think so.

by Katya Rapoport Sedgwick at

Is pain racist? Advil seems to think so. The manufacturer of the pain relief widely available in American supermarkets and pharmacies unveiled “believe my pain” campaign and placed signs next to its product advising customers that according to Advil’s own study 3 in 4 blacks who experience pain believe that there is a difference in how their pain is treated. Am I supposed to drop an Advil to think about it? Because when I start thinking about it, I get a headache.

Advil explained that the corporation’s goal is “pain equity” which it defined as “everyone reaching their full potential” — a vague description to be sure. Properly treating conditions of which pain is the symptom and managing suffering is a more measurable goal.

The Advil study to which they refer was published in the form of snippets on the company website. It consisted of an online survey of 1,000 Americans suffering from pain and an oversample of 1,000 blacks — probably not the best methodology.