Friday, March 04, 2005

Lets all do Drugs! (The Drugging of a Nation)

Since society has accepted the fact that we need to be stressed out, career minded individuals that eat horribly and rarely exercise, they have also accepted that truckloads of prescription drugs need to be taken to combat the new challenges of our life style.

The top 20 Pharmaceutical Companies made over $240 billion dollars in 2000. To put that in perspective, the "War on Terror" has only cost $152 billion dollars so far. How do they make so much money? Merck a leading Pharmaceutical company made 2.2 billion dollars off of Vioxx the first year it was on the market. It was later taken off the market because it was found to be harmful (more on this below). Zoloft a leading antidepressant drug that is regularly advertised on TV made over 2.1 billion dollars in 2000. This is hard to imagine! Think of all the Tsunami victims in Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, do you think any of them are on antidepressants since they lost everything from family members to homes and jobs? Do prescription drugs really need to be recommended to you by a cheesy commercial? I thought that was a doctor or psychiatrists job.

Whether we should be taking these pills or not seems a forgotten question? Americans are taking pills by the millions. There are a few things we should consider about the drugs that society has so freely accepted as the answer to their lifestyle. I think the question of why do others make it without them is a valid question. Another would be what do these drugs really do to me? I read in the New York Times that Vioxx was taken off the market due to complications it caused its users, then after review it was put back on the market by a FDA Committee that had 10 voters with Pharmaceutical ties! With out their votes neither Vioxx, Celebrex nor Bextra would be back on the market. Keep in mind these are all drugs that make over $2 Billion a year. After the committee voted Pfizer and Merck's stock soared. Read the article it is rather scary Here.

I understand some of these drugs are necessary and some people have valid reasons for taking them. I am more addressing the issue of a money driven industry that is supposed to be a health focused industry. We have to stop treating the symptoms and start addressing the problems. We have to stop caring about stock prices and money more then the wellbeing of the people we are supposed to be helping.

I would be scared to take these drugs. But, don't worry the government says they're fine. Doesn't a healthy diet, regular exercise and a family orientated life make more sense then a stressed out, pill filled, career driven life?

I know, I know... I'm crazy.


Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Another humdinger.

I agree. I've been skeptical of BigPharma for a long, long time. And I've vocalized my objections to all these goddamn commercials for years.

Consider how powerful these ads can be. They have generations of people smoking tobacco -- and that's bad for you.

Think how effectively they can convince us we all need pills.

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moofruot said...

Since the industrial revolutions 200-250 years ago made mass production an easy endeavour, marketing became a primary concern for corporations - especially since they were overloaded with surplus of products which previously didn't sell at the rate they did.

What am I talking about? The Tobacco industry, as an example brought up by Lightning bug's butt. The Tobacco industry exists today because of mass production: companies started producing enough cigarettes for every man, woman, and child, so they had to start selling them. Advertising firms were established, agents were hired, and branding began taking over the lives of every American in every sense of mass production - including media.

This invasion of advertising has gradually become our unconscious collective - our belief of needing something. Like we need the more powerful pick-up truck with v-8 engine and 250hp. Like we need more toys to show off to our neighbours. Like we need drugs to make us better.

It's sad and sick, and you're not crazy. You're just a rarity now since most people don't think about these things, and wouldn't, 'cos they've been told all their lives that it's "normal".

Ooo I'm reading 1984 (George Orwell) and perchance I've become slightly paranoid... :|

N said...

You're not crazy...I totally agree with you. I think a good night sleep or a nice bubble bath or 20 minutes on the treadmill relieves stress. There's no need for these pills but there are a lot of people out there who care more about making money than about people's welfare, so they make them, and manipulate the public into believing that this will cure all your problems in a second.

"A healthy diet, regular exercise and a family orientated life" sounds so perfect :o)

Nathan Frampton said...

I enjoyed reading this post.

Mags said...

You're so right. It's all about money, less about health. Thanks for the post, it was great.

Mace said...

Excellnt writing. And you're right.

Anonymous said...

Its all about control...its all about deception, or is it.....if they are making that much money off drugs, and we have all seen the commercials with the friendly sounding narrator blabbing about the horrible sideeffects, and people still buy them, they are beliveing in a lie, they are decieving themselves....into thinking its actually gonna make em' feel better....its pure evil....excellent post.

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