Thursday, January 24, 2008

Side effects may include...

...headache, nausea, hallucination....you may very well exhibit these symptoms after watching those drugs ads run repeatedly on TV in the USA. There's hardly ever an hour that passes by, when one does not witness them. This probably is the only country where you can see this.

While developing drugs for sicknesses is good, advertising them on TV may not be a great idea. These ads lodge in people's minds & leads to patients demanding for certain drugs, they saw on TV, from their doctors. Patients can very easily mistake certain generic symptoms to some sickness & demand the drug for it, from an ad. All this highlights the pressure the drug companies exert to sell. And doctors aren't immune to it. Doctors are constantly pestered by representatives to sell drugs their company makes, in return for some share of the profit. I have a few friends who are doctors & hear them complain of patients who demand drugs they saw on TV. That shouldn't be the case, the doctors know best & are in the best position to prescribe a cure for you.

But, the way things work here, there's an intense push to sell drugs & it's big business. Coupled with insurance, the drug companies charge a super premium for their drugs. Quite a lot of prescription drugs are not affordable without insurance. What with the big drug companies being run by CEOs who don't come out of medical schools. Here's a simple instance, I was once prescribed an anti-fungal steroid cream & each prescription of a small tube of 100 g cost $445.00! My prescription had 4 such refills. Now, that a lot of money!

There are drugs for almost everything, the pharma companies come up with some really curious syndromes, there's one called 'Restless Legs Syndrome'. There are more such. In fact there are so many of them, chances are, without you realising it, you may have at least two of them right now. And no drug is ever without the long list of side effects. Besides, a majority of drugs advertised are developed to cure symptoms & not the cause of a sickness.

And of course, the drug ads change with the change in seasons. Medicines for cold in winter, allergies in spring, skin in summer etc. But some run all year, like the ones for cancer, heart, sleep etc. Sleeping pills are one of the most advertised drugs on TV. When a patient is convinced he needs more sleep, he will demand that from his doctor & when used irresponsibly may result in accidents like these.

For all the good drugs do to you, there's an overwhelming number of cases for medical malpractice, bad drugs in the market, frauds. Needless to say, insurance costs associated with these are steep.

More often that not, simple lifestyle changes will cure you. Following healthy lifestyle like watching your diet, regular exercise, maintaining a positive outlook to life will result in better health. If we follow our traditional wisdom, we'll be much better off than we are now.

2 comments:

Lost_N_Confused said...

I so agree with you! They are too many drugs for every single thing.. I guess that is one of the major reasons that contribute to drug abuse.

Dosabandit said...

Well thank you. I wished they stopped developing all these sundry drugs & create ones that treat the root causes while educating the people on following healthier lifestyle.