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22 October 2008

Medicine is Absurd - Part II

As a follow up to my riveting, acclaimed and spellbinding article on Medicine and their Absurdity-ness, comes this news report from the intrepid reporting crew at the Associated Press (They no doubt are close watchers of the trend setting Daddios Daily Dose):

"Reports of Serious Drug Reactions Hit Record"

Seems that the watchdog group, Institute for Safe Medication Practices reported recently that the FDA received 21,000 reports of serious drug reactions, including over 4,800 deaths in just the last 4 years. Yikes.

Chantix - an aid to quit smoking - and heparin - a blood thinner - were the main culprits.

An interesting statistic within the statistic: Within the last year, a man who was reportedly taking Chantix to aid in his smoking cessation tried to break into his neighbor's home in the middle of the night. His neighbor, not finding the folly in this event and not knowing - or caring - who was prying his door open, fired several gunshots through the door, killing the would-be intruder.

Seems fairly clear: "Man A" attempts break in, "Man B" kills him, within his legal right to protect life and property from imminent harm. Right?

Wrong. "Man A" was on Chantix. And apparently the Chantix made him do it, according to the widow, who also was reportedly enjoying some adult beverages with Mr. Chantix the night of his undoing.

So is Chantix to blame for "Man A's" death? Would Chantix also be to blame if "Man A" had actually broken in and say, killed, "Man B"?

This drama was, well, made even more dramatic because Mr. Chantix was a celebrity musician apparently. That makes your bad choices fodder for the 'celebrity excuse' and makes your death one of a martyr.

What always gets missed in these sorted affairs is the guy who was woken up in the middle of the night, forced to use deadly force to protect his family and then be cast aside - or chastised - because his righteous choice took the life of a pinhead who made a bad choice.

So, have you taken your meds today??


Anonymous said...

Here are some more absurdities:
Asthma medication that has a warning that it may cause asthma or make it worse
Antibiotic - a warning that may cause infection to worsen

Hormone medication that causes heart disease and may cause breast cancer
(remember that study that was abruptly halted when its participants were dying from hormone caused heart problems and cancer?)

Who is the "watchdog" protecting us from unscrupulous drug companies?

The FDA.

Who pays for drug trials and pays doctors to promote those drugs?

The drug companies.

Just who is it that is watching the hen house? Gee it sure looks like the fox to me. You sure have it right!

Michael M. said...

Another sign that lawyers and their greedy corporate offspring dictate a tad more policy than they deserve...thanks for your comment!

Dana said...

I disagree a bit with anon - I actually believe it is society who demands a fix for everything. They are the reason the drug companies are headed the direction they are. We want to live forever and we want a pill to fix everything. No need to eat well, exercise more or drink in moderation - we can take a pill instead!

If there wasn't a demand, the drug companies would never put the time and money into R & D.

Michael M. said...

Supply and demand in its purest form, eh Dana? I'm thinking of the video of the employees 'stranded' on an escalator screaming for assitance. Funny, but representative of how paralyzed we are - and expectant we have become - to have other people fix things for us.

Man, I'm cranky this morning. Got anything I can take for that? :)