Monday, January 25, 2010

Too many drugs?

Ever wondered about the contents in your medicine cabinet? Or the forces that got you on those prescription medications in the first place?

This NPR editorial does a great job bringing to light how Merck’s Fosamax for ostopenia, a condition deemed treatable by this drug, got into the cabinets of million women across America. And how the marketing of the pill changed the definition of bone disease and sought women to seek unnecessary treatment.

This pharmaceuticalisation phenomenon, meaning the pharma companies quest to turn every research endeavor into a blockbuster drug highlights the manipulative role of drug companies in deciding what constitutes the definition of a disease just so they can market a drug to cure it.

Set against the backdrop of the controversial evolution of ostopenia as a disease, we read
about how pharma companies are vying to get the FDA to sign off on a prescription pill for jet lag! Do we really need a pill for jet lag? Or worse yet, should we let the pharmaceutical industry decide which drugs fit what therapies? With spiraling healthcare costs are we going to let pharmaceutical companies hold the reigns?

More importantly, can we draw the line between treatment, research and development for the greater good versus drugs that are downright redundant?