Drugs company giant, Pfizer, has agreed to pay a record 2.3 billion dollars in a settlement about improperly marketing its drugs in the US and giving doctors perks to encourage them to write prescriptions.
We remembered Mark posted this blog (below) after Michael Jackson died, originally entitled ‘Are we too quick to prescribe medication?’. This got us thinking again about how we use drugs. Are we an over medicated society? This seems to be a question on your minds after reading so many comments relating to yesterday’s blog on depression. Anthony seems to think we’re too quick to take a tablet, “Oh, you’re tired, you feel sad, you feel awkward in social settings? You MUST have something wrong with you, and here’s the cure, PILLS!!!” One blogger compares the pharmaceutical industry to illegal pushers but as someone posted in ironic reply… ‘since when did medicine ever save anybodies life?’
Here’s Mark blog post…
Here’s a story from 2001 talking about how the world – particularly the developed world – was using too many prescription drugs.
Here’s a report from 2007 which warns that “the abuse of prescription drugs will surpass illicit drug abuse “.
And here’s a report – one of thousands – which talks about Michael Jackson’s reliance on them.
and here’s a video of Jackson’s attorney talking about how people around the late singer “enabled” his habit.
Clearly, it’s not just a problem for the famous. David Smallwood writes movingly in this article about his addiction :
“At the age of 16 I became even more anxious, went to a doctor, and said to him: “I can’t cope with life.” He kept his eyes on his pad and prescribed Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug. I took it every day for 16 years. Pain and anxiety went far away. I was able to deal with the world”
Nearly seven million Americans abuse prescription drugs- here it’s described as an “epidemic ” and there are calls to make doctors pass tests before they hand them out.
And it’s not just a problem in the developed world. Here’s a WHO report from 2 years ago.
Is this a problem we can do anything about ? In a disposable society, are we too quick to reach for the pills ?