Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Treating Diseases?

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials by now; the ones that advertise some new wonder drug that will make your life so much better. What amuses me is that most of these commercials don’t even tell you what malady this prescription treats. Note that I said TREAT and not CURE. We don’t cure anything anymore. We merely treat, but I’ll get to that later.

These wonderfully artsy commercials and print ads, with pastel colors and animation galore, are so entrancing that you almost wish you had whatever disease it treats just so you can be the first on your block to be taking the drug. And then some tiny little voice comes on at a million miles an hour and whispers about the side effects, hoping you won’t hear them. Ah, yes, the Side Effects. Or, as they call them,” Certain Side Effects”. They say them so fast as an obligatory disclaimer that you almost miss them. But once you hear what these effects are, you begin to wonder if the treatment isn’t actually worse than the disease. No, thanks, I’ll take the heartburn. A little acid in my stomach has to be better than nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and insomnia.

Here’s a little REALITY in advertising:
Overweight? Underweight? Tired? Can’t Sleep? In pain? Feeling too peppy?
Try new DAMITOL!!! Made from a special all-natural sucrose polymer, DAMITOL may not be for everyone. Consult your doctor. Do not take DAMITOL if you are pregnant, nursing, may become pregnant, have ever been pregnant, ever thought about being pregnant, are the product of a pregnancy, or know someone who has ever been, will be, or thought about being pregnant. In tests, certain side effects occurred such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, rectal bleeding, pus-like discharge from the eyes, spontaneous abortions, and certain sexual side effects such as festering sores comparable to genital warts and an inability to achieve orgasm ever again. Discontinue use if symptoms persist. DAMITOL…when you absolutely have to take SOMETHING…

Yeah, the treatment is worse than the disease, because as I said earlier, we don’t CURE things anymore. The last disease we cured was Polio in the 40’s. We can send a man to the moon, although not in the last 30 years, we can make handheld jukeboxes to hold 10,000 bootlegged downloaded songs, we have cellular phones with email and cameras, pay for groceries with a thumbprint, but with all the billions of dollars in research that goes on daily, the last thing mankind cured was polio. That’s because there’s no money in cures. All the money is in research and sexy drug treatments. They probably found a cure for cancer in 1960 while dreaming up a new biological warfare agent to kill communism but held onto the secret formula. How many people would go broke if the research labs and drug companies closed shop? Hell, they’d have to engineer a NEW disease to treat after that! We never even cured the really nasty diseases of old like typhoid. Instead, we quit drinking the water we crap in and started bathing regularly. THAT stopped the typhoid epidemics. Small pox wasn’t cured, it was just forgotten about once we joined the electronic age. If some dirtbag in a cave in Afghanistan set loose some smallpox in New York, they’d kill millions. But we don’t inoculate for it anymore….it wasn’t sexy enough I guess. Maybe we’d need a cool animated commercial for Poxitol!

No comments: