A comment on your editorial Wednesday on legal, lethal drugs.
The USA is the only developed country in the world, with the sole exception of New Zealand, that permits prescription drugs to be advertised on television. You can hardly watch a popular television program without being subjected to drug pushers. Now if a person sees a TV ad and goes to their doctor and badgers him for a prescription should the doctor spend his precious time to talk this person out of it and have him leave disappointed or should he take a minute to write the prescription and chalk up another office visit? I know from experience that there have been drugs on TV that were later taken off because they caused heart attacks and other “side effects.”
The trouble is the drug companies have billions of dollars for TV drug ads and for a swarm of lobbyists in Washington D.C., with their portfolios crammed with campaign contributions and other “perks”. The lobbyists are experts at pushing the buttons of representatives since, according to investigative journalists, nearly three quarters of senators and congressmen who are defeated for re-election become lobbyists. Maybe that is why a drug company like Pfizer was permitted to have a monopoly on the glaucoma drug Xalatan, $4 a drop, even though the drug was developed with government funds.
It is all very depressing, but hey, no problem, there are plenty of drugs for depression.