Were those gasps we just heard? Maybe a few people falling out of their chairs? (Sorry about that, by the way.) No, the sky hasn’t fallen, and (as far as we know) hell hasn’t frozen over.
As many of you know, we offer the occasional critique of Big Pharma – its business model, advertising practices, ethics, etc. (No, really?) Although this post doesn’t negate our previous points, we want to present a side of the MDA philosophy that, admittedly, doesn’t get as much blog time.
As we’ve always known but not often stated, drugs (medicinal), in and of themselves, aren’t evil. In fact, we think some drugs are great – if they’re going to save your life or relieve unbearable chronic pain or some otherwise debilitating condition or disease. Pharmaceuticals can serve a vital role in our medical care system and in many people’s lives, including some within our own MDA community. And for that, we’re incredibly thankful. Sure, the system has its flaws, but we also know it gets many critical things right.
We absolutely, unequivocally support using the benefits of modern science to create drug therapies that combat the ravages of disease, acute injury or runaway infections. Most of the drugs we take issue with here on MDA are those that seem to apply to health problems that could be more effectively addressed by lifestyle changes. And even then, we absolutely don’t believe that people who have made the wrong choices for too long simply be left to die (as we’ve been accused of in the past). Some drug therapies can give people a second chance, a boost as they get their health back on track. (But we still say they shouldn’t be cavalierly prescribed and “mass marketed” as something everyone should consider taking.) The use of drugs that address what are, in most cases, “lifestyle diseases” shouldn’t be necessary in an ideal world. Nonetheless, human nature is fallible, and common medical advice is unfortunately often flawed or at least incomplete.
What a blessing it is to live in an age when we can argue here about the options and alternatives that allow us to avoid pharmaceuticals instead of an earlier time when people would’ve given their eye teeth and all their worldly possessions to find some treatment for a disease or condition that had no cure or legitimate medical therapy.
At times, drugs are essential to save lives or significantly boost fundamental quality of life when lifestyle and assorted wellness/whole-health therapies alone cannot. To those of you (and a few of us) whose lives have been spared by pharmaceutical interventions or who have gotten a new lease on life, a second chance, or a necessary leg up in taking charge of your health, we’re glad modern medicine was able to offer what it did. Though we may have our share of critiques for the business side of the system, we unquestionably appreciate the occasional essential drug treatments that industry, academia and non-profit medical foundations make available to our society.
Thoughts? Comments? Getting a sense that this is a disclaimer before another anti-drug post? Need tips for fixing that dropped jaw (or broken chair)? Send us a line, and thanks for reading.
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