The 14 year old girl that hung herself and streamed it live on Facebook, which continued live until cops arrived and shut it off? Which Facebook took down as soon as they became aware, but it was too late because other sources picked it up and would not take it down because their lawyers told them they did not legally have to? The one that the head cop in Georgia just assumed would be taken down upon request, simply out of common decency? Silly him.
That girl had just had her prescription of Zoloft doubled, so said a Florida newspaper. Zoloft, it turns out, has a black box warning at the FDA. It increases the risk of suicides in teenagers. Minors taking it should be watched closely. Do you think her parents (or anyone) was made aware of this? I wouldn’t hold my breath.
It gets more personal, though not more tragic. For a suspected UTI, not an established one, just a ‘maybe,’ my doctor said I ought to take Ciprofloaxin. I don’t like drugs, and if I am taking any, I try to get off them as soon as possible. But a UTI is not a big deal, and the doctor is a competent and likable guy, therefore trusted, and he writes the prescription off so casually, as though he was recommending M&Ms, that I filled the prescription and took 3. (With an antibiotic, you’re supposed to polish them off, one at a time, until the bottle runs out.)
My wife is smart and on top of things. She uncovers things and soon advised me not to take them. Uncharacteristically (just kidding) I listened to her. Like the New York State PSA guy ecstatic that he heeded advice to get his colonoscopy said, I’m so glad I did.
It turns out that Ciprofloaxin has TWO black box warnings. One of them (perhaps both) says you DO NOT take it for a UTI or other minor things. It is a last-ditch Hail Mary recourse to be tried when facing calamitous illness and everything else has failed.
If you go online, you will find experiences that will scare the pants off you. Plenty from individuals, but individuals are individuals. Sometimes they are just big crybabies. Go first to the New York Times.
There you will read of people absolutely and PERMANENTLY ruined by this drug. It tears you up inside, similar to the weapon in some Star Trek episode (or was it a Star Trek movie, for it is almost too nasty for Star Trek the TV show?) that doesn’t just kill you, it tears apart all your guts in doing so. This is not an exaggeration – read the New York Times article. Satisfied that it is genuine, then search out the individual stories online without concern that they are just whiners who are carrying on. Those pants that were scared off you and that you put on again? They will not only be scared off you once more, they will disintegrate.
The New York Times is ever so deferential toward the drug’s maker (far more than I am going to be) because it is Big Pharma and Big Pharma loves us and pulls our bacon out of the fire routinely. I don’t share that love.
If my Chevy is in danger of a nut wobbling loose, GM will tell me. They will not just tell me once. They will nag me about it. They will not just post it on the government website and pray that neither I nor my dealer sees it. They will not just sell as many of the villainous Chevy’s as they possibly can, while ‘lawyering up’ for the inevitable barrage of lawsuits that will one day in the (hopefully) distant future hit them, which they will fight vehemently, case by case, by saying: “Well, it’s on the government site, you idiot. Can’t you read?” and then after many years when plaintiffs have become thoroughly disheartened, offer a class action settlement for pennies on the dollar, which is exactly what Merck did with ‘It’s a beautiful morning’ Vioxx.
There is a former Merck representative online who states that for every dollar Pharma spends on educating you through drug ads and otherwise, they spend six times that amount ‘educating’ the medical field. There is another Pharma VP who says: “Look, nobody has any money. Government doesn’t. Researchers don’t. Universities don’t. But Pharma does.”
“Conduct a study for us,” Pharma says, “here’s tons of money to fund it.” If the results come back favorable to Pharma, they can expect more funding for other studies. If the results come back unfavorable, they will never hear from Pharma again. ‘No money has changed hands,’ the VP says. ‘No agreements have been entered into. But everyone knows what they must do.’
I am so done with these scoundrels. Absolutely, you do not trust them as far as you can spit. You stay away from them to the extent possible. When it is not possible, you independently verify every word they utter. They are not your friends.
And yet, within the context of this system of things, there is an excuse that can be made for them. Ciprofloaxin was originally intended as a cancer drug, since it kills everything in sight, and possibly it will kill more of the bad guys than the good guys. When it didn’t turn out that way, Pharma didn’t want to be stuck with the bill. And the FDA didn’t want them to be, ether.
See, the FDA is scared silly, as everyone should be, that there are devastating bacteria on the loose, such as MRSA, that are completely impervious to existing medicine. The FDA wants Pharma to come up with new, better, antibiotics, to take out the bad bacteria. But Pharma doesn’t want to do it because there is no money in it. You take your single bottle of antibiotics, it cures up your infection, and that is the end of it. What Pharma wants is a blood pressure medicine that you take for the rest of your life. So the government allows them to ensure their profits, letting them sell Ciprofloaxin and other poisons, knowing it will cause irreversibly harm in some, but figuring it is all collateral damage en route to the greater good.
Are they evil? Yes. But the basic evil, which forces their hand, is beyond them and is not of their doing. It is an economy, indeed an entire systems of things, that is based upon self-interest, and often outright greed. Should Pharma be expected to cut its own throat and bankrupt itself? Does anybody else?
How foolish that so many do not listen to Jehovah’s Witnesses (in Russia, even seek to ban them!) who alone tell of the government by God, the Kingdom government of the Lord’s prayer, under which God’s will is to be done “on earth, as it is in heaven.” We can assume God has it together up there in heaven, as the prayer says, but it sure isn’t done on earth, and when it is, it is the exception, not the rule. How foolish that people do not consider (and at some times vehemently oppose) the one organization that publicizes the Kingdom and that right now lives under its self-sacrificing model of love, not greed. How foolish that so many will oppose, unwilling to make the minimal self-sacrifice required.
Let them continue to think, if they must, that this system of things can be fixed. How’s that project going, anyway?