Pillage and Plunder

pillsWhether you’re over 50 or over 60, you must have noticed that pills are more in your life now than at any other time you can remember. When we were kids, it was just vitamins. As we got older, there were cold and sinus pills for when you were sick, but in general, we sailed along without popping much of anything other than extracurricular drugs (you know who you are).

Now look at us. We have Centrum Silver vitamins to start the day, statin blockers for cholesterol, Pepcid for heartburn, motrin for muscle aches, enough kinds of antidepressants to float a ship, Viagra for ED, hormone therapy, and the list goes on and on.

There was a time when the term “stash” meant the place where you kept your illegal drugs. Now it’s the place in the house where you keep all your legally prescribed drugs. And who would have thought medical marijuana would be legal in so many states by now? With the economy in the crapper, legalized drugs that are taxed may be just around the corner.

The fact is, there’s a pill for everything, and no shortage of doctors to write the scrip and drug companies to keep inventing the pills. It wasn’t that long ago that you only learned of a new drug from your doctor. Now you can watch TV and see one commercial after another exhorting you to “ask your doctor” about the new drug, tachanotherpillicine. Do they have it backwards? Do you invent a drug and then find some ill that it cures, or are they supposed to be researching new drugs for society’s most problematic health problems?

The U.S. may be the only industrialized nation where drug companies are allowed to hawk drugs on TV. You see depressed people who are dragging down their mates and families make 30-second recoveries to enjoy a life of happiness and contentment. drugs signI still don’t know what is the significance of the man and wife who sit in side by side bathtubs after he has taken an ED pill, but they will be very clean by the time they get around to making sure the pill worked. If I were directing the ad, I would have put them in the same spa tub, but maybe there’s a prohibition on featuring naked couples in the same tub (even if they are married).

You can even watch these ads in your doctor’s office while you are waiting 45 minutes past your appointment time (which does not include the extra 15 minutes they request that you arrive before your appointment time). I’ll give you three guesses who paid for the TV and the presentation, but the first two don’t count.

I’m doing my best to not get too worked up over this pillage, because I know that the real danger is that my stressing over this is just going to require another prescription. I’d rather spend the money on a vacation.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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