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25 October, 2012

It's still just snake oil!

I was in the local chemist today, I walked and was worried because I thought I had walked into a meeting of a local OAP organisation. There must have been 50 people, all over 60 and all there for one reason, prescription drugs!

The older generation are very quick to pour scorn on the young for drug abuse, smoking the occasional joint or maybe one of those weird blue tablets that make them high or low or whatever they do at the clubs. Yet once they hit a certain age OAPs seem to be popping lethal prescription drugs without question.

There is a lot of talk  about statins with doctors saying that everyone over 50 should be prescribed them to stop 1 in 100000 of us dying of a heart attack or stroke or some such thing. Some doctors, probably the ones getting a good backhander from the statins manufacturer, have been on TV, radios and the WWW saying how these drugs are the best thing since sliced ham. 
So why is it every time I hear these doctors all I can think of is an old western where an outlaw is selling snake oil from the back of a cart, scamming everyone that it is the elixir of life.

Those advocating statins don't mention that more people are likely to die from the side effects than from a heart attack, or that the statins industry is worth £28billion world wide. Those who survive the statins may well find their lives destroyed by the drug.  
If they were still being offered from the back of a wagon by a man with a leather hat and a colt 45 we would all run a mile. But now the snake oil salesmen have got clever, they call themselves GPs and everyone is happy.

Statins are just the tip of the iceberg, there are millions of drugs prescribed every day that do more harm than good. Many of the old folk I saw will be taking something for old age followed by something to counteract the side effects of that drug and then something to replace something that the second drug depletes them of and so on until the prescription is 10 drugs or more. It doesn't take a genious to work out each OAP in bringing in a few £thousand a year for the drug industry.
It has even been proved that as soon as you start taking some drugs your body develops immediate dependence on them, diabetes being a classic example. An illness that can be cured by diet alone but if word got out would cost the industry billions. Still as long as they get you to start on their drug your body shuts down its own defences and you are hooked. Think £millions.

At least snake oil salesmen back in the wild west left town as soon as they had scammed everyone and the oil didn't do any harm.

Today some are happy to keep going back for more and more snake oil, as long as the doctor says take it they don't question it.
Most probably the chat as they all meet in the chemist has done them far more good than their prescription drugs ever will.

Interesting the choice of symbol used by the medical prefession too, dont you think ?

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