Monday, November 8, 2010

Under-medicated and Overweight America, Take 2

I want to expound upon a point made below, a quick jibe at the pharmaceutical industry, which over-medicates those who can afford it (and often don't need it) and which under-medicates the poor, and/or those without healthcare benefits, by overcharging them.  I realize, again, that I am breaking my own rule about sticking to topics of literature and (my) writing, but this riles me enough so that I may write a novel someday soon that at least glances at this issue.  Plus, this blog is not a democracy.

I didn't mean to suggest in the post that it's the result of a stereotypical lazy-American, or passive-American, syndrome.  You'll find lazy people in any culture, and they don't all get overweight.  I don't have that Roman attitude--remember that Caesar wanted to be surrounded by overweight, bald people who slept well?  Anyway, I digress; I meant to imply that meds cost way too much ($53 for 30 pills?!?  For an acid reducer???  A glorified TUMS???)  And that candy (and alcohol) are too cheap and prevalent.  People can't get well if they can't afford to; people will consume what they can afford.  Keep in mind, too, that fast food places and liquor stores abound in the poorer places, and that the healthier the food, the more expensive it is.  WholeFoods, after all, does not have a dollar menu.

People will eat more the more depressed they are--and if they can't afford the meds they need, they will eat more candy, especially when candy's on sale, two for $1.  Though clearly not a health-food freak, I'm also not exactly slovenly, and when I saw that my 30 pills were $53 (and, I know, that's cheap compared to what many people pay for more important pills), I got gloomy enough to buy the on-sale candy, and race to submit the post.  And, lastly, there was no generic available for my med, which is important for me.  You'll find that the more important, or high-selling, the med, the less a chance you'll find a generic for it.  It took an expiration of the patent before even Claritin finally went in front of the counter.

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