Chris Rock's brilliant stand-up routine includes some riffs on the ubiquitous television drug commercials that "keep naming symptoms until they get one" that the viewer has.
Even if the ads don't mention what it is the medicine is supposed to do: "You see a lady on a horse or a man in a tub, and they just keep naming symptoms: 'Are you depressed?' 'Are you lonely?' 'Do your teeth hurt?' 'Even' 'Do you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning?' They got that one! " he adds. "I got that. I'm sick. I need that pill!"
The New York Times quotes Chris Rock as part of its review of Greg Critser's new book, Generation RX. This book examines how baby boomers and their offspring have become the most medicated generations in history, taking pills that promise to "do everything from guarding us against our excesses of drink, food and tobacco, to increasing our children's performance at school, to jump- starting our own productivity at work, to extending our very time on this mortal coil. "
Critser traces the massive growth of drugs claiming to do everything to the loosening and speeding up of the regulatory processes that used to keep the big pharmaceutical companies in check.
As an onslaught of money and lobbyists has made the government willing willing to do the bidding of drug companies, and doctors are similarly besieged with advertising, the barriers between Big Pharma and the public have grown thin and porous.
New York Times September 30, 2005 Registration Required
Dr. Mercola's Comment: Chris Rock's routine is right on the money. It's great that the social critics like Rock and the muckrakers like Critser are exposing the truth about what's going on in the drug industry. Sometimes it's so ridiculous you just have to laugh.
But it's also a serious issue. For those of you who regularly read my newsletter, you know that I strongly advise AGAINST using drugs when possible. And, though drugs are sometimes appropriate and at times can save a person's life, most of the time they are unnecessary, harmful and expensive. The drug companies aren't interested in saving your life; they're interested in taking your money.
As Critser points out and Rock implies, drug companies are driven by profits and have used their power to influence many areas of medicine. What is most unfortunate is that this has resulted in many biased studies, which ultimately lead to misleading information to the public.
In addition, health costs are rising through the roof, and shortly we will be spending over $ 2 trillion a year for health care in the United States! It is safe to estimate that over three-fourths of this money is wasted on short-term fixes, primarily drugs and surgeries, which in no way address the long-term cause of the problem.
Further, the far-too-cozy relationship between government agencies like the FDA and major drug companies lets Big Pharma get away with practically anything they want. This has much to do with why I'm so focused on my vision of exposing the existing medical paradigm's techniques, habits and messages that have put your health and that of the American public in grave danger.
The key to caring for illnesses is to focus on finding the underlying cause of the problem. It is possible to maintain total health by avoiding unnecessary drugs and by gaining a comprehensive understanding of good nutrition and proper lifestyle choices. Here are some general guidelines to achieve good health (without the use of harmful drugs) that seem to hold true for all people:
- Eliminate sugar and grains
- Eat unprocessed, high-quality foods, organic if possible, right for your metabolic type
- Eat your food as close to raw as possible
- Have omega-3 fish oil
- Exercise regularly