Monday, April 23, 2007

Drugs, Violence, Depression, Heart Disease, Whatever...

Arianna Huffington sees a connection between drugs and violence.

We urgently need a national debate about guns. But we also urgently need a national debate about the epidemic of mood-altering drugs being prescribed to young Americans.

I'll take my teachable moments wherever I can find them. And Virginia Tech has the potential to be one of them.

Reports that Cho had been taking antidepressants once again turn the spotlight on the uneasy question of what role these powerful medications might have played in yet another campus massacre.

Kerry Howley looks at prescription and over the counter drug sales in Reason Magazine.
The system that puts drugs over the counter is driven by profits and patents. Patents--legal monopolies--exist to drive innovation in the drug industry. In order to protect the intellectual property packed in every pill, pharmaceutical companies are granted exclusivity for 20 years from the date they file for a patent. In an industry where the next big thing typically costs between $300 million and $500 million to deliver, patents help keep companies afloat. But as long as there's no competition, drug companies have no incentive to put their products over the counter.

My own view is that the Virginia Tech tragedy has more to do with a broken health care system than anything else.

And who has anything more to do with health care than drug manufacturers and insurance companies?

Just asking.
Trying hard to connect the dots.

1 comment:

vietnamcatfish said...

Hello Hootster, Been out of circulation and was catching up on my favorite blog. I saw a billboard the other day that read: "the debate is over; second hand smoke kills." Because Arianna wants debates on drugs and guns, my question is: who has these debates?

Debate is one of those fashionable words these days. Like "going forward;" "spot on;" and "it is what it is."

I must admit to being turned off by most of these, especially "debate."

If Tarzan were alive today, swinging on vines of the jungle, Shirley, he would say: "drugs bad; guns bad; men bad."