Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Helping make life more painful.

Finally, I may have the chance to help make America a more painful place to live. Not having taken Celebrex or Vioxx for relief from chronic pain, I was encouraged to read that Aleve has now been identified to increase a user's risk of heart attack or stroke by 50%. I take Aleve once in a while for minor headaches, so I'll be looking forward to the form letter from a group of starving lawyers who'll pitch me on the evils of Aleve and how the big bad drug companies really don't want to keep me from pain but rather debilitate me with paralysis after the stroke I'm sure to get ingesting 100mg of naproxen over 10 years.

The multi-billion dollar Celebrex/Vioxx lawsuit will continue the class-action lawsuit legacy of never saving a single patient. Although there may be a handful of predatory doctors or drug companies, lawsuits generally serve to put good doctors and companies out of business because we hold it against them that medicine isn't a perfect practice. And as lawyers continually seem to be shocked that even synthetic drugs are bad. The cumulative effect is that life gets harder for the masses that could benefit from the drug that a company is now afraid to bring to the market.

As the lawyers swim in the cash they'll terrorize out of the drug companies, they'll herald the settlement a "victory for those who've been hurt by the callous profiteering of Big Drug Inc.," because medicine should be practiced in a vacuum, free of side-effects, even in people with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions and sensitivity to medication.

The signal to drug companies is clear: If you spend 10's of years and billions of dollars developing a drug that make life easier for millions of people but has tragic side-effects on just a few, we'll to sue you out of business and make sure you have no intentions of making life easier for the masses again.

One day you're likely open the medicine cabinet and wonder why you can't get a good pain reliever, cholesterol inhibitor, allergy medicine, blood thinner, anti-depressant or 4-hour-superman pill.

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