February 18, 2005

BUILDING A DRUG CULTURE:

PLUGGED INTO prescription drugs (Anita Manning, 2/14/05, USA TODAY)

If aliens landed on Earth and watched TV for an hour, they'd no doubt conclude that Americans are the most drug-dependent creatures in the universe.

Advertisements for prescription drugs are fired out like baseballs in a batting cage. Trouble sleeping? Take Ambien! High cholesterol? Try Zocor! Heartburn? Ask about Nexium!

Ads for conditions once considered unmentionable have some parents squirming. "The commercials they show these days! It's very uncomfortable watching TV with your children," says Debra Timberlake of San Jose, Calif., a mother of five and Bay Area director of the Parents Television Council, a watchdog group.

"We watched the Levitra commercial," she says, referring to a treatment for erectile dysfunction. "My son goes, 'What's that pill for?' I said it's for a blood-flow problem."


People aren't responsible enough to allow them to see the ads--they're like giving drunk teenagers car keys.

MORE:
Vatican Decries 'Religion of Health' (FRANCES D'EMILIO, 2/17/05, AP)

Vatican officials Thursday decried what they called a "religion of health" in affluent societies and held out Pope John Paul II's stoic suffering as an antidote to the mentality that modern medicine must cure all.

"While millions of people in the world struggle to survive hunger and disease, lacking even minimal health care, in rich countries the concept of health as well-being figures in creating unrealistic expectations about the possibility of medicine to respond to all needs and desires," said the Rev. Maurizio Faggioni, a theologian and morality expert on the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life.

"The medicine of desires, egged on by the health care market, increases the request for pharmaceutical and medical-surgical services, soaks up public resources beyond all reasonableness," Faggioni said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2005 12:41 PM
Comments

People aren't responsible enough to allow them to see the ads--they're like giving drunk teenagers car keys.

P.J. O'Rourke alert! Can't fool me, OJ!

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 19, 2005 1:25 AM

This is the same pope who said no one needed to be concerned about bringing children into families that already could hardly feed the children they had, on the grounds that God would provide.

Query: when does God start?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at February 21, 2005 6:24 PM

He's given us more food than we know what to do with.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2005 6:32 PM
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