Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BBC 2 - 'Pill Poppers'


Image: guardian.co.uk



"The only problem being that no one knows what demons might crop up with mass use over the long term. And, just to complicate matters, a drug that might be life-saving for some patients might be fatal for others (as was the case with Seroxat, which induced suicidal thoughts in a worrying proportion of those who took it)."


If you missed last night's BBC Horizon documentary, 'Pill Poppers', you can now watch it online here

Sadly, this website is only available to those in the UK and the video won't be hosted after next week.

Here's a review of the programme from today's Independent online newspaper.

Review from The Independent

Review by Tom Sutcliffe



The Horizon film "Pill Poppers" was a mixed prescription, with some genuinely thought-provoking ideas and some rather elementary ones (how disconnected would you have to be to still need the idea of antibiotic-resistant bacteria explaining to you?). What it did rather effectively, though, was to give you a sense of tectonic shifts in our attitude to medicine. Broadly speaking, pills used to be thought of as highly targeted interventions to end illness. Now, they're increasingly thought of as general applications to preserve or even improve wellness. Statins were one good example. There has been a proposal that everyone over 50 take these anti-cholesterol drugs, a move that would obviously benefit the companies that make them. But the rationale for such mass prescription – to ill and well alike – depends on redefining a "normal" cholesterol level as that you would find in a 25-year-old. And since statins have side effects (and since the very long-term side effects won't be clear for years yet), there might be grounds for being cautious about medical enthusiasm for the drug. Ritalin was another good case in point, a drug that has proved very useful for children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but which, when given to people who don't have ADHD, has been shown to improve concentration and competence. The only problem being that no one knows what demons might crop up with mass use over the long term. And, just to complicate matters, a drug that might be life-saving for some patients might be fatal for others (as was the case with Seroxat, which induced suicidal thoughts in a worrying proportion of those who took it). The essential point was this. You might think that by the time you press a pill out of its blister pack and pop it on to your tongue that all the really critical tests have been completed. In fact, you're the real guinea pig.

Fid

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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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