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I'm not one for taking pills (pharmaceuticals) even though it looks like another one may be added to my regime, depending on results of the thyroid tests I just had done at the University of Virginia last week.
I have to question my own self whether it's the chicken or the egg syndrome. Do I not like taking pills because of all I've learned about Big Pharma over the years? Or do I just not like relying on something external to fix an internal "dis-ease"?
I'd guess most of us think most drugs are priced way too high so Big Pharma can make big profits, but I'd guess we also accept the costs of research and development are not cheap, either. Then, there's the matter of trust in any drug. I sadly remember the 10,000+ Thalidomide babies born with deformities in the late 1950's and early 1960's.
Recently, a large research fraud was exposed about a doctor who had published dozens of favorable research articles in medical journals for Pfizer and Merck pharmaceuticals. The doctor's study on Celebrex to reduce pain during post-surgical recovery was positive, yet he never even enrolled a single patient in the study!
Another study just released by the Senate Finance Committee shows GlaxoSmithKline deliberately hid evidence of harm from their diabetes drug Avandia. The document even shows FDA's own scientists had concluded that Avandia was responsible for more than 83,000 heart attacks yet still allowed the drug to be marketed.
I said I don't like to take pills, but I'm usually okay with taking an antibiotic if I have an infection, and reluctantly take a beta blocker only because I know I must to prevent additional harm to my body. However, anything I do take gets vetted on the internet for contra-indications, drug reactions, and so on.
That brings me to supplements. I take a few, mostly D3, calcium and Omega-3. I believe there are some supplements (but not all that many) on the market that make vast, unsupported claims and should be controlled or removed. We are too quick to believe the hype without reading the fine print. I also believe that in this age of nutritionally-deficient food, some supplements are necessary even though how much of any of them our bodies can utilize varies.
I was glad to see Senator McCain's Bill (Dietary Supplement Safety Act S-3002) looks dead in it's current form, but I still think Congress will try to pass some legislation to have total control over dietary supplements. Unfortunately, Codex Alimentarius will probably prevail in the long run despite fears of over-regulation: "It is reported that in 1996 the German delegation put forward a proposal that no herb, vitamin or mineral should be sold for preventive or therapeutic reasons, and that supplements should be reclassified as drugs." The proposal was accepted by the Commission, but not enacted because of protests. (See Codex link for source.)
What frightens me is that on the surface, Codex sounds protective of the public safety, but I fear it merely gives control to Big Pharma. Frankly, I think I am intelligent enough to choose to take any vitamin or dietary supplement without a doctor's visit and subsequent prescription.