Sunday, September 18, 2011

I can see taking your chances with cancer

Here's the basic theme of this commercial: there are a lot worse things than yellowed teeth and fingers, bad breath, coughing up your lungs every morning, spending a hundred dollars a week on something that makes you a smelly social outcast, and the strong possibility that you will someday die of cancer.

Included in those worse things is the apparently endless, Would Be Laughable If They Weren't So Darned Depressing (depression is included) side effects you "may" experience while taking (or when you stop taking!) Chantix, a drug designed to help you break your addiction to nicotine which, if you really pay attention to this commercial, turns out to be nowhere near as bad as the "cure."

It tells you an awful lot about the Food and Drug Administration that Chantix has been approved for use by animals who are not lab rats. None of it is good. After all, Chantix MAY cause skin disorders, wild mood swings, depression, thoughts of suicide, agitation, hostility, rashes, swollen face and throat, mental disorders, nightmares, sleeplessness, and nausea, but it also MAY help you quit smoking, and do you have any idea how much money Big Pharma pours into Washington, DC in the form of campaign contributions these days?

Clearly, the Just Get The Damn Thing On The Market Mania still dominates the pharmaceutical industry. As long as you provide a long list of side effects, you've made the company attorneys happy. The addicts who desperately need real help with what is, in fact, a disease? Well, hey, Chantix hasn't been shown to cause cancer!


  1. The need for Big Pharma to squeeze desperate people seems to have always been with us; back a century ago, they were touting other miracle cures with equally dangerous side effects. The only difference is that they weren't required to list them.

  2. I think it's only a matter of time before one of these drugs includes in it's list of side effects an increased likelihood that the user will experience the symptoms he's taking the drug to avoid. Like "Paxil Works For Me" followed by a disclaimer that Paxil may cause increased feelings of depression.

    Oh wait, I think that's already happened...