Pills as panacea, paying pushers?

Panacea: a remedy for all ailments or difficulties, from the Greek

In the paper today was an article about the major decline in the past ten years of patients visiting shrinks for talk therapy. Instead they are being prescribed pills for whatever bothers them.

Why this change? Because the insurance industry pays for pills – with just enough talk that the shrink can decide whether the pink or green or yellow pill would be best.

This is fine if your problem is biochemical. Some are. But if you’re struggling with your temper, your spouse, issues left over from a painful childhood, existential desire for meaning, etc etc etc (you name it, stuff bothers us) a pill will not do the trick.

Once more we’re prescribing bandaids, where a “get to the root of it approach” (public health philosophy) might well be more appropriate. We are so stuck on the instant bottom line!!

Or worse: could it be that Big Pharma has bought and paid for our docs?? Certainly they pay for the research. They pay docs to speak on behalf of their meds. And they shower them with free samples…

Pill Pusher  by Paul Noth, New Yorker 7/14/08

Pill Pusher by Paul Noth, New Yorker 7/14/08

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