Jacqueline Haskins Engel: American consumers like sheep led to the slaughter

Last modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
To the editor:

Recently there was an advertisement in the Gazette which included a long list of prescription medications offered at a steep discount through a company in Canada. Among others, they are prescribed for heart and lung diseases, hypertension, chronic pain, insomnia, and of course, impotence. In all, 56 drugs were listed.

In the not too distant past, TV ads were primarily focused on “new and improved” processed foods and sugar-filled drinks, which ultimately led to the current multi-generational obesity epidemic. Health care costs and death rates have soared thanks in large part to a boost in sales of these products. Consumers share the blame when they fail to take personal responsibility for their food choices. The bottom line is profits over people. The food corporations are padding their pockets while the public is padding their bellies and bottoms.

Seeing a new way to make money, corporations have thus made a major shift in their advertising. The primary focus of TV ads now is the output of big Pharma. The ads first offer the “good news” of what the drug will deliver, followed by a lengthy list of potential side effects, up to and including death. Many of these medications are newly marketed and have no proven track record. Nonetheless, people are once again convinced that these wonder drugs will cure whatever ails them.

Instead of addressing the causes of their ailments, they take what appears to be the easy way out and seek remedies. As a result, they are flocking to their health care providers seeking prescriptions they have seen advertised. In the last several years prescriptions written by health care professionals have risen to well over several billion a year. And once again it is profits over people. Big Pharma and health care corporations are getting richer while the public is getting sicker.

Unless and until we stop being pawns of these mega corporations we will continue to be chemically dependent sheep led to the slaughter.

Jacqueline Haskins Engel