If you live in the United States, there is no doubt that you have seen the seemingly never-ending rotation of 1-800-BAD-DRUG commercials on television. These advertisements claim that you may be entitled to financial compensation if you experienced a serious adverse event as a result of taking a pharmaceutical product.
Here is an excerpt taken directly from the 1800baddrug.com website:
“Drug manufacturers and medical device companies are often the cause of injury, illness or death for the patients that end up taking or using those drugs or devices. Unfortunately, the makers of these products are often aware or should have been aware of the unreasonable hazards posed by their products. At Pulaski & Middleman, L.L.C., our defective drugs lawyers and product recall attorneys are experienced in investigating and uncovering critical evidence when innocent victims are injured or killed by the medicines and medical devices they unknowingly trust.”
Nowhere on the website – nor on the TV ads – is it acknowledged that many of the pharmaceutical products they vilify are used to successfully treat a variety of chronic illnesses (i.e. heart disease, diabetes, pain, etc.) that can potentially be attributed to unhealthy lifestyles. In other words, if people consistently made healthier choices, they would be at far less risk of being diagnosed with some of these diseases in the first place.
Assuming a person’s disease is self-inflicted due to unhealthy lifestyle choices, I find it quite odd to blame a pharmaceutical product for any damages associated with treating the disease. Does it not seem more plausible for a person to blame the root cause of their disease? Knowing that repeated consumption of cheeseburgers and milkshakes can contribute to people eventually contracting diabetes, it would seem more likely to see 1-800-BAD-FOOD commercials on television.
A poignant example of a potential food-based root cause of disease is a preservative commonly used in cured meats, known as sodium nitrite, which is believed to be carcinogenic. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, processed meats (i.e. hot dogs, bacon, deli meats, etc.) using sodium nitrite are linked to increased colorectal cancer. Yet we do not see 1-800-BAD-MEAT commercials either.
Therefore, why should be it acceptable for us to eat poisonous foods that we “unknowingly trust” and ultimately get sick, only to eventually seek restitution from the companies who produce products designed to alleviate the symptoms of our self-inflicted non-communicable diseases? When push comes to shove, what we really ought to do is take personal responsibility for our lifestyle and make good choices each and every day. Blaming others for trying to help a problem we have created is just downright foolish.