Another Wonder Drug that makes you wonder

Big Pharma superstar Pfizer’s arthritis pain drug, the heavily advertised Celebrex, was found responsible for a signficant increase in heart problems, according to a Pfizer study of other applications for the drug.
Well, well, well. What we have is just part of the vicious cycle now operating in America’s so-called health care apparatus: big pharma develops a drug for some use, then advertises the &^%$ out of it, people go to their doctors demanding the neat new drug they saw on t.v., doctors are under pressure to satisfy their patients (and as an added benefit, the insurance companies are much more likely to pay for the wonder drug than they are just about any other treatment), and voila, we have heavy demand for the new wonder drug (which, not coincidentally, will drive up the stock price of the drug manufacturer; of course, when the drug goes to hell, as so many seem to, the stock price will come crashing down, as Pfizer lost nearly a fifth of its value today. )
We live in interesting times. We continue to spend over $1.4 trillion annually on health care (of which something around 1/200 of which is attributable to costs of malpractice suits, by the way, including all defense, administrative and judgments and settlements), while still not even being in the top ten in life expectancy, infant mortality and similar measures of national health despite spending by far the most in the world on health care.
Obviously, we are now able to treat a great many conditions more successfully these days than ever before, and we are on the cusp of ever more medical breakthroughs from treating everything from advanced cancer to obesity.
There is, however, a dark side to all of this. Pushing the use of potentially dangerous drugs for more than the specific maladies for which the drugs were invented (particularly by the uniquely irresponsible vehicle of television advertising of prescription drugs, something only this country and for some reason New Zealand engage in) presents serious peril.
And, as Granny, everybody’s favorite blogger/granny/pharmacy technician vouchsafed, we are really only seeing the beginning of this trend; no one is even talking about multi-drug interactions, for example. Well, stick around…