Monday, January 6, 2014

The Prescription Kings

Americans make up 5% of the world population and consume 85% of the world's prescription narcotics. Dude - that's awesome if you're a pill popper or the owner of a pharmaceutical company. For the rest of us, it's a sad commentary on doctors, their patients, and most of all Big Pharm a.k.a. the multi-billion dollar companies like Eli-Lilly and Merck who lobby Congress to write bills in their favor. And write them they do.

It would take a thesis to roll out the nefarious ways of the pharmaceutical companies and how they conduct slanted studies, push products to doctors with hefty checks as  "thank yous," and manipulate governmental laws. But with only coffee as my upper, it's not a happening idea.

As a former cancer patient and pain pill popper, I certainly know the value of narcotics when used for a good reason, although a skilled hypnotist could have done the trick as well. But alas, insurance companies don't cover that service -  they cater to Big Pharm alone. So for the sake of my wallet, the contents of the little brown bottle with child-proof cap was more practical than keeping a hypnotist by my bedside.

All roads lead back to the motivator - greed - as the number one reason such imbalances exist. CEO's have replaced kings as the rulers of the land, employing millions of workers, (no longer called serfs in the modern era), to line their coffers. The big "C's" - Communism and Capitalism - have both failed because of a root cause, the human ego. A voracious animal, it breeds an insecurity that makes a person grasp for more and more, despite all evidence that enough is enough.

Our rulers, elected or otherwise, will always be subjected to the corruption of selfish human drives unless that man or woman embraces deeply spiritual or humanitarian values. False power corrupts, but real power is born of a need to act decisively and swiftly, to save beings from their suffering.

The Buddhists have a prayer of aspiration that is worthy of repeating here: "May All Beings Benefit." In the meantime, vote with your feet.


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