Letter: Greedy Big Pharma creates its own market

Greedy Big Pharma creates its own market

To the editor:

Wow! A Super Bowl ad featuring poop envy. A man, assumed to be constipated, despairingly observes another guy exiting a restaurant bathroom looking, shall we say, relieved. Leaving the restaurant he spies a dog pooping curb-side. His forlorn expression conveys: "If only I could do that."

The ad then introduces him, and us, to his problem; opioid-induced constipation — with the initials OIC for easy recall — and, as do all BigPharma ads, suggests he "start the conversation with his doctor."

With the promise of cure in the end, he smiles, exchanging knowing glances with a lovely lady, who happens to be trailing toilet paper draped on her shoe. In short, a drug-induced constipated fairy tale with a pharmaceutical happy ending. All is good in the world.

As in all direct-to-consumer drug ads what is being sold is sickness for which Pharma promises and sells a drug "cure" producing astounding profits and a huge trail of dangerous side-effects. Holy crap! (pun intended) Pharma has identified and is mining a new market of patients who may have constipation from opioids they use to manage their pain.

While it is sad to think about how many of us suffer with chronic pain, let's be real. Pharma is anything but magnanimous. The bigger market they are trying to tap into is the one they, and their licensed pushers, have created; the market of opioid drug abusers.

Think about that! Pharma's purely profit-driven marketing research has identified a huge market in opioid drug abusers for its next generation blockbuster drug sales. That's a tragic indicator of the scale of the opioid epidemic in America!

Our recent shift in perspective, from viewing addiction as a crime to a disease, has already created yet another potential market and drug bonanza for Pharma.

Coincidentally, or not, the next series of Super Bowl ads had one about diarrhea. Should we infer that, perhaps, opiates might help?

Peter D. May, North Adams


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