send-in-the-clownsIn The Tiimes last October, they reported on the plight of tranquiliser addicts. Yesterday, the 16th January, the headline appeared “GP’s warned to steer clear of the tranquiliser trap”. Almost 18 million prescriptions are written every year for Benzodiazepines and for Z drugs, a group of tranquilisers known to have similar long-term effects as Valium.
They reported that despite explicit guidelines from NICE – the healthcare regulator, that Benzodiazepines should be used for no more than 4 weeks. It is however, believed that as many as 1million men and women use the medication regularly.

A spokesman for All Party Parliamentary group on Involuntary Tranquiliser Addiction said “The Department of Health is still providing no treatment for this illness which it created. Leaving “Benzo” addicts to rely on services designed for users of illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

In the business section, Deputy Business Editor Andrew Clark reported on AstraZeneca who employ 7,500 people in Britain. AstraZeneca’s global workforce has fallen 10,000 to 57,200 over the past 4 years and new drugs for arthritis, depression and infant lung disease have failed in clinical trials. Apparently, government ministers are concerned about the company’s plight. David Willetts, the Science Minister, recently intervened to try and encourage the NHS Trust to adopt “Brilique” a new AstraZeneca drug for heart attack sufferers. AstraZeneca’s plight in common with all pharmaceutical companies, is that they are now being scrutinised more independently revealing previously hidden side effects and exaggerated benefits, meaning fewer drugs make it to market due to failing trials.

The problem for governments is that Big Pharma as a major employer and tax provider, is too big to fail. Also of course, the medical profession relies totally on their products, it is rare for a doctor to suggest anything other than a drug of some type or another, despite not fully understanding the possible risks from side effects due to the under-reporting of ADR (adverse drug reactions) hidden in the majority of drug trials. If alternative healthcare was also free at the time of use, the pressure on Doctors would in all likelihood rapidly diminish, allergies in particular and several other supposed untreatable diseases would become far less of a problem, potentially saving the NHS millions of pounds each year. Not of course a popular idea with Big Pharma!

In reference to the title of this blog, the joke is on us.

Originally posted 2013-01-27 18:13:20.

One Thought on “Send In The Clowns

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