Wednesday, June 09, 2010

If we said No to Drugs…


A strange thought crossed my mind as my conversing with one of my friends this afternoon. We were talking about the necessity of surgery etc. in certain cases and it struck me that if a doctor can actually cure a patient by also suggesting alternative therapy such as exercise and meditation, then that doctor stands to lose a lot of revenue which he/she might have otherwise obtained had the patient been forced to undergo the complicated (and obviously expensive) surgery.

Now I obviously have nothing against doctors. They are doing a good job no doubt. But this trail of thought makes me wonder that all the things that they do with money (buying food, clothes, Merc S-class, second homes in Alibagh etc.) are actually a result of somebody being in pain or distress. What if there were no diseases at all? No injuries, no lifestyle symptoms, no cancer, no tumours, no infections, no allergies, nothing at all? The only reason why people would come to hospitals would probably be for child-birth and nothing else.

It is way too far-fetched, I agree. But for a moment, hypothetically of course, what if it would really happen one day?

What would be the economic impact of this utopian human condition?

- No medical colleges (and their obscene donations), no more struggles for those coveted degrees from Harvard Med and other Ivy League institutions, no research papers on obscure infections of obscure body parts, no symposiums and no seminars in huge hotel ballrooms.

- No Pharmaceutical companies, no Big Pharma and their autocratic misdeeds in the underdeveloped nations, no clash for marketing rights of generics, no patent laws, no million dollar legal fees, no billion dollar blockbusters, no billion dollar investments in NCEs, no clinical trials, no contract manufacturing, no medical representatives, no pharmaceutical supply chains, and the various software packages to manage them.

- No hospital chains, no major healthcare facilities, no pathology labs, no ultrasound, no MRI, no X-ray, no blood tests

- And of course, no Rx, no OTC, no syringes, and no drugs.


Unbelievable? The thought itself is so unlike anything you would have ever surmised. I guess saying no to drugs ain’t so easy after all…


Anand Singh said...

Dear Sharad,
While it is certainly utopian to envisage a human society without drugs and doctors, it is very well possible to build a society where the fundamental social needs like health care,education,housing etc are not a commodity to be transacted in the market, accessible only to those having the requisite purchasing power. The basic problem... See More with the era of Capitalism in which we are living is that it is not human centric but profit centric. So we are faced with a paradoxical situation in which medical science has progresed so much that it is possible to cure almost all the known diseases (except for a few) and yet numerous people are dying due to the minor diseases like dengue,cholera,malaria,typhoid etc simply because they dont have the economic power to purchase the commodity called the health care. You have rightly written about the human distress being encashed by doctors, but it is not surprising as it is the hallmark of the capitalist system to commodify every conceivable object or feeling - water,forests,land,air,children,women, love,happiness,grief,insecurity,tension etc - everything gets commodified and encashed and in the process the society gets divided into two hostile camps with handful of haves having control over the production system and majority of have nots who are nothing more than wage slaves. So instead of saying no to drugs,doctors and medical research, it is important to say no to a profit seeking,blood sucking,bone squeezing,nature damaging,anti-people capitalist system and think about the alternative ways to manage human society. While it might take time and human sacrifices to build an alternative society, the optimistic part is that like all the previous socio economic systems - triabalism,slavery and feaudalism, capitalism is also transitory and not eternal and it has to give way to a just and human centric society.

Anonymous said...

Utopia is inside you, at this moment.

Still searching outside !!!