This poem is spillover from the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "brand new" square on my 9-29-14 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.
Every time Big Pharma
releases a brand new drug,
doctors and patients rush
to try it out, hoping that
it will be the magic bullet,
the golden arrow,
the holy grail.
What they often find instead
is that it's just another pill,
borne out of science rather than
snake oil or witches' brew,
but still falling far short of
the promises made by its peddlers.
Reading the fine print reveals
that the side effects are often
worse than the original complaint.
This is the mad science
of the modern health industry --
always brewing and bubbling away
in an attempt to make the next
NEW! IMPROVED! thing --
and losing sight of the fact that
health isn't really something
that can be put into pellet form.
* * *
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
-- Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
Big Pharma is a nickname for the commercial drug industry. While it has produced some definite benefits, there are also cases in which the medications given for a mental or physical condition have a worse effect on everyday life than the original condition did. Medication should produce a net gain in health or it is counterproductive. Many problems stem from an unhealthy lifestyle -- not being permitted to get enough sleep, relaxation, skin contact, nourishing food, etc. -- and so people turn to drugs for relief from the symptoms.