Of Snake Oil and Nostrums

Perhaps its just a demographic of the TV channels I watch, but pitches for medicines or near medicines appear frequently (yikes!!).  One of which was for a new diabetes medication, call Vitoza.

From the pitch, one would think this medicine is for diabetics like myself, the answer to many things as it only taken once a day and not necessarily with meals compared to the twice a day with meals medication I take to keep blood sugar under control.  True there is a downside, that this is not an oral medication, but hey.

So on a visit to my doctor I ask if I am a candidate for this medication.  Well, no I am told as one, the hyped medication, Vitoza he said, is not a first line medication for controlling diabetes (of which there is no mention of in the TV ads).  Second,  I don’t need he said, a second line medication like Vitoza as what I am taking –along with diet-  is going a good job now of keeping my blood sugar in a good healthy range.  Third and most importantly, his advice was one should not be the first to take new drug/medicine or the last.  Despite all the due diligence and vetting before a drug (or any other product) is mass marketed, the unexpected can and does happen in the field, thus with this new drug, in my case wait and see is better.

But this also speaks to how not far the marketing of medicine has come since the late 1800’s (when cocaine for example was put into teething medicine I believe (there was also a good article I read on the subject called, Grandma was a Junkie)) in that there is still bit of misinformation and its up to the individual to be diligent and to ask questions.

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