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National Medication

thoughts & comment — 21 May 2009

UK EPIDEMIOLOGIST, Professor Malcolm Law, has recently advocated that everyone aged 55 and over should be taking blood pressure lowering drugs. This goes some way to supporting the idea that over a certain age everyone should take a "polypill" which would contain a statin for lowering cholesterol as well as a blood pressure treatment.

Whilst it isn't clear whether Malcolm Law directly or indirectly receives any financial advantage for acting like a super-sales rep for the pharmaceutical industry, his statements are irresponsible considering the dangerous side-effects of blood pressure medication.

Why not promote a natural healthy lifestyle (including dietary changes and exercise) for reducing blood pressure? Apart from the fact that little money can be made from promoting healthy habits, lifestyle changes are also things that people do by their own volition rather than allowing themselves to be controlled by a doctor. It therefore weakens the medical profession's, orthodox medicine's and therefore the pharmaceutical sector's control on the general population (their customers).

What would be more worrying is if taking a polypill ever became mandatory — for "our own good" of course. Perhaps health insurance companies would charge a premium for those who opt not to take it, because in their eyes they are more likely to have to pay out more. Or perhaps doctors will refuse to see "time wasters" who are not on these pills and yet are suffering high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Although a small percentage of people do reap benefits from such medication, what is the long-term effect of this sort of medication on those who do not need them? No doubt greater and greater dependency upon ever more chemicals, and then more chemicals to counteract the side-effects of the original chemicals and so on, in a downward toxic spiral that drives escalating pharmaceutical profits.