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Pill Poppers: Are Prescription Drugs Really Beneficial?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Appetite For a Change page.



Despite what the media preaches to you, your body has no intrinsic need for drugs. Over the course of a lifetime, the average person may be prescribed 14,000 pills (this doesn't even include over-the-counter meds), and by the time you reach your 70s you could be taking five or more pills every day, according to Pill Poppers, a documentary.

The featured film asks a poignant question that anyone taking medications should also, which is, are these pills really beneficial, or are they doing more harm than good?

Drug Discovery 'Owes as Much to Serendipity as to Science'

Pill Poppers takes you on a journey through some of the most popular drugs in the world, from the ADHD drug Ritalin to drugs for erectile dysfunction, depression, pain and contraception.

It starts out by taking you into a lab at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where 2 million chemical compounds are kept in a vault. Scientists know little about their effects; each could be lethal or lifesaving.

Through a process that could be described as finding a needle in a haystack, scientists methodically introduce a known disease molecule to each of the 2 million substances, one at a time, and assess whether anything happens.

If 'something' happens, further tests are then conducted to find out what and why. Literally hundreds of millions of such tests are conducted, and it takes about $1 billion and an estimated 15 years of work to reach the ultimate goal: a licensed drug.    


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