This last point raises more questions than it answers. As Canada's population is one-tenth that of ours, one might well ask why sales there were so relatively high. Clearly, something stealthy and insidious is going on, something that merits a full-fledged journalistic inquiry from somewhere. Among the questions that need answering:
- What conditions allow $5 billion dollars of sales of a drug with limited proof of benefit?
- What is the full extent of the Merck/Schering-Plough marketing strategy?
- How are doctors complicit?
- To what extent to state and federal regulations permit this? (Too often, the real scandal is what's legal.)
- How could the government have legally interposed itself and why didn't it, or why didn't whatever efforts it took have more impact?
- What other Vytorins and Zetias are out there?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing over 1,200 Americans every day. Think of it this way: Every 2.5 days, heart disease kills as many of us as died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. This is a serious matter deserving of a sturdier inquiry than "Gee, how did they get away with dragging their feet on releasing the results of the study." Don't get me wrong: That's a great question, but it's only the first of what should be many. This is a great example of where the press must assume some public responsibility, because you can bet that no one else will...
One sad day, 87-year old Helen Thomas will no longer be with us. Until then, may she write many more columns as good as this one, which wonders why the people of the United States have no say in whether we continue the blundering in Iraq...
David Horsey, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, writes a nuanced and thoughtful blog entry about Bruce Springsteen and Friday night's show here. A whole bunch of stupid comments follow, as well as at least one nuanced and thoughtful defense...
Remember the back page fold-ins in MAD magazine? Then you won't want to miss this opportunity to revisit them. Enjoy!