One of the most notorious drugs in society today, a drug that some would call “the drug of all drugs”. Heroin, an opioid drug that has cost the lives of so many. An addiction to heroin is one of the most difficult to treat. The recovery rate is not impressive. But, was this drug always deemed as dangerous as it is today? Were there medical uses for heroin years ago? Oddly, that appears the exactly the case. A surprising finding shows that in 1898, a German chemical company did exactly that. In the early nineteenth century, using chemically based medications was something very new to the world of medicine. Research would suggest that one of the biggest drug companies in the world actually promoted the use of this drug in children. (1) Bayer was widely known for promoting heroin for the use of cough’s and bronchitis in children. It was one of the biggest campaigns (1898-1912) that Bayer launched to this day. Pictures showing parents giving their children spoonfuls of heroin were splashed all over the newspapers. How could this be? It was an actual push for parents to treat their children’s ailments with such an addictive opioid medication. Where was the research of the potential for the possibility of habit forming behavior? In November of 1898, a chemist from Bayer presented the drug as more effective than morphine for pain with only one tenth of the toxic side effects. They also claimed it was “safe and non-habit forming”. It became the “wonder drug” of that time. Free samples were given out both in doctors’ offices and through the mail. People with pneumonia and tuberculosis believed this drug was “god sent”. The company made heroin lozenges, heroin salt and other easy to use forms of the powerful and addictive medication.
Browsing big pharma
Is it true that the drugs produced by American pharmaceutical companies have fostered a foreign, often illegal, drug counterfeit business and substandard or counterfeit drugs? Can such a global epidemic that involves over 124 countries be placed on the doorstep of Big Pharma? While the North American and European pharmaceutical sales make up “two-thirds of the entire world sales of pharmaceuticals”, it’s noteworthy that only one-fourth of falsified drug sales are made to citizens of these two continents. (1) This reflects that the other three-fourth of sales are to other countries. Unfortunately, the counterfeit drugs are far inferior and often are nothing more than a placebo. Economics is the leading reason people turn to unregulated pharmaceutical markets. The other is an act of desperation to find a silver bullet cure for diseases conventional medicine cannot cure. Unregulated markets are just as life-threatening as many diseases. An inside look at these counterfeit drug seller inventories reveals volumes of loose pills and broken-up packs of medications that are easily misidentified. Beyond these significant reasons why people should avoid such markets, potential customers should consider that non-regulation means that not only are the manufacturing practices up for grabs, there is no guarantee of proper handling and storing of the drugs. In fact, these factors could make the drugs either no longer viable or worse, dangerous to take.
With the growing concern about the number of people becoming physically addicted to narcotic painkillers, the idea of pharmaceutical companies making a profit off of your addictions has got some people demanding answers. Just recently, Mainecare, a public medical insurance, has started setting limits on when, who and how frequently medical doctors are allowed to prescribe these medications to their patients. It will now be implemented that no one will receive more than a 15-day supply per year unless a prior approval is granted. Bravo! The cost of drug rehabilitation, missed work days, emergency room visits, and the burden on the legal system that comes along with opioid addiction has made people demand answers.