Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I want to be a Pharmaceutical Researcher!


Actually, I don't.

I was trying to play off those books my parents had me read ("I want to be a Doctor!" "I want to be a Farmer" "I want to be a Shameless Tool!") but I realize that today my wit falls flat. (How sad.)

But! But! All of this has a point. I'm taking a course in Medicinal Organic Chemistry right now (Dubbed MedChem by my professor, whom I will call Bill) so I'm obviously considering a future in MedChem. What does that mean (I mean specifically, jobwise)?

It means that I have three choices.

1) I could work for Academia and compete for the ever-shrinking pool of tenure track positions (a rant for another time, I assure you).

2) I could work for Non-Profit Pharmaceutical (Such as OneWorld Health.

3) I could work for Big Pharma and be a Tool Of Evil (T.O.E.). (Bear with me on this.)

And, well, that's only if I want to go into MedChem.

By now you're probably thinking, "But what does Ion's uncertain future have to do with me?!"

Says you!

Aha! (says I) It has tons to do with you. My future livlihood depends on your suffering. Now, if I worked for OneWorld, it would have to be creative suffering as right now they only treat Visceral Leishmaniasis, Diarrhea, Malaria, and Chagas Disease. But if I work for Big Pharma...well...

You could be depressed...


You could have wicked Acid Reflux...

[Take that Purple Pill!]

Or even PMDD.

Say what now?

What is PMDD (I bet you're curious!)?!

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can interfere with a woman’s relationships and her ability to get through the day. It is the severity and consistency of a combination of emotional and physical symptoms that determine whether a woman has PMS or PMDD. With PMDD, the mood swings, irritability, anxiety, tension, hopelessness and sadness can all be extreme and overwhelming. Physically, a woman with PMDD may experience debilitating fatigue, insomnia, listlessness and problems like headache and/or increased sensitivity to pain that don’t respond to ordinary treatment. Symptoms of PMDD generally start 7 to 10 days before menstruation begins and disappear within a few days after the bleeding begins. Read the heck on...

Now hang on a minute! Acid Reflux is a real problem! Depression is a real problem! As a member of the menstruating crowd, I take some real offense to the notion that my monthly crankiness might be a disease and not just the damnhellass hormones. (And no it is not my time of the month!) In fact, it really seems to be The Patriarchy's newest method of female subjugation! But I begin to sound like a crazy.

Back to the point: I have pretty bad PMS (Ask Harper..). I PMS pretty hard every month. I get cranky and weepy and generally crazy. But you know what? My mom gets that way too. As do all women on occasion. It's a made up disease designed to sell pills to Americans (who in general love being emotionally defective...of at least be medicated for being so).

The Nation has a nice article about all of this as well.


Even if it is a real, life medical condition (like ADD --- trust me, I know someone with really severe's real...just not for every little problem child) I bet it has some root in all of the chemicals they sneak into out food/water/clothes/blankets/houses. I'm sorry, but potato chips should have less than tem ingredients...less than 5 even.


Blogger Cass said...

But but but -- wait a sec. I'm just damn pleased that at least someone's acknowledging that PMS (wicked bad or otherwise) could be something other than "silly emotional women blowing everything out of proportion." That's still a major problem in the medical field, and something that needs an entirely different rant.

For this... well, developing a pill and then making up some disease to fit the bill is, well, kind of bleh, but on the other hand... if I had seriously bad periods, I would take a look at what might be causing them. For instance, do I have PCOS? Can this pill treat PCOS (regardless of whether they think they're producing the pill for other purposes). One of the common treatments for PCOS is a glucophage meant to regulate diabetics; one of the other common treatments birth control pills, and I think we all know what regular use that's supposed to cover.

I think it's a mistake to wrap ourselves in dignity and 'fuck you's to the patriarchy for trying to find a reason why these pills work (and what they work for). If it works -- fuck it, it works. And at least they're not telling us to just "get over it, now, there's a good little woman."

9:24 PM

Anonymous Johnicholas said...

At the moment, there's a lot of prejudice against "lifestyle drugs".

For example, the pot-smoker who says "I like myself better on weed", or the academic overachiever who says "I get higher grades with Adderol", or a drug that controls Tourette's (which might sometimes be genetic, and might have evolutionary advantages - increased reflexes - in some enviroments).

However, Viagra and antidepressants have convinced industry that there's a lot of money in lifestyle drugs.

Making up of a fake "syndrome" that needs treating is reprehensible, but understandable. And (in my opinion) developing lifestyle drugs isn't morally bad.

12:41 PM


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