Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm Back! Article in NY Times re Menopause and Drugs

I got back from Kenya last week and I'm happy to say that things went very smoothly. And I didn't get sick! The project turned out to be rather different than I had anticipated, but I had been told by people who had done development work in Africa that I should not have fixed expectations, and that turned out to be very good advice.  As I anticipated, there wasn't much internet access, so I was unable to post from there. I do of course want to tell you about the trip, and I will, but I haven't even uploaded photos to my computer yet. In fact I haven't finished unpacking yet! I just wanted to check in, and also draw your attention to an article in the New York times regarding the pharmaceutical "treatment" of menopause.

I'm not sure what prompted this article, as it's not linked to a specific topical event. Rather, it presents an overview of the pharmaceutical industry's cashing in on menopause, and how recently the tide has turned against the drug companies as women are winning big suits for damages caused by these drugs. Of course no amount of damages will bring back the tens of thousands of women who have died from endometrial and breast cancer as a result of these drugs, but it's good to see that the judicial system is holding the drug companies accountable. Ultimately, they will only listen to their bottom line. If women stop buying the drugs, and if the lawsuits make these drugs unprofitable, they will turn their attention elsewhere, and find some other condition to pathologize and exploit.

Like premature ejaculation. (The illustration alone is worth clicking on the link.) Good lord! I love the quote from Lenore Tiefer, my colleague from The New View Campaign: “Rapid ejaculation as opposed to slow ejaculation is common, but there is slow and fast everything in the world: slow and fast walkers, slow and fast eaters, slow and fast breathers,” said Dr. Tiefer, who is a psychologist specializing in sexual problems. “When you tell someone they are a fast ejaculator, it makes it sound like there is a right time to ejaculate and, if you ejaculate before, it’s a medical problem.”

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