Two people are in need of more money. One has a few hundred dollars to invest, the other has a few million. Both men decide to start manufacturing products that are in very high demand.
The man with a few million to invest opens up a factory and hires a few people to run it. He pays a lobbyist to go to Washington and get in good with the lawmakers, buys the FDA inspector a Ferrari and spends a few hundred thousand on a marketing team that uses any and all means to sell his product. He does well.
The man with a few hundred dollars doesn't have the same resources. He buys raw materials direct from overseas and does the actual manufacturing in his basement. He sells his product directly to the consumer without spending a dollar on lobbying, FDA bribes or marketing. His product is so good, it seems to sell itself. This man also does well.
The first man made Acetylsalicylic Acid. The second man made methamphetamine. Both drugs have the potential to do much good, but also much harm. It all depends on how they are used, and who is using them. Now the question is, which man is more deserving of his profits?
The first man is a pharmaceutical corporation. The second is your average drug dealer. The US government seems to think the first man is more deserving than the second. I am interested to know why.
"Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone." (Singh Gurkirpal, MD, “Recent Considerations in Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Gastropathy”, The American Journal of Medicine, July 27, 1998, p. 31S)
Did you get that? 107,000 people a YEAR are hospitalized because of acetylsalicylic acid and drugs like it. Alcohol and tobacco cause well over half a million deaths a year. Adverse side effects of prescription drug use cause 32,000 deaths a year. Do you know how many deaths are caused by methamphetamine in a year? Less than a thousand (http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/Treatan/treana13.htm).
Now you tell me who is more deserving of their profits.
NanceMuse says "At the risk of being contrary: that's a very old study, from 1998 - a great deal has been learned about how to control the gastro side effects of NSAIDs, particularly avoiding them when consuming alcohol. Consideration must also be given to how many times NSAIDs prevent death by reducing fever, and the percentage of deaths for each substance (more people take NSAIDs that meth, I suspect, but I can't prove that.)"
Though this is true, you're still missing the point I'm trying to make. I'm not saying meth is less toxic than aspirin, I'm simply asking if it makes sense to allow pharmaceutical companies to do the same thing street drug dealers aren't allowed to do: manufacture and sell a product that people want.