Merck of the Devil

By Bill Maher

 Americans are so dosed out on prescription drugs we should change that motto on our currency from “E Pluribus Unum” to “Push Down and Turn.” A study from the Mayo Clinic reveals seven out of every ten Americans are currently on at least one prescription medication and one out of every five of us is currently on at least five prescription drugs.

That’s up from 44 percent in 2000 and 48 percent in 2008. It used to be, “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.” Now it’s, “Take two Abilify, a Lipitor, three Vicodin, two Allegra, a Plavix, a Spiriva, the testosterone patch, three puffs from your inhaler and an Entocort enema and leave a message with my service.”

It’s a huge industry. Americans currently spend over a quarter of a trillion dollars every year on prescription medicines. One sign you’ve bought into America’s pill culture – if you have a walk-in medicine cabinet.  

The three most commonly prescribed drugs? Antibiotics, antidepressants and painkillers. That’s America in a snapshot: infected, sad, in pain and standing in line at Walgreen’s.

And that’s another thing. If we’re all on prescription medications anyway, why can’t that woman working the counter at Rite Aid take something to improve her attitude?

The fact is one in four women between the ages of 50 and 64 are currently on antidepressants. And 50 makes sense. That’s around the age a wife says, “Oh God, here he comes at me with that thing again.” And the only reason he can come at you with “that thing” is that he’s taken a pill to make his dick hard.

Have we really gotten that much sicker? Or have we become convinced by a greedy, for-profit healthcare industry that there is no reason to ever feel bad or blue or uncomfortable because there’s always a pill available at a modest co-pay?