For the first half of the last century the Tobacco Industry pretty much had a clear run of things, and what a fantastic business model it was. Tobacco is relatively cheap to produce; it grows in the ground.
It requires very little processing to turn it into a product that is highly addictive; ensuring once a person is hooked they will buy the product for the rest of their somewhat shortened life.
There was a time when doctors would recommend their patients smoke; it calms the nerves, menthol cigarettes help congestion, etc., etc. Even Tour de France riders smoked at one time, they were told it helped open up the lungs. (Picture top.)
Through the Great Depression of the 1930s the Tobacco Industry did just fine; people had to have their cigarettes, they were addicted. I’m sure in many cases cigarettes came before food.
Everything began to change in the mid 1950s when the medical profession linked smoking with lung cancer and other ailments. Since that time the Tobacco Industry has declined very slowly; it is still the same fantastic business model it always was, just not on the same scale.
So what replaced the Tobacco Companies as industry giants? The Pharmaceutical Industry; the Drug Companies. The Drug Company’s business model has so many similarities to that of the Tobacco Industry.
Drug Companies tell us they spend billions on research, but once a new drug is approved it costs pennies to produce and the sky is the limit for what they can charge for it. One tiny pill can sell for more than the cost of a whole carton of cigarettes.
Pharmaceutical Companies do not cure diseases; there is no profit in curing things. They produce drugs that control symptoms. Like the tobacco companies before them, this ensures the consumer has to buy the product for the rest of their life.
Just as some will go without food to pay for cigarettes; some elderly people have to choose between food and medication.
It was the medical profession that brought down the tobacco industry, the drug companies will not make that mistake; they have the medical profession onboard as part of their plan.
I feel doctors and hospitals should be allowed to make a fair return for the service they provide. But it seems morally wrong to me that people’s health should be run as a multi-billion dollar industry. We have the medical profession, the drug companies, and now the insurance companies all taking their slice of the pie.
For fifty or more years people were told smoking cigarettes was a good thing; now we know different. Will it be another fifty years before someone tells us our whole health care system is wrong. I can’t wait that long; so I am doing my best to opt out now.
I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s when everyone smoked tobacco; I chose not to. Today I choose not to pay these ridiculous prices for a medication that will not cure me, and can possibly harm me.
My health plan is simple… To avoid getting sick if I possibly can. I am doing this by exercising (Riding my bike regularly.) and eating a healthy diet.
The other part of my plan is to avoid taking any medication as long as possible; preferably never. When a medication is advertised on TV, the long list of side effects they read off as a disclaimer leaves me wondering if the cure is not more deadly than the ailment.
This is not advice; I do not have any qualifications to give advice. It is simply an opinion; feel free to weigh in with yours.