Before the next election 1

Before the next election, some of us would like to see some discussion of the role of Big Pharma in the shaping of the National Health Service into its chaotic present form.
At the moment, the giants of capitalist medicine are supported by the left, both hard and gentle, in agreement that some more billions are clearly the way forward.
The left want to give all sick people any help, comfort or hope, that is possible, bless ’em.
Big Pharma wants to consolidate its position as the dictatorship behind the scene of angels, saints and the unfortunate: experimenting on us all and exporting to the world on the basis of findings authenticated with research it has paid for.
The suppliers of pills and medical technology have taken over. Most of us are rattling with pills which are supposed to stop us getting something more expensive. It is gradually dawning that a lot of the pill combinations make you feel old and weary, which will lead to the prescription of another slug in the cocktail unless you watch it. Some of us have heard tell of a doctor who used to prescribe Ramipril all round until he tried it himself, to mention one.
The best-paid salesmen on the road are pharmaceuticals reps. Universities run on pharmaceuticals research and development. Pharmaceuticals are one of our biggest export earners and one government after another has declared itself modern by swallowing the industry’s expensive pr about earnings from abroad, savings on health care, direct employment, and possibilities for growth.
But it all comes at a cost. The NHS has turned from being an organisation designed to pick you up when you fall down to a vast dispensary of the latest wheezes of the industry. The costs of it are always going up and arguably the costs of it have not yet been fully evaluated. A lot of the paperwork, and the IT systems, are about recording prescriptions, blood tests, and further prescriptions.
And when you are ready to die, the nurse who once would have tiptoed to your bedside with a cold flannel and a nice cup of tea will wake you up for an injection or a drip every 20 minutes so the doctor cannot be accused of not doing all that science can do.
In this position, The Shed is less enthusiastic than it ought to be about the proposal to give mental illness equal status.
The NHS can barely chew what it has bitten off as it is. Imagine it with another moving target, trying to separate the ill from those who simply want a chat or a sick note. It will fail, but not before selling another million pills for the bosses.
The Shed’s proposal is that the NHS should have a basic toolkit of medicines for relieving pain and mending wounds but anything else, apart from care and kindness, should be a matter for private insurance or charitable assistance.
All for now.

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