Monday, January 22, 2007

Does This Water Taste Like Crestor?

Americans are throwing away so many medication that traces of common prescription drugs have been found in 80 percent of the nation's streams.

This is different than the beef problem. Steers and cows are given antibiotics and hormones, we eat and drink, and the drugs end up in the effluent water. Since we're loaded with systems to digest and detoxify everything we eat, and what's left over goes through a tertiary treatment plant and chlorination, it's hard to believe many drugs get into the water this way.

The way prescriptions end up in streams and rivers is by flushing them down the toilet.

AARP recommends that instead of dumping meds into the bowl, render them unusable and put them in the trash.

But why are Americans discarding so much medicine, and particularly, prescription drugs?

People who still pay taxes are giving pharmaceutical and insurance companies money to give them the opportunity to join incomprehensible prescription drug plans. And then they dump the drugs in the toilet?

By this time all of us should know that unless the doctor says otherwise, we are supposed to finish all prescriptions. No one should have a stockpile of outdated capsules and pills.

Perhaps we stock up on aspirin, ibuprofen and cold medicines and then discover that some of the drugs expired before they were used. That's wasteful, but OTC drugs are comparatively cheap.
Not so the prescriptions. Some cost hundreds of dollars.

Not to sound paranoid, but if consumers aren't throwing away perfectly good drugs, who would be? The only beneficiaries of reducing supplies of drugs would be the manufacturers.

But that's goofy. Isn't it?

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