Lifestyle Drugs

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"Do we need lifestyle drugs?" asks this BBC report.

"The drug industry has been accused of turning women's sexual problems into a disease.

"It is the latest stage in a battle between those who believe so-called lifestyle disorders such as obesity and baldness should be treated, and those who believe they should not be 'medicalised'.

"The debate is not over whether people experience these conditions.

"Instead, it is about how they should be defined, and whether they are diseases which can be treated with a pill."

If this is the debate, it's a dumb one. Drugs can have benefits beyond treating conditions labeled as "diseases." While fretting about pharmaceutical companies making money off of drugs that people want, like Viagra, the article seems to ignore the possibility that the person with the "so-called lifestyle disorder" might have something to say in all of this.

What's wrong with people deciding for themselves (in consultation with their doctors) whether they want to simply cope with these conditions, try dealing with them through lifestyle changes, or take drugs to address them?

NEXT: George Carlin Is Not a "BAD American"

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  1. Why even “in consultation with their doctors”? Doctors are just like any other walk of life: a few smart ones, a whole lot of average ones, and a few stupid ones.

  2. When it comes to insurance coverage this debate makes sense, but otherwise it is stupid.

  3. Clearly, over the last 50-or-so years, Americans have become entirely too STUPID to make informed decisions. I know I certainly have. I have to call a “do gooder” every time I think I might need to wipe my……well, you get the picture.

  4. Steve illustrates one of the internal thrashings that “libertarians” inflict on themselves: there is nothing unlibertarian about deferring some of your choices to someone else. What would be unlibertarian is being *forced* to defer your decisions or being forced to accept a certain “expert” as your decision maker. But libertarians get confused on this issue, and so appear to advocate something which is clearly impossible: that each individual be an *expert* on *everything*. People see that claim either explicitly or implicitly and they dismiss the speaker without hearing the rest of their libertarian message.

    Indeed, for example, I do not plan to run out and establish my own electrical testing shop; I’m pretty happy with the work that Underwriter’s Laboratory does. I also am pretty happy with the reviews that come out of Consumer Reports. I *choose* to use those “experts” in ways that I want to use them (i.e. I don’t blindly follow everything they say), because I choose to make the personal decision that their work is good enough given the time that it saves me.

    Instead of thrashing *against* using others’ expertise, we ought to be stressing how society can gain all the advantages and more of “expert advice” *without* having it forced upon us in the form of “government experts”. A thriving market in advice, reviews, and other “deferred decision making” is something I would expect and welcome in a more libertarian society.

  5. Andy, I agree totally. Our concern is that such advice will be encoded into law and become a national standard for all to follow or else. That’s all.

  6. Dr. Edward Henry Jordan -The Town of Kirkland Lake, Ontario..on the Mile of Shame
    – Northern Ontario – Northeastern Ontario

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