In our Western society the use of medication in the treatment of disease is often priority while alternatives or complimentary treatment are deemed as less important. Our culture believes that all medical issues can be resolved with a pill even without an understanding of what a drug is or how it functions.
People take vitamins to supplement their diet and sustain health, they take diet pills to maintain their looks and subsequent well-being, and they even abuse medication to maintain focus and work longer. The use of medication is so ingrained in our culture that when problems arise a pill is often the quick fix a person seeks out first.
I chose diabetes as the topic for my post because with recent advances a type II diabetic can take oral medication to supplement or assist insulin as treatment. These oral medications are widespread because it puts less pressure on a person to make positive lifestyle changes by increasing insulin sensitivity without altering diet and exercise.
For example, on this website for the medication, Januvia, diabetics are depicted in the role of hardworking individuals who do not have time to make changes in their life. Medical information, aside from side effects, are hidden beneath pictures of smiling people and testimonies of happiness with the medication. This advertising strategy in the United States is very common.
Instead of focusing on the benefits and functions of a medication we focus on happiness and the human element. The doctor-patient interaction is minimized aside from reporting pre-existing conditions and asking about side effects. Instead of hearing facts and figures, many people would rather see a gleaming testimony of how easy and life changing a medication is which makes sense given the western mentality of instant gratification.
YouTube. “Januvia Diabetes Drug “Lovely Day” Commercial” Accessed June 19, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEkPpOFwdBo