A Bombardment of New Drugs


I have written other commentaries about my alarm concerning the number of new pharmaceutical drugs flooding the market and their prevalence on television as commercials every few minutes. The FDA approves a staggering number of new medications almost daily as we Americans are lulled dreamily into accepting a blur of new names which no one can possibly remember.  We are so accustomed to hearing about new ones in a quiet parade of silly names that we hardly blink an eye during the hundreds of new commercials that quietly slip into our collective subconscious mind.

Happy Older Couple in Beach Chairs

There is usually some kind of harmless, lilting music in the background humming happily along as the characters, often elderly folks in euphoric family locale with their grandchildren, demonstrating an almost impossible ideal of the perfect life, filled with laughter, and bucolic scenes as those folks smile through the list of terrifying side-effects that accompany most or all of these drugs, side-effects that are often much worse than the original ailment itself.

drug meeting 1

I’ve compiled a list of the names of the new drugs that I find most amusing in terms of the effort it must have taken to create those names. I picture late night meetings by physicians, ad men and women, legal teams, and empty gin bottles littering the office floor at two in the morning, when everyone really wants just to go home as a chorus of “Yeah, that sounds good” resounds as a name is finally accepted. Here is a brief list of ones with the ailments they are supposed to alleviate and that, for one reason or another, made me smile in imagining the awful struggle to keep up with finding labels for the deluge of new pharmaceuticals overwhelming us Americans.

business meeting late


Brilinta………blood thinner

Eliquis……….blood thinner

Dulera………..depression, pain, asthma



Jublia…………toenail fungus

Latuda………..antipsychotic        This is my favorite and brings a vision of a little girl with a saucy attitude :     Latuda


Myrbetrig……overactive bladder


Spiriva………..bronchospasm (bronchial issue or something in a corral?)

Vaniqua………hair removal

Zostavax……..Shingles preventative


Imagine trying to keep up with creating a fresh supply of names. No wonder the names are getting sillier and sillier as they submerge our ability even to process the number of them as they appear with astonishing frequency (almost every seven minutes), especially on evening television programs. Even more disturbing is the almost cavalier way in which a disembodied voice near the end of each commercial lists the grisly side-effects, read with calm in a vision of flowers, laughing grandkids, and warm, fuzzy music. Either we are becoming joyfully numbed to the scary innuendo of such messages, or there is a gigantic amount of money being made in foisting off all these panaceas upon the American public. Now which of those two explanations do you, the reader, think is the more likely and more accurate?    John Bolinger

hammock couple

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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