Not another post about the Ice bucket challenge?

It’s everywhere. Everyone is doing it. Nobody can escape a drenching from the mighty ice bucket.

It’s all a bit of fun! We’re raising money for charity! There’s no harm in it!

Except now we’re starting to see groups of people posting what they believe are valid reasons for not doing the ice bucket challenge. Frankly, I’m not that concerned if you do it or not. But what does annoy me is when you claim the evil pharmaceutical companies are the reason why nobody should be doing it or donating to ALS/MDA/Macmillan or A.N Other charity.

So let me ask you this. If you were diagnosed with breast cancer/muscular dystrophy/multiple sclerosis/any chronic and potentially life threatening disease tomorrow, what would you want your treatment schedule to contain? What would you want your consultant to say to you?

“There’s this amazing, kick ass drug that’s been in development for over 10 years, it will probably make your hair fall out/give you horrific mouth ulcers/make you feel incredibly ill but it has been proven to save lives or at the very least extend life. Thousands of patients have taken it all over the world. We know how it works and what doses deliver the optimum results. We know exactly what nasty side effects to expect and we know what to do when things start to go a bit wrong. Billions of dollars have been spent on it so far and it was originally discovered by Cancer Research. But they pay their top executives pretty hefty salaries and are in cahoots with Big Pharma, who now own all the intellectual rights on that drug and are trying to convince the government to pour even more money into drug research…so why don’t you go home with this jar of coconut oil instead and see how you get on? Eat lots of kale and spinach too.”

Yes, charities pay their staff salaries. Good salaries to ensure they do a good job. Yes, there are lots of health benefits to be found in a jar of coconut oil (I love the stuff). But if coconut oil (or any other natural product) was the answer to all of our health ills, could cure cancer and reverse disability in multiple sclerosis, I’m pretty sure an evil pharma company would have found a way to patent the life out of the stuff by now. Pharma companies may be big. But they are also clever and the drugs they sell save lives.

And yes, I did throw a bucket of water over my head before I wrote this.Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 10.14.33

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