Pills, Puerto Rico, and Trump

Holding Pills In Hand In Front Of Puertorico National Flag

By Michaela Gates, Staff Writer

Due to the fact that most American pharmaceutical companies manufacture their drugs, mainly opioids, in Puerto Rico, the U.S. has had a shortage of OxyContin. Not only that, but Fentanyl has also been listed in short supply recently as well.

While I am sure some hospitals are upset by the shortages and some pharmacies having to deal with plenty of angry customers, this country has a terrible problem with opioids. Now more than ever we are seeing the effects of over-prescribing to a record level of overdoses we have each month. And I can’t say I am upset that for a few months the pills causing it will be in supply.

Not every heroin addict starts with doctor prescribed pills; however, a growing number do,.Nowadays one can break their arm and end up shooting heroin due to an addiction to opioid painkillers.

With the shortage, I am praying that the American medical practice will finally realize that not everyone that walks in the door with a pain needs a heavy prescription of pain-killers. As much as people wants to claim that our nation’s drug problem is caused by a lack of treatment; it is caused by  over-prescribing.

While there is a debate to be had about our drug laws, in all honesty, I feel like a large portion of the opiate problem we have exists because we continue to over-prescribe. If we weren’t letting these pills become so accessible, then this problem wouldn’t exist in the first place.

Even if we provided more treatment to people, we are simply putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. If we want to kill this problem at its root, it must be done by not letting doctors think they can just dole out pills like penny candy.

There is a serious pill epidemic in this country right now because it is lucrative for doctors to over-prescribe pills to patients. If the only thing keeping them from doing this is a shortage, then I really cannot say I am all that upset.

There is a flipside to this issue, while many people are being given these pills without need, many people do need them and now cannot get them.

This is just a giant example of how the Trump administration has botched the entire situation in Puerto Rico. Had Trump just sent the proper amount of aid to P.R. in the first place, then this wouldn’t be such an issue. However, he didn’t and now American hospitals and pharmacies alike are scrambling.

It is baffling to me how an entire administration has left a country, that at this point is almost a state, in such shambles that their factories cannot even produce pills that doctors use everyday. While I do not agree with how they are being used, I still want them available when necessary and the fact that they are not is due to our president being a jackass, which is just sad.

While in the U.S. we are worried about pills, people in P.R. are worried about getting their lights back on and how they are going to have money considering the factories they worked in where decimated by the storm. This might be a bit off topic but it needs to be said; in the U.S. we are discussing this issue related to pharmaceuticals because we have the privilege too.

In P.R., this is the least of their worries and I feel that our government needs to do something not only because we are facing pill shortages in our hospitals, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

Photo Courtesy: The People’s Pharmacy

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