The recent movie “Side Effects,” starring Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum, explores the controversial aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. The writer, Scott Burns, based his script around research that he conducted specifically into anti-depressants. Burns was inspired by the seemingly countless number of news reports that indicate that taking anti-depressants can cause people to commit horrible acts, including kidnapping and murder. The movie does a good job of showcasing what can happen if someone takes the wrong medication, and it also provides a good springboard for discussing the need for pharmaceutical reform.
The commercials that you see on television every day that tout the positive benefits of taking new prescription medications are only legal in two industrialized countries: the U.S. and New Zealand. The reason for this is that prescription drug abuse is a very real problem, and these advertisements can cause people to seek out medication that they do not actually need.
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