See, now this is the kind of thing I’ve been talking about: today’s headlines regarding medicine and health care are often so stupid, so incomprehensibly ridiculous, that it’s getting tough to tell whether or not I’m being had by well-crafted parody.
Take for instance, the opioid “CRISIS.” Apart from inviting state officials to further meddle in practices that were not problematic to begin with, the fashionable hysteria leads to all sorts of dumb spinoffs. “Albertsons Companies is offering customers an easy at-home opioid disposal option at nearly 1,800 pharmacy counters across the country.”
Is this wonderful service free? No, there is a nominal $1.20 charge per packet of a “proprietary powder” mixed with water in the pill vial to render the threatening opioids harmless, a service so comforting and anxiety alleviating that the user should offer to pay triple for the sheer piece of mind doubtless to wash over him. With admirable self-effacing modesty, Albertsons says their magical powder is “effective, eco-friendly.”
Sceptics and scoffs will suggest that the kindly supermarket chain is merely trying to deflect any future legal concerns attached to their pharmacies as collateral damage from this “CRISIS,” but that would be unworthy of so noble an effort from a corporation which at any rate has no known ties to Chinese fentanyl distribution. Certainly counters will sport posters and staff will offer friendly reminders to arthritic seniors, attempting to guilt them, or their families, for their own good into turning these medications threatening to unravel the last shreds of our civic unity. “As it stands, more than 1,700 Albertsonspharmacies have pharmacists trained to administer naloxone, which is a medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. In addition, 4,500 of its pharmacists are trained to counsel patients on the benefits, availability and eligibility of naloxone therapy.” Yes, heroes come in all sizes and shapes of white coats.
“’In less than a minute, patients can prevent their leftover opioids from being diverted in their communities, prevent accidental poisonings in the home, and avoid polluting the water supply,’ said Mark Panzer, senior vice president of Pharmacy Health and Wellness of Albertsons Companies.”
One can expect this noble effort to be just as effective in decreasing opioid deaths as various gun buyback programs have been at reducing shooting deaths.
Of course, the miscreant opioid gobblers so threatening to their communities could simply flush their pills. But where’s the virtue in that?