Pill Poppers

Pill Poppers

2010, Health  -   23 Comments
Ratings: 5.40/10 from 15 users.

Pill PoppersHow much is really known about the medicines we take, and can they be trusted to work?

Over a person's lifetime they are likely to be prescribed more than 14,000 pills. Antibiotics, cholesterol lowering tablets, anti-depressants, painkillers, even tablets to extend youth and improve performance in bed. These drugs perform minor miracles day after day, but how much is really known about them?

Drug discovery often owes as much to serendipity as to science, and that means much is learnt about how medicines work, or even what they do, when they're taken. By investigating some of the most popular pills people pop, Horizon asks, how much can they be trusted to do what they are supposed to?

Developing Drugs. The GSK pharmaceutical lab holds over 2 million nameless chemical compounds. These compounds could be toxic, or they could be a miracle cure; but how do the scientists find out?

The Effects of Drugs on the Healthy. Two people discuss the outcomes of the drug Ritalin, which is prescribed to patients with ADHD. One person actually has the condition, while the other doesn't; what will the results show?

The Success of Viagra. Research Fellow Chris Wayman talks about how one of the best-selling drugs of all time came to be. Some experts, however, are critical of the drug's marketing.

Contraception. Women worldwide use - and rely - on the contraceptive pill, although this wasn't their main purpose. Meanwhile, one scientist has discovered a male contraceptive pill.

Side-Effects. All drugs come with side-effects; however, the side-effects of some drugs proved fatal for a number of people taking them.

Addiction. For some, the drug solution has turned out to be the problem. One woman talks about her addiction to painkillers and the issues surrounding it.

Antibiotics. Antibiotics have been credited with increasing the lifespan of humans by nearly a decade. However, the body is becoming resistant to said drug, which could prove to be a big problem in the future.

Statin. A new drug, Statin, can aid an illness or disease even before someone is diagnosed, but it doesn't come without risks.

Choosing to Die. The Exit International group believe that they should choose when they die. They have even gone about trying to create a pill with the power to kill in a peaceful manner.

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23 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Scott

    I don't trust the BBC! This video seems to be an advert for big pharma. Filling yourself with chemical bullshit is wrong, there are always natural, healthy alternatives to introducing chemicals into your body.

  2. leigh

    Overweight woman playing fetch while sitting....get healthy and avoid almost all drugs. *^$$^^ the money-making drug companies. Take charge already!!!!!!

  3. SpookyCheese

    My little brother is severely ADHD. He told us he actually likes to take his medication because without it he feels out of control. And he is, he's 16 but without his medication he acts like a 2 year old. He even has tantrums where he throws himself across the floor. Once my dad (who works a 6 to 6 day and never sees him when he doesn't take the pills and doesn't know how he acts) threw his pills away in a fit of rage over his loss of apatite, and my brother freaked out saying he was going to lose control. Nevertheless, the 2 year old came out and he missed school for a week.

    On the other hand, the woman who choreographed the musical Cats, Gillian Lynne, had ADHD back before there was medicine for it. Her mother took her to the doctor, and after a while of talking he turned a radio on and left Gillian in the room alone. They watched through a window, and she got up and began to dance. The doctor said instantly, "She's not a student, she's a dancer." Her mother took her to a preforming arts school, where she obviously excelled. In today's world, however, she would have been given some medication and told to calm down.

    I think my perspective is rather unique because I see how my brother literally cannot function, but I also wonder how much potential we're drugging away. But really, I don't think anybody can fully condemn the drugging of children unless they see firsthand how some children like my brother are without it.

  4. Aaron van Schie

    I think mothers who choose to administer Ritalin to their children fight more for their own well being than for their young ones. Kind of the easy way out. Although I do not judge those who decide to do so, as our models of society virtually just requires them to keep a peaceful, "well behaved" child. Children are noisy and curious. In many different ways.

  5. Naia McCoy

    100's of millions of tests? (lies@!) OMG, they are pushing their ADHD medications on this vid...what a crock of crapola. I have seen kids who were administered these drugs. OMG...RITALIN>>SHEEZ< lady get real...change his diet. Most diseases are nutrition related...lack of important nutrients. Or, food allergies...sugar, gluten, msg,etc....wake up and smell the coffee...this VIDEO IS SELLING MORE PILLS...CORRUPT PIGS! They over medicate children and the elderly and it is a crime!

    1. LDale

      Hello, excuse me, have u personally ever had the pleasure of raising or being a part of a child's life whom has ADHD or ADD? I ask because you're thinking seems extremely critical and against the value of certain medications there are for the benefit of said child. I happen to have a son who has suffered from non attentive ADD and I also suffer from this along with other mental illnesses, in which dealing with every day issues is difficult at times. My son struggled in school not only accidemally but also socially. And I as a mother who loved child saw his pain and difficulties, had to do something. Of course I do not want my child doped up but the medication he is on does not effect him in such a manner, it works with his personal chemical compounds and not only did it help with his school work hes got many friends and genuinely happier than he was before.
      He nor I will be on medication for the rest of our lives, mine is only periodically taken. I just wanted to give you a different perspective on what medication can do. I wont be drawn into a debate over corporations nor marketing and money, just the effects of one med helping me and my child. And it definitely was not to make my life easier. My child was in mental distress before his life is better now. Thank you.

  6. Jo

    Being the lady in the documentary,dependent on codeine,I was thrilled to be asked to partcipate. I am aware of the effects of codeine, and agree it is almost as close as being dependent on Herion, 23 years on,after being prescribed heavy Dihydrocodeine from a Dr, I am fighting hard to beat the addiction, the withdrawals are horrendous, I hope this programme has saved just one family from that hell. Thankfully I have a first class GP now...Please help me to support others follow me @thesecretaddict on Twitter.

  7. thursday child

    That lady addicted to codiene is no different than a heroin addict. What she's describing is dopesickness. I bet she's got no idea how close the codine molecule is to the heroin molecule.

    Goes to show it's all in the name. Call it heroin and people run for thier lives, call it codine, and people go, "oh, it must be ok if it's from the doc."

    Same thing with methamphetimine, call it ritalin and it's all ok. We don't even know how the brain gets addicted to meth, and they prescribe it like candy. No wonder the whole world is addicted to it. Thanks alot Japan.

  8. Joe Manning

    As a writer I use modaf every once in awhile. I think it helps control the wooziness from the clonazepam, methadone, and norco I take. Cannabis also helps even it all out. One day I look forward to just using cannabis and maybe modafinil every once in awhile when I need to do heavy research. It's basically meth but without the extreme euphoria

    1. Chris Bird

      the weed is all we need (for everyday ailments)

    2. Naia McCoy

      Addictive personality? Yes, cannabis is habit forming!

  9. Guest

    One of the hardest thing for me is to be in contact with a person who is hypercondriac. My fault.
    I lived for years with a man who worked in the pharmaceutical industry, a supervisor of clinical trials, a subject we best stayed out of.
    What wouldn't we do for sex under the name of love!


  10. leonardobdas

    the documentary made it seem like the research itself is a total shot in the dark, which comprises of a machine making experiments with 2 million compouds automatically and the last round of human trial experiments being created from scratch (such as the viagra one shown).... based on that It seems to me that the conspiracy around drug companies... that they don't want to find cures on purpose.... is total BS... the truth is that they can't actually find any cures because it is just how shot in the dark trial and error drug research works.

    Of course there are many other ways to see it....such as the technology was created for that purpose to begin with... but I don't think so myself.

    1. Sentio

      It's incredibly short-sighted to trust one documentary, involving one Pharmaceutical company, to form an opinion on a subject that is so vast. Take a look at Psychiatry and psychotropic drugs. Many psychotropic drugs that are supposedly suppressing symptoms of mental "diseases" end up as medicines for things like bladder-infections. Also, the vast amount of side-effects which come paired with many of these drugs. Counterproductive, even, like depression, suicidal tendencies being some of the most profound ones. Just one of many indications of how little we actually know about them.

    2. leonardobdas

      which was exactly my point...... science knows very little.... by its very definition it is all about progression, the eternal experiment....

      and marketing is all about image.... and people love to be happyh and for that to happen they have to be lied to......at least in the US... cus otherwise they would never sell meds without using soft and euphemistic language....which most would call deceitful.

      for example where I come from it is almost impossible to get a prescription for xanax type painkillers..... because doctors were not sold on how safe they were by the companies as it is the case in the US.... in fact if u go to a doctor to get 1 pill and u are healthy the guy would laugh at ya.

      as far as the short sighted thing.... welll.... most companies work very similarly though... purchasing the same machines from the same companies to make their drugs...and of course using similar processes because there are only so many ways to research and make pills at one point in time... obviously. Marketing agencies are also shared by them because they use comglomerates that are only 3 or 4 in the whole world.

    3. Sentio

      @leonardobdas Yes, I agree that marketing is the most evil ingredient here. It's exactly this deception that is leading more and more people to medicating naturally occurring phenomena. I just wonder how long it will be until they invent something along the lines of anti-defecation pills.

      At the same time this makes people more demanding as they are under the assumption that medicating themselves for everything they can imagine is without repercussions. It all leads in the same direction, money. People are under the impression that having certain standards of living through wealth should naturally come with being less susceptible to nature. Ironically, chronically medicating oneself makes not only yourself, but your offspring more susceptible to disease due to lack of immunity.

      Marketing would not be nearly as effective if man would stop accepting lies

    4. Vee Bee

      the conspiracy that i've heard of is that they already have found the cures but they do not want to release them because they make so much money on all these drugs, why would they want to cure the diseases that are giving them the reason to create and dispense all the treatments for the sick people.

  11. Gary V

    Another superb doc by the BBC horizon team, it was great to be able to watch this doc again, very interesting stuff.
    The pharmaceutical companies will never find an outright cure for anything, simply because it does not make economic sense as a business to do so. It is more lucrative to just make something that helps to keep the symptoms under control but never to completely cure the disease. Once again it is all down to the root of all evil - the lust for money. These companies never have & never will be in business to make cures.

    1. Naia McCoy

      If you find this INTERESTING...maybe you would find an enema interesting, also! Do some research. They are just pushing their BIG PHARMA industry which makes them billions. The more ignorant the public is...the more profit for BIG PHARMA!

  12. delhibiguy

    I like how honestly and clearly this documentary shows the current state of pharma research and drug discovery. And it makes me feel that I made the right decision when I opted not to take some of the medicines that were prescribed to me which could have resulted in addiction or dependence.

  13. Ansis Ozolins

    This is a great Advertisment for phizer

  14. esmuziq & frames

    i'm a rilatinne taker so lets check it out

    1. Tierney

      I take Vyvanse- I have had ADD for overs 25 yrs- I am in my 40's! When someone who REALLY HAS ADD. They feel normal- unlike people who take it just to take it......supposedly they can clean house in a matter of hours.......I don't get ANY energy whatsoever....I can think more clearly and actually finish a project rather than jump from 1 to another and never complete anything. Also Vyvanse CAN'T be abused unlike all other ADD or ADHD meds.