Reckless Prescriptions: Lunatic Ideas Put By Great People Are Genius

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. João Pedro Medeiros, 21 years old, Brazilian, lives in Juiz de Fora, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


On average, it takes decades, about 1 billion dollars, and a highly specialized workforce to produce a safe and evidence-based drug for a specific problem. Then a pandemic hits and people take all that work for granted, starting on a reckless usage of any drug promised to cure, without no evidence, a brand new disease. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the misinformation about miraculous treatments comes along, and even after a year and many clinical studies on the subject, it does not seem to be gone soon. But who is to be accounted for?

Is it the scientist’s fault? One could say that they started all this mess by pursuing ways to benefit from the giant wave of publications about COVID-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, researchers were experimenting with every already-approved drug aiming to get some result. Of many, two became famous: Ivermectin (which gained momentum in Latin America) and hydroxychloroquine. But after clinical trials, meta-analysis, and retracted articles the scientific community has already denied the efficacy of those treatments.

So is it people’s lacking scientific knowledge fault? It could be. But they should not be accounted for. Imagine that you are terrified by COVID-19 and receive a message from a friend that tells you that he just had been cured by a miraculous cocktail of drugs that his doctor prescribed. Would you not be tempted by this promise?

To knowledgeable people, if you take these drugs you are making a mistake: COVID-19 has killed millions of people, not because of its high death rate, but for having a high infection rate. Its death rate is much smaller than other infectious diseases, such as ebola. Therefore, most people recover without any problem. When you assume that your friend was cured by the medication, and not because he was not prone to the infection you are establishing a cause based on a correlation without thinking about other variables. That is a cognitive bias. And It is not fair to blame regular people, because they do not understand the complicated relations between statistics, psychology, and pharmacology. Especially in a world where misinformation can be easily spread.

Therefore, we get to those that have not started this mess but spread it: Politicians, bad-doctors, and conspiracists. Well-known world personalities, Trump and Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, advocated for not-evidence-based drugs for covid and led to widespread use of them at the beginning of the pandemic. However, even after evidence piling up against these, so-called, “precocious treatment” the damage that had been caused by these personalities remains. Now even doctors have become adopters of this fallacy.

Why do people keep using these drugs? Simply put, because they are disoriented and the institutions that they believe are lost. Until the men in suits act up and institutions trust science, the simple man is going to be roaming around misinformation. However, after a year of the pandemic, they seem to have known nothing new.

About the author

João Pedro Medeiros, 21 years old, Brazilian, lives in Juiz de Fora, in the state of Minas Gerais where he is attending his third year of Medicine at Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora. He is the local Capacity Building Director. He believes that scientific research and patient-centered care are the cornerstones of healthcare, and by this means, peoples’ lives can be changed in an efficient and significant manner.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

A staggering one-in-three women, experience physical, sexual abuse

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

Member States and Commission to work together to boost artificial intelligence “made in Europe”

The 28 EU leaders don’t touch the thorny issues

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

This start-up has developed a way for businesses to quickly compost food waste

EU seems to fail its moderate migration promises postponing them for end 2015

Globalization is changing. Here’s how your business can adapt

11 innovations protecting life below water – and above it

6 ways to future-proof universities

In 2019, ‘reasons for hope’ in a world still on ‘red alert’: UN chief Guterres

How to make your business thrive by doing good

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

Human rights ‘core to sustainable development’: deputy UN chief

It will take a lot more than free menstrual pads to end period poverty

Rule of law: MEPs travel to Malta to meet with government, NGOs and journalists

Does research make sense any more? The dire need for new ways to measure success

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

Latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) briefing from the World Health Organisation – key takeaways

Why good cybersecurity in business is everyone’s responsibility

Google’s hot summer never ends: EC to launch ANOTHER antitrust inquiry against the American giant

Supply chains have been upended. Here’s how to make them more resilient

One Day in Beijing

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

Few countries are pricing carbon high enough to meet climate targets

How to save the world’s forests with carbon credits

Why Obama asks approval from Congress to bomb Syria?

A money laundering case on Vatican Bank’s road to renovation

Reject passivity and embrace ‘responsibility for our future,’ Lithuania’s President tells UN Assembly

Rapid growth in China post-COVID makes it ripe for investment

The European Parliament wants to stay in one place

A day in the life of a Venezuelan migrant in Boa Vista, Brazil

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

Destroying nuclear waste to create clean energy? It can be done

The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

Preparing for developing countries the ‘Greek cure’

Iran: BBC and other broadcast journalists harassed; families threatened – UN experts

Mountains matter, especially if you’re young, UN declares

Coronavirus: Commission holds first meeting of EU COVID-19 national scientific advice platform

The European Parliament floating over the South China Sea

Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

European Border and Coast Guard: Council adopts revised regulation

UN urges ‘restraint’ in Bangladesh’s post-presidential election violence

10 reasons why today’s cyber leaders are tomorrow’s world leaders

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

Around 23 million boys have married before reaching 15; ‘we can end this violation’ says UNICEF chief

Humanitarian aid: EU allocates €54.5 million to Africa’s Great Lakes region

Ending use of chemical weapons in Syria: ‘still work to be done’, says UN disarmament chief

Can cybersecurity offer value for money?

These are India’s cleanest cities

COVID-19 vaccine campaigns: how far are the anti-vaccine movements going online? How can pro-vaxxers be part of their change?

EU-US trade agreement talks to be affected by American bugs

Health challenges need predictable healthcare investment policies. Japan’s example shows why

These airports are now opening their doors to non-fliers

3 pressing urban problems Indian cities must solve in the post-COVID recovery

Electronic cigarettes: is it really a safe alternative to smoking?

Cutting money transfer fees could unlock $15bn for developing countries. Here’s how

Cape Town almost ran out of water. Here’s how it averted the crisis

The world’s supercomputers joined forces against COVID-19 – why such collaborations are critical for tackling future emergencies

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Show me where Ivermectin has been shown ineffective in ” clinical trials, meta-analysis, and retracted articles the scientific community has already denied the efficacy of those treatments”. This is simply false.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s