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

Cameron’s Conservatives and UKIP are exploiting and cultivating anti-EU immigration sentiment but Labour party isn’t?

Why and How: Advocating for the inclusion of Palliative Care in Universal Health Care

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Climate-proofing Timor-Leste

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

Charlotte in Ghana

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

The Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Explained

GSMA Mobile 360 – Latin America at Mexico City: Intelligently Connecting to a Better Future, in association with The European Sting

UN Children’s Fund chief condemns ‘horrific’ Kabul bomb attack

4 key steps to support cross-border payments and digital trade growth

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

Medical Studies During COVID-19: How the Pandemic Affects this Generation of Doctors-to-be

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

Companies that put employees first perform better

The 4 types of leader who will thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Climate Change Revolution: by-laws for the world

Is there a drug for every disease?

Mobile Technology Saving Lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

Digital development: technology-enabled, but human-centric

International Women’s Day: Where does she belong?

The final countdown towards achieving 2030 Agenda

It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

Here’s how China is going green

How each country’s share of global CO2 emissions changes over time

Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

Application of EU Law in 2020: Protecting our agreed rules and shared values during a pandemic

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

European Commission steps up protection of European intellectual property in global markets

Commission reports on progress in risk reduction in the Banking Union and calls for faster progress on Capital Markets Union ahead of EU Leaders’ meetings

From sun-powered trikes to mind-controlled TV – 10 top gadgets unveiled at CES 2020

Unemployment and immigrants haunt the EU; who can offer relief?

Norway initiates WTO dispute complaint against US steel, aluminium duties

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment

The future of suicide and depression prevention

Study finds sharks are ‘functionally extinct’ in 20% of reefs observed

The rise of alternative medical practices in modern sports

These are the skills young people will need for the green jobs of the future

Understanding and demystifying the new outbreak of Coronavirus

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities

Do you dare to go to China?

Libya ‘in race against time’, but dissolving conflict ‘a realistic prospect’, Security Council hears

These are the world’s 10 most innovative economies

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

Immigrant integration policies have improved but challenges remain

COVID-19: MEPs call for measures to close the digital gap in education

Eurozone: Economic sentiment-business climate to collapse without support from exports

St. Vincent and the Grenadines breaks a record, as smallest ever Security Council seat holder

Indonesia is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. And others in ASEAN aren’t far behind

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

EU countries should ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health

Advanced economies still have plenty of work to do to reach Sustainable Development Goals

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

UN calls for support to implement Central Africa’s newly minted peace agreement

Why practicing medicine privately at home is still a (difficult) option?

Gender gap in medicine: from when, why and until when?

It’s time for the circular economy to go global – and you can help

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