I had a fun little adventure trying to locate cold&flu tablets last night.
At about ten o’clock, i drove down to my closest supermarket (a Coles) in search of “day and night” type tablets, preferably with some sort of anti-histamine. They had a whole stack of cold&flu related products – and every single one of them was a herbal remedy.
Now i know that herbal remedies are not to be automatically written off (after all, it’s where aspirin comes from). But i also know that there are a lot of people making a lot of money selling people things that do not necessarily do anything (beyond the placebo effect). I have a very strong suspicion – based on the kind of stuff they even sell in pharmacys now – that medication in Australia is not under any requirement stronger than “make sure it isnt poisonous”. And considering i am less-than-broke at the moment, i did not want to spend my money on something i have no confidence in.
So i drove to the next closest supermarket, and discovered that it was also a Coles. They had exactly the same range. And not a single cold and flu product containing pseudoephedrine (or anything that looked like it could be an antihistamine… or anything that wasnt prepared by being “ground up”…).
So i moved on to the next closest one.
Guess which brand of supermarket that was?
Once again, they were stocking exactly the same range.
So i went to bed, snuffly and sneezy. I didn’t get to sleep until about 4-5am, for the third night in a row. The whole thing left me with a few bitter-old-man thoughts.
“It should be illegal to own the only competition in a few suburbs radius… grumble grumble … this is exactly why those media ownership laws are evil… grumble grumble … do we even have any regulations about whether medicine has to be empirically proven to work? … grumble *cough* … stupid rich inner city suburbs only providing demand for silly herbal cures… grumble grumble ad nauseum…”