Britney Spears More Popular Than Deadly Drugs

by Daria Belov

News of the Britney Spears performance at MTV music awards, out numbers news of a Sharp Increase in Deaths from Consumer Drugs, by a factor of nearly 25 to 1.

It’s no surprise that we are more interested in entertainment than we are matters of health, at least until that health is gone. I was scanning the Google News homepage earlier this morning, and it appeared there was a nonstop flow of aggregated news stories, pinging up the numbers on the topic of Britney Spears and the MTV video music awards.

Later in the day I spotted headlines in the health section, some 44 related news articles on a topic that likely affects nearly every individual in the United States. A report has been published today with news that serious adverse effects of drugs, including deaths, has more than doubled between 1998 and 2005 in the United States.

Thomas Moore, lead author of the study that was published in today’s September 10th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, was spot on in saying “This is a subject the public or health professionals just don’t like to think about.”

Apparently, a subject the public does like to think about is Britney Spears, as there were 1,083 news articles aggregated on the Google News homepage, during the same time as the deadly drug articles. Get out your calculator if you’d like to check it, but I figured that to about a factor of 25 to 1, in favor of the pop star, over popping pills.

Lets look at some of the numbers. I performed a Google News search for the following terms and listed the number of aggregated articles in the top results: Britney (1083), Spears (1082), death (381), deaths (44). For those checking links those numbers are subject to change as aggregated news sources change.

increased side effects from drugsOn the topic of deadly side effects from drugs, in an article appearing in the Washington Post, the reports lead author added… “The pharmaceutical industry wants the public focused on benefits, and many people just want to believe this drug is going to help them.” He suggested that there needs to be greater focus on the problems we face, with so many people increasingly being affected by adverse drug reactions.

I believe the pharmaceutical industry wants you focused on Britney Spears, Vanessa Hudgens photos, and the latest numbers related to iPhone sales. It’s good for business. I have to imagine, the last thing Big Pharma wants is people paying greater attention to news articles suggesting a growing number of people are suffering serious side effects, as a result of increased consumption of their products.

Not to be down on entertainment news, I enjoy it myself at times. Personally, I don’t think the big pharmaceutical giants have any worries. Someone in America has likely just popped another over-the-counter pain pill, and is continuing their search of the blogosphere, seeking the latest tidbit of news regarding a girl, so many currently seem to love to hate. @ 10:14 pm | Article ID: 1189487703