What Can iPad 2 Teach Us About Health?

If over-the-counter drugs actually cured you, there wouldn’t be any left to buy.

Hype and hoopla surrounding “new” medications would rival the release of Apple’s newest iPad. People would be crawling out of the woodwork to get their hands on the newest batch of Tylenol, or the most updated formula of Benadryl.

Patients would camp out overnight; stand in line for hours; beg, borrow, or steal the money to pay for the latest and greatest pharmaceutical. There might even be ads on Craigslist from guys hocking their old lozenges to help pay for cutting-edge gelcaps. #Robitussin and #Advil would be trending on Twitter.

None of this is happening, however. But it’s not for lack of trying. Pharmaceutical companies collectively spend nearly $28 billion dollars each year promoting their products in the US. Apple spends a fraction of that (1/56th) marketing their inventions.

So what does that tell you about the value/effectiveness of these easily accessible meds? Here’s what it tells me: You can’t buy health off a shelf.

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