BLUNT, SD—An innovative physician fed up with patients who don’t take their medications as prescribed has successfully lobbied Congress and pharmaceutical companies to adopt his rock-solid plan to improve adherence: Get patients addicted to their vital life-saving drugs by adding illicit substances to their pills.
“For the longest time,” said Dr. Abbott Forman, the aforementioned physician credited with the idea, “I couldn’t figure out how to get my cardiac patients to take their medicine regularly. Then after seeing a few crack and heroin addicts in my practice, it suddenly hit me. Why don’t we add cocaine, marijuana, opiates, etc to their heart medications? Pretty quickly they’ll be addicted and won’t ever miss a dose of their essential medicine!”
“I’ve never been so excited to take my medicine,” said Ed Strauss, one of Dr. Forman’s patients. “I used to always forget to take my cholesterol pill, Zocor. Then Dr. Forman switched me over to Blowcor (cocaine-simvastatin). Now I can’t wait for my daily dose. And you wanna know a dirty little secret? Sometimes I take it 4 or even 5 times a day!”
Mr. Strauss then grabbed his thigh and screamed, “Ouch! Why do my muscles ache so bad? Eh, whatever, I’ll just take a little Grasspirin (cannabis-acetylsalicylic acid); that’ll take care of the pain and protect my heart at the same time. Boy, does it make me feel good too.”
Another amazing success story is that of Rachel Monroe, a 55-year-old with a slew of medical problems, including diabetes, CHF, COPD and GERD. Notoriously non-adherent to her medication regimen, her doctor recently changed her meds. Her medicine cabinet, which used to contain boring drugs, has been upgraded and spiced up, now boasting Meth-formin (metformin-methamphetamine), DigoxiContin (digoxin-oxycodone), Marlbuterol (Marlboro cigarette-albuterol), and Xantac (alprazolam-ranitidine). “My life has been a little up and down lately,” said Monroe, “but at least I don’t have to worry about forgetting my meds anymore.”
These habit-forming combination drugs are also ideal for fighting drug addiction. Anita Parker, for example, wanted her heroin addiction treated but always forgot to appear at her methadone clinic. Yet ever since the clinic began handing out a new, highly effective formulation called Crystal Meth-adone, she hasn’t missed a dose, hasn’t abused heroin and, oddly enough, hasn’t slept a wink.
Of course, Ms. Parker’s insomnia is troubling and is thought to be related to her sleep apnea, so Dr. Forman plans on changing her CPAP machine (which she never used) to a PCPAP machine, which periodically delivers doses of PCP to the CPAP user.
Despite promising results, some misguided critics of these new drugs worry that users will become dependent on the habit-forming substances. In response, Merck has released a new ad for Blowcor, in which it asserts that taking Blowcor is considerably better than being non-compliant and taking no statin at all. It ends with the tagline: “Take a statin laced with crack. It’s better than having a heart attack.”
UPDATE: Regarding the slogan, it was pointed out that cocaine itself can cause MIs. As a result, Merck has pulled Blowcor off the shelves, which has led to stock in Pfizer going up 500% as its LiPotOr (atorvastatin-cannabis) is now set to take over the statin market. But there’s no word yet if Novartis plans to follow Merck’s lead and pull their cocaine-statin combo pill, Snowcor.