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Piece of Mind: … People kill people

Posted: Thursday, Oct 17th, 2013

We all have companies that we trust. I personally love Ibex and their magical wool apparel. Even though my love for their products is personal, my relationship isn’t. I don’t have a name or a face for the company. I just have a logo to search for and adore.

Ibex and every other company that has a product or idea to sell loves hearing this kind of stuff: a customer inspired and proclaiming allegiance to a brand. No matter the product, this is every marketer’s goal.

Ira Glass, host for This American Life, shows another consequence of brand allegiance and trust. In episode 505, “Use Only as Directed,” Glass lays out the story of acetaminophen, one of the country’s most popular over-the-counter painkillers. While branded as one of the safest medications on the market, the hidden truth is that acetaminophen also kills. Over 150 Americans die each year on average from accidentally taking too much.

Besides the individual and heart-wrenching stories of overdose, Reporter Sean Cole explains the discouraging history of getting warning labels onto acetaminophen bottles. As Cole notes: “The drug approval process is usually slow but not usually this slow. The FDA began with acetaminophen over 40 years ago in 1972. In that time, science has mapped the human genome, eradicated smallpox, we’ve cloned a sheep. And yet we still have not come up with final rules for safe usage and labeling of one of the most popular drugs in the country, of which more than 20 billion doses are sold each year.”

For the complete article see the 10-17-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-17-2013 paper.

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