All Medicine Should Be Over-the-Counter

Question: Why should all medicine be available over the counter?

Jacob Appel: Well it’s interesting you ask that because historically in the United States, all medicine was available over the counter without a prescription.  It’s interesting to note one of the first “medications” that you needed a prescription for in the United States was beer.  Because beer was prescribed at Prohibition and doctors would prescribe beer for various ailments, for small pox, for rabies, for measles.  I should add, not effectively.  This is not a good remedy.  And from that, from the interest in protecting the rights of doctors, over time, the prescription right of doctors, which is really what it’s about. 

The theory is we should protect from themselves.  People don’t know the consequences of the medication.  The reality is, in the world of the internet, in the world of the educated consumer, most people go to the doctor and say, “This is what I want medically, and there are enough doctors out there that honor this request anyway.  That the harm of not letting some people buy medication over the counter and forcing them to have a doctor’s appointment with the added cost will keep certain people from getting the medical care they need.  Which in my opinion is far greater a risk than the small number of people who might not be educated enough or informed themselves enough to use medicine in a dangerous way.  I think it’s important to keep in mind there are many people out there, and I see them every day who really do need medication.  Medical medication, psychiatric medication, who know they need it, who don’t get it because they haven’t been able to get to a doctor, or can’t afford a doctor, or have time to see a doctor to get the prescription.

Forcing people to make a doctor’s appointment in order to get medicine keeps some people from getting the care they need.

3 ways to find a meaningful job, or find purpose in the job you already have

Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.

Videos
  • Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
  • There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
  • "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Keep reading Show less

Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
Surprising Science
  • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
  • The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
  • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
Keep reading Show less

UPS has been discreetly using self-driving trucks to deliver cargo

TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.


PAUL RATJE / Contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
  • UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
  • TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.
Keep reading Show less