Today, I was looking for information for my Dad who is a type 2 diabetic. I was interested to see, if a certain type of insulin could control his diabetes better. Naturally, I went online and typed the product in question into Google. The site that came up was the American product site. There was no German site for obvious reasons.
The site had patient testimonies and a number of interesting pieces of information about the product. Just the sort of stuff I was looking for. Yet, when I tried entering my information, this is what I got:
Well, I have a shocking confession to make: I lied. Within seconds I became an American citizen living at Road 123, 4567 City, Alabama, US.
And it worked! I got into the site and could quench my thirst for value-added health information concerning the product in question.
I hope you believe me when I say that all in all, I am an honest, law-obeying, tax-paying citizen with strong ethics. Yet, I had the chance to receive a higher education that procured me solid English language skills. I work in a professional environment that allows me to pick up a thing or two about pharmaceutical products. And friends and family frequently ask me advice about their treatments.
I feel it is my responsibility to help them. I believe that the information I get is helping them make better decisions about their health.
Yet, despite these higher motives, the facts are still against me: I lied. I cheated. I denied my European heritage. I misrepresented who I was and where I was living. I stole information that was not meant for my eyes…
Worse, I do not even feel the last bit guilty! I do not regret what I did. I wanted that piece of information and therefore I took it. I took it to help my Dad make an informed decision about his diabetes treatment. I took it, because I knew where to find it and what to do with it.
On top of it, I am a repeat criminal! I plead guilty to at least 4-5 of these sort of offenses per month!
So what are the consequences of my disobedience? Who will fine me or throw me into jail for what I have done?
Or who will wash my conscience of these sins I commit against my will? Because, you see, I do not really want to lie. I would much prefer to get access to this information without it.
To be honest, I am actually really mad that simply because I live in Europe, I should have to remain ignorant about pharmaceutical product information. That because my father is treated in Germany, he somehow has to be ok with the fact that he has access to less information and consequently less power over his health. Because this is what we are talking about here: patient empowerment! …And access to good, reliable information is the first step to that empowerment.
Now that I washed my dirty conscience in the public place called social media, I am turning myself in for judgement by the community. I would like you to tell me how you feel about being a health consumer in Europe and accessing US DTC information:
Please add your comments and thoughts below to show your support for my moral predicament or compell me into repentance – Thank you.