By the way, am I the only person left on Earth who remembers when Ambien came with strict warnings in the prescribing information that it was not to be used for more than 7 consecutive days except under exceptional circumstances, or did I just show my age here?
At any rate, a little over two years ago, I reported to you exciting news about that little white pill that has taken the country by storm. It seemed a doctor in South Africa inadvertently stumbled upon evidence that Ambien, the same sleep aid essential for millions of lawyers to get a good night's sleep after a hard day of screwing members of the general public, just might be of use in waking people from persistent vegetative states. You can just imagine what the response was from Big Pharma to the news that one of their meds soon to lose patient protection could have a dramatic impact on people undergoing an incredible amount of suffering:
The company that first developed zolpidem, Sanofi-Aventis, was contacted...but appears to have chosen not to become involved in the trials or the use of the drug on brain-damaged patients
Not to worry though, if Big Pharma's idea of medicine has nothing to do with the possibility of almost literally waking people from the dead, I'm sure Medium Pharma will step up to the plate. A company like NovaDel Pharma for instance. I hear NovaDel Pharma is doing some research with zolpidem now that its patient is free and clear. Lets go take a look at their web page:
Zolpimist™ (zolpidem oral spray) uses NovaDel’s proprietary formulation technology to deliver zolpidem tartrate, which is currently marketed as Ambien®, the leading hypnotic for the treatment of insomnia. NovaDel has announced positive results from its clinical studies comparing zolpidem oral spray with Ambien® tablets. Zolpimist™ has been approved by the FDA for the short-term treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep initiation.
Zolpimist™ offers the potential benefit of a faster rise in drug blood levels potentially leading to a faster onset of action, without having to take water.
I'll translate that for you. NovaDel's research involves a way to separate people from their money by promising to put them to sleep about 15 minutes faster. And without having to take water! If that sounds like the dude who's been lying in a coma for the last 15 years is getting screwed, that would be because he is.
I contacted fictional Washington insider Vernon P. Carmichael to get his take on the coma screwing situation. "In Washington it's all about power and influence" Carmichael explained to me in an interview that took place in my mind. "And to be honest, the coma lobby is among the least effective in the industry, outranking only APhA, an organization too inept to even manage to get all the letters in its name capitalized."
It's true. I called the fictional headquarters of the Association For The Advancement Of The Consciousness Impaired and the phone rang for half an hour before anyone picked up. And the person who finally did answer sounded really sleepy.
"Meanwhile we all know the influence of the 'more money than brains' demographic" Carmichael continued. "Bottled water for sale, need I say more? Spell 'evian' backwards. Hell, you can even mock them and they still line up to give you their dollars."
"So I would advise any of my clients that the future for any company that can develop a sleepytime nose spray out of a dirt cheap product that already exists, and charge out the ass for that nose spray, as well as any company that cares for people expected to stay in vegetative comas for a long time is very bright indeed." Carmichael never said.
In America that is. I should add there is research being done on using zolpidem in comatose and other brain-damaged patients. In South Africa. By a British company, ReGen Therapeutics.
Damn good thing we don't have socialized medicine like those Brits though. Otherwise important scientific research would be crippled. Enjoy your sleepytime nose spray sucker. That sound you hear as you drift off is the rest of the industrialized world laughing their ass off at us.
Thanks to the alert reader who pointed me in the direction of the story.