Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cut price gin, that well known health product

Healthcare in the States is really confusing.

I'm not talking about the hoops you have to jump through to actually get care (I think I'll save that rant for another day, but here's a sneak preview: there's a reason the US has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the developed world.).

And I'm not talking about the fact that prescription drugs are advertised as if they are somehow consumer desirables. I think I covered that already.

No, today I am mainly thinking about the places you go to buy the stuff to make you feel better. Pharmacies, chemists, or drug stores. These have evolved over the years so as well as selling stuff to make you feel better, they sell stuff to make you look better - since as every yogabunny knows, feeling better and looking better go hand in hand. So that venerable British chemist, Boots,  now stocks not only medication, bandages and vitamins - but also make up, and that amazing serum everyone went nuts about a few years ago.

I can see how that sort of remit might evolve to include tights, washbags and hair bobbles too. And nce you're in there buying your suncream it makes sense that they'd sell you film and photo processing, back in the day, too. And every retailer should stock sweets by the till, of course.

But over here in the land of the free they take it a whole lot further. Pharmacies here sell cigarettes and alcohol. That's right. Health stores, selling cutprice booze and cancer sticks. Is it me or is that just massively incongruous? The CVS we used to shop at in Malibu had way more floor space given over to booze than to first aid. They stocked everything from boxes of pink wine of indeterminate origin and kegs of beer, to massive bottles of Tanqueray at rockbottom prices.

Weird, confusing and - sorry to sound judgemental - but a bit wrong.

And one more thing. These are healthy herbal lozenges, designed to soothe a sore throat:
But don't they sound more like a rather unsavoury character who lurks about street corners at night bothering the working girls?


  1. It makes perfect sense to me. They're doing what it says on the tin...drug stores cater for all your addiction needs. It's a nifty way of keeping their own markets buoyant. They sell you booze so that you can come back the next day to buy hangover cures. Really rather clever when you think about it
    Plus it may just be me, but gin does actually make me feel better!