A few weeks ago, I got a call from the Editor of Quartz India. Sruthijith was surprised (shocked?) that his go-to-drug for cold was actually withdrawn elsewhere for safety reasons. Could I explain why it was okay for Indians to consume medicines that other countries balked at?
Now drug safety as some of you might have noticed over the years, is a bit of a pet peeve with me. But after working myself up time and again over it, I began to feel a bit like a stuck record. Now I only keep my fingers crossed and pray. (No, an activist I most definitely am not). I almost visibly slumped when I heard what he wanted. But then I roused myself. Surely, this was an opportunity for many reasons. The most important : more people read Quartz India than they do Apothecurry. But seriously, it was great that a general news website was interested in carrying an explanatory piece on drug safety. And without any horrifying news trigger like deaths or disabilities. Just because it is an important issue.
So I tried. I was warned, in no uncertain terms, to keep it simple and easy to understand for a lay audience. Now, as Somerset Maugham pointed out “To write simply is as difficult as to be good.” To my rescue came the words of Fortune magazine writer Sheridan Prasso whose writing workshop I once attended. “Write so your mother-in-law can understand.”
The result is here. It is lengthy and my thanks to Sruthijith for sparing the cuts. Many of you are from the drug industry and so won’t find any surprises here. But perhaps you could share this with your moms or mothers-in-law. Don’t give me their feedback though. I am a coward and experience has taught me they are ruthless.