Trinidad and Tobago


Possible side-effects

October 10, 2001

LOCAL sufferers are hailing a new wonder drug that, its promotional material contends, will cure all known political ills, provide total relief from Parliamentary dysfunction and restore full democracy with just one dose.

Well before completion of a comprehensive critique, political scientists are saying available samples of the yet unnamed brand contain Rameshanorl 3, a UNC derivative, which is reacting well when combined with PNM 16; a component approved at last December's general elections.

Researchers have also been able to isolate a Tobago-based ingredient and the elusive Sadiq B complex, which in the new formula delivers a much more potent compound, one capable of combating the most active elements of resistance to earlier curative products.

Among the researchers is a body of scholars who consider another factor "RM2" a highly unstable component, although an essential ingredient of Rameshanorl 3. They, however, admit that results of recent tests are turning up different information and further work may eventually dismantle earlier theories, which were based entirely on results of experiments carried out in 1995.

A large part of pervading scepticism is based on the fact that the new drug has to be taken orally. Some say experiences with promises of continuing cohesion have not always been pleasant or dependable when the solution is ingested in this fashion.

Citing findings from clinical studies conducted on NAR, itself described back in 1986 as a miracle analgesic, the researchers noted testimony from participants in that experiment, who reported side effects including episodes of retching and vomiting in the captain's cabin during the maiden voyage of The Ship of State.

Even with the NAR still existing, the recently developed treatment describes itself as a new and improved version of that 1986 pharmaceutical, boasting extraordinary synergy with the new panacea and holding out hope for those who find the current political condition unbearable.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow," said one stalwart who viewed the test as necessary but uncomfortable. "Even the PNM franchise holders have recently said they would not be combining with either Ramesh as a single additive or Rameshanol 3 (which also includes TS), so it really is surprising to learn of this new development and will quite likely be hard to take as a compound."

In addition, the cure was clearly not developed in sterile clinical conditions, but as a stop gap measure for what some saw as a pandemic of corruption, one which showed disdain for and disturbing responses to tried and tested remedies.

Work had been proceeding apace on other approaches, some aspects of which were before the court and seemed promising until this opportunity arose to test the system and assume leadership.

And with desperation evident in both camps, the transfer of expertise from one side to the other tilted the balance unfavourably for the company with the mandate to rule the roost. Unwilling to give up, all kinds of dirty tricks emerged, including industrial espionage and attempts to sabotage the rising threat.

Consequently, side effects may not have been given enough consideration, in the rush to cop the market. Already, headaches have been reported and in some cases, nausea. Voters suffering from the outcome of earlier quick-fix concoctions are being reminded of mood-swings that can turn euphoria into depression when the narcotic value of the drug wears off.

Approval is still outstanding, although manufacturers of the magic potion have announced their intention to approach the highest authority in the land, to fast-track clearance for offering their product to the public.

The authority itself has sought second and third opinions, turning up only the already known fact that interpretation of the regulations may be subject to influence by niche interests, while remaining above even the most forensic of legal scrutiny.

But the pain and embarrassment being suffered by persons afflicted with what is an apparently incurable (or at least chronic) condition, will lead them to try anything once or even twice, showing little concern for the future, as long as it relieves the symptoms, if only for a while.

Examples of such haste have been known to result in paralysis, but even that information does little to dampen the enthusiasm with which people will rush out and buy each next nostrum, internalising its assurances and hoping for peace.

With Divali imminent, Christmas around the corner and Carnival just down the block, no one wishes to be burdened with the uncertainty of an attack during these periods. Lacking a system of prevention, we are therefore left to depend on anything that advertises itself as a cure.

Industry watchers are saying, however, that the new drug may retail at a price that will require at least the sacrifice of first principles on both sides of the political divide, something that cannot be too healthy in the long term.

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