Why Are People Scared of Pills?


I was recently looking at the news online and came across an article that talked about pills that have a positive effect on cancer prevention and / or treatment and why people do not use them.

I do not know about you but I've been taking multivitamins for years now and I'm all for taking medicines that help prevent diseases as well. With such generous breakthroughs in technology over the past several years I personally have a lot of faith in most medications that the FDA approves and that companies market to help prevent diseases. I think the reason I'm so confident in these medications is because they have gone through rigorous testing prior to being approved. If a doctor suggested that I take a pill in order to prevent a disease I would do my own research before saying yes but most likely I would take the pill.

According to an article I was reading it appeared that most people who are at high risk of certain cancers would rather not take a pill because they are afraid of side effects. And this is even after their doctor has explained that the benefits far outweigh the risks. This just does not make any sense to me since the only other alternative might be a painful and agonizing death brought on by the disease. I must say the human psyche is very interesting in this regard. This is known as Omnia Bias which means people tend to worry more about a low risk of harm from something than they do about a higher risk of harm from doing nothing.

I must say I'm really amazed by this finding. I can not say I have this bias since I have too much faith in technology nowdays. I think the media plays a big role in why people are so scared of side effects to be honest with you. I have to admit that I do not watch the news very much because 99% of it is just negative. A common theme I see on the news is people dying from taking medicines that were supposedly to help them. Of course they usually fail to explain that of the 100,000 people taking a drug that only 5 have died from it. I do realize there are side effects to taking these kinds of medications but in all reality your risk of developing serious side effects are very low. I would rather take a pill knowing that there is a 95% chance I will benefit from it than a 5% chance I will have serious side effects from it. I think these are better odds than doing nothing and having a 99% chance that I will die from a particular disease because I was too worried about possible side effects.