New Jersey -- The world's largest drug manufacturer called a press conference today to announce a breakthrough in pharmaceutical treatment. Pharmacon CEO Percy M. Tede described the so-called ‘universal pill,' long-sought by drug producers, as a "panacea with non-stop potential."
"Check for me. Is Parmacon's stock through the roof yet?" Tede laughed, as reporters drove questions his way, primarily asking for the studies to support his "universal" claim.
"Just a little levity, sorry, Tede pouted. But seriously, this new capsule, NOT a pill, we don't say pill at Pharmacon, is designed to dissolve instantly, is not in any way harmful, and doesn't upset sensitive stomachs. Yes, it's true, children as young as TWO can reap the benefits. The little ones can just chew it, kind of like candy, which, of course, the marketing department will work on, closely I might add, with child psychologists. Colors, texture, shape, size, all that will be worked out. We envision marketing across the lifespan."
In response to queries concerning its mechanism of action, Tede was somewhat evasive. "It's based on an age-old cure that is safe and effective and will be far less expensive than drugs that have effects on overly specific target organs and difficult fit 'receptors.' We have patented this formula, long neglected by the medical profession since the ‘targets' came along. Besides, we still don't know how aspirin works, now do we?"
Tede continued, ignoring hands, shouts. "Americans spend billions of dollars a year on ‘target' drugs, not to mention street drugs, which many quarters complain about. There are a huge numbers of people, forced out of the ‘target' drug market by high prices, currently seeking relief in drug dens, even as we speak, who can benefit by the ‘one-size-fits-all' approach we've taken here."
"Trade secret," was Tede's retort when pressed repeatedly for information on the active property of the drug. "No, it's NOT just a sugar pill! You're confusing ‘placebo' with 'panacea' - probably because they're both ‘P' words." Tede showed distinct anger at this point, threatening to dismiss the reporters, "You can just get your information from our website."
Tede then immediately carried out the threat and called the press conference to a close, thanking the attendees through a grimace, when a reporter stage-whispered, "dextrose?"
The financial press now became animated. Shouts of "billions," "balance sheets," and "better than Viagra" came from all quarters of the room. A FinanceTime! reporter suddenly jumped up amid the sea of microphones poised before Tede, turned to the audience and screamed, "Can't you see? This will save America from its drug binge!"
The stunned crowd then heard an off-the-cuff remark by Tede, directed to his (apparent) bodyguard. "If they want to know what disease it treats, I'll say ‘What you got?'" Tede may have given a ‘signal' to the crowd involving the third finger of his left hand as he stepped off the podium.