Once a society is so organized that medicine can transform people into patients because they are unborn, new born, menopausal, or at some other “age of risk”, the population inevitably loses some of its autonomy to its healers. The ritualization of stages in life is nothing new; what is new is their intense medicalization (Illich, 1979, p.78).
Assess this claim by Illich in relation to the role blockbuster drugs played in medicine during the 20th Century including if there can be any key similarities or differences drawn from the various life cycles of these drugs?
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