Drug Marketing Injures Patients

Saturday, January 29, 2011
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Mainstream public health officials are now turning on Big Pharma. As I pointed out in my recent posting, Statins Develop Mainstream Cracks in Their Image, the Big Pharma PR machine is running into a brick wall. The attack is widening, with a new study proclaiming that “The ratio of benefits to harm among patients taking new drugs, tends to vary inversely with how extensively the drugs are marketed. This is not a random occurrence, but rather a repeating, planned scenario.  Drugs that pharmaceutical companies market most aggressively to physicians and patients tend to offer less benefit and more harm to most patients.”

The study is published in the prestigious American Journal of Public Health and was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. It focuses on six areas where Big Pharma manipulates facts and often breaks laws in an effort to sell patented drugs with high profits to people who do not need them and should not take them (which is 90% of the sales of these drugs that are being paid for by higher health care costs). This system fraudulently bilks Medicare and Medicaid, while injuring and even killing patients.

The six marketing scams mentioned are; reducing thresholds for diagnosing disease, exaggerating safety claims, exaggerating efficacy claims, relying on surrogate endpoints, creating new diseases, and encouraging unapproved uses. I’ve been reporting on these abuses for years.  To my surprise, mainstream public health officials are now joining in. This is the beginning of the end for the Big Pharma poisoning of America. 

The press release for this article ends by saying “Patients can also play an important role by being more skeptical of drug ads … and remember, the most important directive in them is to talk to your doctor.”  The actual earthquake isn’t going to strike Big Pharma until people wake up and realize it is their doctors that are actually the instrument of poisoning.  Why would someone want to get advice from the person that is poisoning them?  There appears to still be a basic assumption in society that doctors provide great health care. That is rubbish. (I’m not referring to emergency medicine). I’m talking about the widespread overuse of drugs in the name of “prevention” and relying on them solely for the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular disease. The fraud is massive and doctors are at the center of it.

The top-selling drug in America based on cost are the incredibly dangerous and disease-producing atypical anti-psychotic medications. True enough, more people by number are hooked on the statin Class of drugs aka HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that are used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme that plays a central role in liver function and cholesterol production. fraud, but these new metabolism disrupting drugs are a great tool for turning people into zombies. They were designed for schizophrenics, and have never been proven to work better than dirt-cheap drugs that no longer have patent protection. They have received excessive marketing buzz—much of it illegal—resulting in billions of dollars in sales as a behavior management tool for elderly people who are irritated they are in a nursing home, misbehaving children in orphanages, hyperactive children, and gullible adults watching TV ads. The drugs destroy metabolism, causing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The drugs also alter the brain. If you want a society of diseased zombies then this is the best drug to ever come down the Big Pharma pike.

Shockingly, a mainstream study by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and University of Chicago2 say that these “lack strong evidence that the drugs will actually help. Yet, drugs in this class may cause such serious effects as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, and cost Americans billions of dollars.” 

In plain English this means that drug marketing of a ridiculously expensive patent-protected drug becomes the focus of health care, not the patient. In other words, we have drug-sales-centered health care, not patient-centered health care. The antipsychotic medications have taken this marketing craze to a new level of absurd – cramming a pure metabolic poison down the throats of children, elderly, and gullible adults. 

A large magnitude earthquake is sitting below the Big Pharma bubble. Fissures are cropping up in unexpected places. The mainstream media is even starting to bite the hand that feeds it. Health care costs are putting pressure on the wasteful and harmful fraud. All the factors for a perfect storm are in place – and it’s about time Big Pharma was made to stop its highly profitable sales that do far more harm than good.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ How Drug Marketing Undermines Patient Safety and Public Health  American Journal of Public Health  Howard Brody and Donald W. Light
  2. ^ Evidence Lacking for Widespread Use of Costly Antipsychotic Drugs  Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety  Alexander GC, Gallagher SA, Mascola A, Moloney RM, Stafford RS.

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