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Drug marketing

Should the FDA approve Big Pharma marketing drug treatments to healthy people?

Monday, May 21, 2012 by: Melissa Melton
Tags: drug marketing, healthy people, FDA

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(NaturalNews) This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider allowing an anti-HIV drug to be promoted to otherwise healthy, HIV-free people as a purely preventative measure for the first time. If approved, Gilead Sciences will be able to market Truvada to anyone who might be considered "at risk" for contracting the disease based on lifestyle and other factors (such as sexual orientation). Normally, HIV-infected patients take Truvada to slow viral replication. Under the new guidelines, doctors would begin openly touting this therapy as a glorified prophylactic to people who do not have HIV based on fear they might contract it someday (and all at the low price of just $14,000 a year).

According to Truvada's own website, treatment side-effects may include lactic acidosis, a serious medical condition that can lead to death. Truvada patients can suffer impaired kidney function and "serious liver problems" such as enlargement and hepatotoxicity. In lab tests, Truvada has also been shown to cause osteopenia or changes in bones that make them more susceptible to fractures.

One of the two studies used to back this new approval push was funded by none other than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is the same organization that financially backed untested polio vaccines recently linked to more than 47,000 cases of paralysis in India. Bill Gates has also espoused the idea that money used to provide end-of-life care to the elderly could be better spent paying teacher salaries instead (Youtube.com).

So far, FDA response has been favorable. With the organization's recent proposal to make many prescription drugs available over-the-counter (thus maximizing use and profits), it is hardly surprising. The problem with allowing medications to be marketed this way is that it opens the door for all pharmaceutical companies to start requesting allowances to market all kinds of drugs to otherwise healthy people purely under the guise of fear masked as prevention. Under this logic, should overweight people considered to have poor diet and exercise habits start taking insulin shots to prevent type 2 diabetes? Should someone with a family history of cancer take chemotherapy treatments just in case? Where does the line get drawn? If approved, this decision will be a slippery slope rife with so much potential for Big Pharma abuse, it is hard to even contemplate.

Though it may be stating the overly obvious, instead of pushing expensive and potentially dangerous medical treatments on otherwise healthy people, would it not make more sense to simply work harder to promote healthier lifestyle choices?

Sources for this article include:

http://online.wsj.com/article

http://www.naturalnews.com/035627_polio_vaccines_paralysis_India.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47340784

http://www.naturalnews.com

About the author:
Melissa Melton holds a master's degree in Criminology, and she is a researcher, writer, and passionate advocate for justice and truth in media. Her blog is truthstreammedia.com.

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