drug

The racket that is Big Pharma

Sunday, September 30, 2012 by: Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor
Tags: Big Pharma, racket, prescription drugs

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Do you know anyone taking prescription drugs regularly? The odds are great you do, and what's more, they probably aren't taking just one. They are probably also taking drugs they don't need - and that could even be negatively impacting their health - because their doctors are too quick to fall under the influence of Big Pharma's aggressive drug sales reps.

Consider this amazing statistics: almost half of the U.S. population are currently diagnosed with a chronic condition and 40 percent of people older than 60 taking five or more medications. Is it really possible that many people have illnesses that need to be treated with multiple drugs?

This question obviously raises issues about the nature of the relationship between the expanding definition of chronic illness and the explosion in prescription drug use in the U.S. - issues Michigan State University anthropologist Linda M. Hunt, Ph.D. decided to research. Her findings, just published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, are another indictment of Big Pharma's relentless, greedy drive to have as many people as possible on prescription drugs.

Dr. Hunt decided to look into the dramatic increase in the diagnosis and use of prescription drugs to treat common, chronic illnesses. She specifically looked at two conditions that can often be relieved, and even cured, with lifestyle changes -- type 2 diabetes and hypertension -- that were treated in 44 primary care clinics in Michigan.

Her research team interviewed 58 clinicians and 70 of their patients, and observed 107 clinical consultations to assess the doctors' treatment strategies and the factors influencing their treatment decisions. They found that doctors usually prescribed at least two or more drugs per condition. More than half of the patients studied were taking five or more drugs and interviews with these people showed their heavy reliance on medications, challenged their well-being - specifically because of the financial cost of the drugs and because of adverse effects on their health caused by the medication. What's more, when patients went to see their doctors, their office visits were mostly spent talking about drugs and managing drug taking (not healthy lifestyle changes).

So why are so many people taking so many drugs? The new study concludes more drugs are prescribed because the threshold that constitutes an "illness" keeps getting lower and lower. In other words, people who were deemed healthy and/or normal are now diagnosed with chronic conditions including having a "pre" sickness that needs prescription, side effect laden drugs to supposedly halt a future sickness from happening.

For example, what was once normal blood pressure is now too high or, if approaching high, is called "pre-hypertension" and Big Pharma recommends treatment. And instead of telling someone with high blood sugar to lose weight and exercise, it's likely a doctor will pronounce that person to have type 2 diabetes and needs medication for life.

Dr. Hunt points out in her study that physicians are caught up in an "auditing and reward system." That means doctors are rewarded by drug companies for prescribing more and more drugs. Perhaps most disturbing, there's what Hunt calls a "prescribing cascade." Simply put, drugs are prescribed to help relieve side effects caused by other drugs. Then other drugs can be prescribed to relieve any new side effects from the newly prescribed drugs.

Bottom line: pharmaceutical marketing efforts appear to be largely responsible for all of these observed trends. To reverse and limit the influence of the Big Pharma on clinical practice, Dr. Hunt and her team recommends the following:

- Policies are needed to exclude individuals or organizations with financial conflicts of interest from involvement with clinical guideline-writing panels.
- Doctors should be discouraged from seeing drug representatives.
- Monitoring of doctor auditing and reward plans must be put in place to search for evidence of unintended negative effects on patients.

Another study also just published in BMJ by Harvard researchers shows the huge economic impact of the massive prescribing of often unneeded, even dangerous drugs on the populace. They found business executives are unaware they can be wasting billions of their gross profits on ineffective, even harmful drugs in their health plans -- and they are also paying for treating the side effects of these drugs, as well as overpaying for new drugs with few advantages to offset risks of harm caused by the prescription medications. The researchers also point out that any real effect to look for harmful side effects is minimal when new drugs are approved as "safe" by the FDA and then strongly hyped to doctors who push the meds on patients. What's more, only 10 to15 percent of new drugs are clinically superior to older, less expensive medications according to independent review bodies.

Sources:

http://www.annfammed.org/content/10/5/452/suppl/DC1
http://www.annfammed.org/content/10/5/452.full
http://www.bmj.com
http://blogs.hbr.org

About the author:
Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA''''s "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine''''s "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic''''s "Men''''s Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.