Monday, February 2, 2009

Obama Battles Big Pharma

Gianna Kali at Beyond Meds, has found this gem from the (UK) Independent.
I normally don't discuss politics or Big Pharma on this blog, but, this is important for any and all American readers to know.
“We will lower drug costs by allowing the importation of safe medicines from other developed countries, increasing the use of generic drugs in public programmes and taking on drug companies that block cheaper generic medicines from the market.” The wording of President Obama’s healthcare policy could not be clearer and should send a shiver through the boardroom of every major pharmaceutical group in the world.

For some time, the big players in the drugs market have faced a simple problem. Treatments that the likes of Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have spent years and millions of dollars developing are increasingly coming under threat from the generics companies, which invest nearly as much energy in challenging patents and developing cheaper alternatives. The established groups may consider the generics firms parasitical, but the likes of Barack Obama and the European Commission are tiring of the big beasts hiding behind patents ensuring that healthcare is more expensive to the ultimate user.

Gianna then sums it up much better than I can, so I will let her prose do the talking

Promising beginning. I didn’t buy that Obama was in pharma’s pocket just because he got more donations from individuals who worked for pharmaceutical companies then McCain did. So let’s hope this is the beginning of some saner policy that ends up policing big pharma in big ways.

Bob Fiddaman also reported on this and has this to say,
For some time, the big players in the drugs market have faced a simple problem. Treatments that the likes of Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have spent years and millions of dollars developing are increasingly coming under threat from the generics companies, which invest nearly as much energy in challenging patents and developing cheaper alternatives. The established groups may consider the generics firms parasitical, but the likes of Barack Obama and the European Commission are tiring of the big beasts hiding behind patents ensuring that healthcare is more expensive to the ultimate user.


Ana said...

Let's hope it will change!
It's about time.

susan said...


Though I feel sorry for him, he sure inherited a mess.

And still hasn't picked the first puppy.

Radagast said...

I was watching an episode of Dr Who (cult UK sci-fi, with David Tennant as the Dr), the other night. There was a race of aggressive scavengers, the Krillitanes, who were using human children to solve the Skasis paradigm (the secret of Life, the Universe and Everything). At one point, the Dr points out why it is that they're using children: "adults won't do; they need people with imagination," or words to that effect.

There is a point to that metaphor, and it's this: fictional as it might be, the Dr's right: as adults progress through life, they become increasingly less able to think "outside the box," which is probably why they protect what few ideas they have so jealously - because they don't know when the next one's going to come along.

I could speculate as to why it is that people lose the ability to think originally, as time goes on, but frankly, what's the point?


susan said...


I am so behind with Dr. Who - didn't they just get another Dr. Who? I still think of Tom Baker..... that is how behind I am on that show....

but I love what you had to say. I agree with it, and children....I never want to loose my childlike wonder with the world.

Larry said...

Daschle had lots of Big Pharma ties, so his bowing out can only help.

Quiact said...

Of all the specialties, doctors get bribed the most by big pharma:

This Makes Me Sick

When I heard the word ‘warmonger’, I had to find out its definition, as I had no idea what that meant so long ago. I knew others could be labeled this word, so I wanted to find out what it meant. Finally, I found the answer: a warmonger is one who promotes something that is undesirable or discreditable. In this case, one labeled this would promote war.

Mongering still exists, yet instead of war,, it is medical disorders and disease states that are being promoted in this way.

There appears to be those who question the existence of what is called disease mongering. Disease-mongering is when typically a large pharmaceutical corporation implements various illegal activities in order to sell more of their products.

They do this by creating more of those who may be candidates for their drugs and what they treat more than what really exist. One method pharmaceutical companies implement is a determined goal to extend the range of what is truly abnormal regarding the health of others. If this is done, the market for the treatment its products are used for is to the benefit of the pharmaceutical company.

The intentional creation of front groups is one method masked as advocacy or support groups for a particular disease state or medial disorder. Embellished data shared primarily with health care providers as it relates to the efficacy of the pharmaceutical company’s medications is another way. There are many other tactics utilized by this industry that ultimately is nothing less than clear disease mongering.

How such pharmaceutical corporations do this in these other ways will be explained soon- and you will read how and why they want the needs for their drugs to be unmet throughout the patent life of the drug of a pharmaceutical company. The companies want to let the public know constantly about the progressive increase for the disease states for which their products treat, and the symptoms expressed by others that indicate such disease. Often, the disease increases as well as the symptoms that conclude specific disease states relevant to the pharmaceutical company are far from authentic.

This disease mongering in fact does occur often to widen the diagnostic boundaries of an illness, disorder, or syndrome by primarily creating awareness of such medical conditions that often is far from what is really accurate. The drug makers share such information that is flawed both to the public as well as the health care providers, but in different ways as they present in a convincing way what may be overall more fiction than fact..

First, let's take a look at this label of disease mongering: It is an inaccurate phrase in that it is an incomplete phrase. Unlike diseases and illnesses, mongering activities also occur with medical disorders and syndromes as well by large pharmaceutical corporations. It is accurate and factual, however, that what is called disease mongering does occur, and occurs often so the promoted drugs of the pharmaceutical companies will increase the market share of their source of revenue.

Mongering, by definition, is the process of a dealer who promotes something overall void of credit or desire by others in order to create need by establishing credit and desire that does not exist.

There was a book written by Ray Moynihan and Allan Cassels called, "Selling Sickness" in 2005. The book thoroughly described how big pharmaceutical corporations are turning all of us into patients due to the activities of pharmaceutical corporations misleading the public in this manner.

Disease mongering progressively continues to transform healthy people into patients with illnesses that they more perceive than possess. Big pharmaceutical corporations engage in creating such misperceptions in a number of ways: Further disturbing is that these drugs that are being used more often than need to be are not always safe, and at times are quitee toxic to one who is taking such a drug.

Here are some ways pharmaceutical companies engage in disease mongering:

1. Paying medical journals to publish fabricated clinical trials involving their promoted medications after paying those involved with such a clinical trial to create such fabricated data. That is disease mongering to the health care provider, and takes the mongering to a higher level as it relates to fraud and deception.

2. Subjective medical screenings for various mood disorders, is one way. These were infrequent until about the mid 1990s. It was also at this time the U.S. was becoming a psychotropically induced nation as a result of activities such as this. These screenings were largely composed of particular questions. The sponsor, of course, was involved the creation of these leading questions conducted by disease state support groups upon instruction of their supporting sponsor. When this occurs, the support groups are converted into front groups after being funded by those big pharmaceutical companies who produce drugs for these mood disorders of various kinds and degrees.

3. Disease creation-1, such as social anxiety disorder, or social phobia: This disorder is in the DSM IV which was published in 1994, and some were forced to delete the statement regarding this disorder that said, "Social Anxiety Disorder is not well-established, and requires further study." The DSM, by the way, is the Psychiatrist’s handbook for diagnosing and treating those with mental concerns.

Aside from what may be simply amplified introversion, social phobias are likely due to societal dysfunctions or malfunctions, and certainly should not be labeled as a pathological condition requiring pharmacological treatment as it presently is, in my opinion.

4. Disease creation 2- what is defined as premenstrual dysphoric disorder. I call this a mid-life crisis, yet it was entered by instruction from the APA into the DSM in 1993. Possible anxiety about the inevitable does not require pharmacological treatment. The APA, by the way, is the American Psychiatric Association.

5. Direct to Consumer Advertising- a vexing component of our lives more so in the past 10 years or so.

With such advertising, perhaps most memorable were those commercials for erectile dysfunction. Their absurdness in creating these commercials was possibly psychotic. The typical setting for such a commercial is as follows:

A healthy man who could probably run a marathon is having a decent time with his wife at some upper middle class location. He is smiling all the time. Because now, his marriage is secure due to copulation that now occurs with his wife that was apparently void before this wonder drug entered him, and his restoration of his life. Of course, it is not possible to have a strong marriage without intercourse, according to others, apparently

Then there are other conditions, entirely natural in the human lifespan, that have been determined to be diseases by those who can profit off of these age-related conditions. Examples include osteoporosis and menopause, as well as erectile dysfunction. It’s insane the FDA approve pharmaceuticals for such natural events in a human being.

Finally, there are the required medical guidelines frequently revised for various disease states, such as dyslipidemia, for example.

There are also publications with such titles that address the disease state of dyslipidemia, as “The Lipid Letter”, or, “Lipid Management.” Both medical publications of any type, as well as the disease state guidelines, offer progressively more aggressive management of the lipid profiles of the patients of the readers, who are normally health care providers. And both guidelines as well as medical publications are typically funded by those big pharmaceutical companies that promote a class of medications called statins- the class of drugs that is almost entirely used as therapy for dyslipidemia.

A myth is something unproven. A false premise. A story of fiction.

Disease Mongering is not a myth. Large pharmaceutical corporations promote if not encourage illness and disease occur as often as possible for their own benefit. Illnesses and diseases certainly not desired by anyone and discredited by many. The pharmaceutical corporations do this for potential profit from others who prescribe their promoted drugs.

Why this behavior of these large pharmaceutical companies continues to be allowed is a mystery to me and others. Their strategies with what they implement are not entirely tacit if one is aware that such activities occur.

Investigations would be appropriate, and should occur to ensure the health of others. The others are United States Citizens- this is the health of the public. Protests are not out of the question.

Perhaps if we as citizens protest, and make each other aware of tactics such as these from pharmaceutical companies in larger numbers, there may be a change that will occur that needs to happen for our own well-being and safety.,

Dan Abshear


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