interesting info about the drug industry

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Catseye, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    This is from a mercola article about pharmaceutical testing and approval:

    You asked me why I am opposed to Senator Dick Durbin’s proposed bill S.722, the "Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003," when according to Dick Durbin it will make things safer for Americans. I explained that in reality it is not at all driven by that ideal, and will actually make things even more dangerous for Americans. Read my article "Supplement Regulation: Who’s Behind It, and Why Should You Oppose It" if you want my full explanation again, but in short, it will eliminate our healthcare choices, increase America’s addiction to pharmaceuticals, and therefore only serve to make the most profitable industry on earth -- the prescription drug makers -- even more profitable.

    I also told you that if Durbin or anyone in Washington, D.C. was really interested in making things safer and healthier for Americans, they’d instead be going after the pharmaceutical, agricultural, processed and fast food industries, whose products contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths per year, not less than 200 as is the case with supplements. But of course those industries essentially control our government with their tireless lobbying and "contributions" to both major political parties; Durbin would be doing the drug industry a big favor if S.722 passed, and you have to wonder if it’s an intentional one.

    "Maybe that’s true," you said, "but at least their pharmaceuticals are officially approved -- I mean clinically tested, proven and all that -- before they hit the market."

    Is that so? I started to tell you this before, but you were sidetracked by the pressing need to chat with that woman, so per your request, I will give it to you in layman’s terms now:

    The review and approval process for new prescription drugs in the U.S. is a scam and an atrocity, resulting in many thousands of deaths and a genuinely unsafe environment for Americans. But use your common sense and judge for yourself:

    First, most new pharmaceuticals are developed to make drug companies and their shareholders more profit, not to offer new treatments and certainly not to offer cures. As I pointed out in another of my articles, "Spin and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Proudly Protecting Profits by Scaring You", only 15% of drugs approved by the FDA between 1989 and 2000 were cited as offering significant clinical advantage over drugs already on the market. That is, a vast majority of R&D dollars are spent on developing drugs that simply compete with existing drugs already on the market, so drug company A can try to rip sales away from drug company B. What’s more, most drug makers won’t even consider developing drugs for rare diseases because there is little promise of profit, despite the fact that at least 1 in 9 people in the United States suffer from at least 1 of the 6,000 known rare diseases.

    Second, 70% of the funds for U.S. drug trials come from the drug companies -- and the majority of all funds now go to for-profit companies called contract research organizations (CROs). This is such a hot business to get into that over a hundred CROs have established themselves in the last decade. The majority of such research used to be performed by academic medical centers (AMCs), which as a result of the lost business are now making themselves more competitive against CROs to win back the drug companies. Now think carefully about this one. The drug companies are in effect hiring CROs and AMCs who must compete hard for their business. To retain the business of their customers -- the drug makers -- the CROs and AMCs must please them. Without knowing any more details, do you smell a conflict of interest? Do you suppose they skew clinical trials in the drug makers’ favor to win their hearts and fat checks?

    Well you don’t have to suppose, and there’s even more to it than that. According to the must-read book, "The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers" by Katharine Greider, drug makers "increasingly insist on designing studies and controlling the raw data; some investigators may not even be allowed to see all the numbers. If results are unfavorable, drug makers are sometimes able to prevent them from coming to light..." Those "independent" organizations involved in drug research that are paid hefty sums by the drug companies are not, of course, about to start complaining about their clients’ Big Brother eye and iron fists. Fat checks produce tight lips. On this note, Greider quotes Marcia Angell, M.D., the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, who told colleagues at a conference on conflicts of interest in research that, "Arm’s-length relationships are a thing of the past, and financial arrangements are hardly limited to grant support."

    But wait, there’s still more. Back in 2001, editors of the most prestigious medical journals in the U.S., including The New England Journal of Medicine, enacted a policy giving them the right to refuse publication of studies sponsored by pharmaceutical companies -- meaning most such studies -- because they found that those companies were influencing the research results too extensively. This financial influence extended to the researchers who were writing the reports that are, in theory, supposed to be unbiased. By June 2002, however, all of these journals had relaxed this policy -- not on principle, not because things improved, but because things got worse: these journals could no longer find enough such experts without financial ties to the drug companies to keep their pages filled!

    I could keep going, but you asked for a quick something and I’m guessing you get it by now. If you want it in pure layman’s terms, though, here it is: An FDA-approved drug doesn’t mean it’s safe or effective. Not when it’s the drug companies themselves, motivated entirely as they are by sales, dictating what will and won’t be included and revealed at every stage of new drug studies. Sadly, these days all "FDA-approved" really means is that a drug is approved to reap even more ridiculously high profits for its manufacturer.

    How could things have been allowed to get this bad?

    [This Message was Edited on 02/10/2007]
  2. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Instead of bashing doctors and the drug industry, if you do like something don't use it. It is easy like that.

  3. foggygirl

    foggygirl New Member

    On the contrary, it's best to "know thy enemy" One doesn't always know they don't "like" a particular drug...til we die or have more problems because of it.

    As previously stated: 80% of all advertising is done by drug companies, and the largest lobbiest and plolitical contributions come from drug companies. Money talks.

    Great post, barrowinnovations. Thanks

    Skeptical & distrustful of drug companies.

  4. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    I'll preface what I'm saying byway of excusing offending anyone with my newness...its hard to close one's eyes and disagree with much of what you wrote. Turn on the TV and see the law firms looking for clients on drug recalls and class action suits to know karen is on target and we are used to test drugs after they deemed 'safe'. The latest scam is mandating girls in H.S. to get 'vaccinated' with Gardisil so they dont get herpes. Have you read the side effects for Gardisil? Birth control pills, herpes vaccinations...funny none of these researchers can find a way to keep men's pants zipped up and faithful.
  5. foggygirl

    foggygirl New Member

    I used to work for an unbiased, non-partisan legislative reaearch company--that's where I learned so many statistics--look it up. It's also why I'm often so angry and disappointed in out government.

    We're talking ALL advertising--newspapers, magizines, and TV. All you have to do is go thru a magizine and what ads do you see: pages after pages of drug ads.

  6. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Thank you, Bob, well said. A post like this can only stir up debate and cause frustration among our members. We have no way of knowing if THIS particular article has any accuracy either.

    Doctors and medication save lives on a daily basis. For every bad med, there are ten good ones that have saved lives. If you are looking for perfection in life, sadly, you will not find it.

    Doctor bashing is not only negative, but hurtful to those of us who have honest, caring, competent ones in our families. Some sensitivity would truly go a long way. Thank you for your consideration.

    All the best, Erika
  7. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I agree. Pharmaceuticals are big business, and as such contribute in many ways to our well-being:

    1. Most of us who have savings or pension plans are invested in some of them;
    2. Most of us couldn't have the quality of life we need or want without them;
    3. Many of the pharmaceuticals provide assistance to many of us who cannot afford their drugs;
    4. Big business makes the U.S. what it is, the most prosperous country in the world.

    If you take competition away, there would be none of the above save mediocre drugs since incentive would be taken away.

    One solution could be that our government could buy drugs by paying monies for research into more advanced and newer drugs and when the older drugs are not protected any longer by copyright (this takes a number of years), the older drugs could be used on government funded formularies/pharmacies. This would encourage healthy competition yet provide for more affordable medications, especially for those least likely to be able to afford medications.
  8. foggygirl

    foggygirl New Member

    I'm most definitely NOT "being critical of people's decisions to take pharmaceuticals." That's a personal choice and if it works for you--that's great and I'm happy for you--sincerely!! This is a tough disease and has upset all of our lives in countless ways and we are all looking for a cure.

    And I was not "doctor bashing" as zenouchy suggests--I hadn't even mentioned the word "doctor". I have a wonderful doctor and will always be grateful to him. Big pharmaceutical companys and doctors are not one and the same.

    ANY huge lobbiest group, may it be the tobacco industry of the 50's and 60's or the oil tycoons of today (or the pharmaceutical companies), that have undue influence on our elected officials in making laws and policies that affect each of US should be scrutinized carefully. And as history has shown, they often get out of hand before they are eventually reined in.

    I have a copy of "The Constitution of the United States of America" on my coffee table as we speak and am a huge proponent of free trade and free competition...and all of the freedoms set down by our founding fathers. In NO WAY am I suggesting that we "take competition away" as inferred, nor did I even mention such a thing.

    It is our RESPONSIBILITY as US citizens to question and want accountability from our elected officials and their ties to special interest groups--and we ALL have mostly dropped that ball.

    The intent of this board is to support and help each other on this board--not to go into attack mode. When we start attacking EACH OTHER.... we are lost.

    I think we all need to just lighten up a bit.

    Good health to all.


  9. woofmom

    woofmom New Member

    Just follow the money!!!!!!!