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More on Pharma Companies and Our Drug Plight

April 10th, 2007

I guess I’m going to create a new category for pharmaceutical posts…it’s just so stinkin’ interesting and maddening, I gotta keep writing. I’m in the middle of a book by Dr. Marcia Angell called The Truth About Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. Just stumbled upon it while perusing the library between the political section and the industry section.

Of course I was already convinced that our current system is broken, but this book just drives home the points. Americans are getting screwed by pharmaceutical companies, and then lied to about it. This is a classic DBH – Don’t Believe the Hype! Here are some nice facts you should know:

  • The Pharma companies operate basically risk free because of all the government grants, funding and insurance they receive. In return for those favors, their profit margins are WAY above average, and the pharma industry is repeatedly the most profitable industry in America.
  • In general, the industry IS NOT innovative – far from it. Most drugs put out are merely bought from government or educational labs and then manufactured and marketed. It is rare for a drug to have its origins in the labs of pharma companies. These guys act more like opportunists than researchers.
  • Pharma companies are 90% marketing and manipulation, and only 10% research and innovations. It’s a profit driven industry.

Now, I’m usually all for free market and capitalism and all that good stuff. I just think a line has to be drawn we it comes to public health and safety. The public needs to be able to trust doctors and pharma companies to have their best interests in mind, and frankly that’s just not the case. Pharma companies would rather you think you had a disease and buy drugs for it than tell you the truth. Beyond that, we pay enormous amounts of money, and, as Dr. Angell argues, are not getting our money’s worth from big pharma. (Ever wonder why you can go to Germany and buy the exact same drug for 1/4 the price?)

Yes, we need big changes and regulations, that’s for sure. Get this – in many cases, we actually pay double for our drugs. Not only do taxpayers fund the initial research done at universities of the NIH (National Institute for Health) to develop a new drug, but then taxpayers pay for Medicaid to pay exorbant prices for the new drug that a pharma company paid royalties for and then patented. So, yeah, the pharma company gets rich, and we get Pwned.

OK – surely somebody has an aunt or mother that works at Pfizer and can straighten me out, right? Where am I going wrong?

Tyson Politics

  1. April 11th, 2007 at 10:01 | #1

    I’ve done a little research on the pharma companies myself and I don’t think that anyone is going to tell you that you’re wrong. I live right in the middle of a big pharma area so when I put out my resume on a few job hunting sites I was getting all kinds of calls from the pharma companies. I ultimately decided that even though there was lot of money to be made I wasn’t willing to work in a field that seemed so ethically sketchy.

  2. Greg
    April 13th, 2007 at 12:57 | #2

    Didn’t your dad want your wife to be a pharmacist?

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