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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DRUG COMPANIES

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 Posted 11/12/2010 6:51:16 AM
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Marcia Angell, M.D. - former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) - one of the most respected wrote one of many good books on the topic. Below, is a summery of some of the major issues by which drug companies, and the FDA,  fail American citizens, keep our costs up, and add greatly to insurance premiums.

From THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DRUG COMPANIES:
How They Deceive Us, and What to About It

by Marcia Angell, M.D.
(Random House; August 31, 2004)

1. The pharmaceutical industry claims to be a high-risk business, but year after year drug companies have higher profits than any other industry - by a long shot. In 2002, the top ten American drug companies had a profit of 17 percent, compared with 3.1 percent for the other Fortune 500 industries. The biggest drug company, Pfizer, had a profit of 26 percent.

2. The industry claims to be innovative, but only a small fraction of its drugs are truly innovative. Of the 78 drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, only 17 contained new active ingredients, and only 7 were classified by the FDA as likely to be improvements over drugs already on the market. Most of the others were just minor variations of old drugs.

3. The most profitable drugs are variations of top-selling drugs already on the market - "me-too" drugs. There are whole families of me-too drugs, and no good reason to believe one is better than another at equivalent doses. They cash in on already-established, huge markets. The top-selling drug in the world, Pfizer's Lipitor, is the fourth of six cholesterol-lowering drugs of the same type.

4. The industry's most innovative drugs usually stem from research done at government or university labs. An internal National Institutes of Health (NIH) document showed that only 1 of the 17 key research papers that led to the five top-selling drugs in 1995 came from the company that sold the drug. Big drug companies license or otherwise acquire about a third of all their drugs from' universities, the NIH, or smaller companies.

5. Contrary to popular belief, big drug companies spend less on research and development (R&D) than they keep in profits and far less than they spend on marketing. By their own figures, in 2002 (when profits were 17 percent of revenues), the top ten American drug companies spent only 14 percent of revenues on R&D and 31 percent on marketing and administration (of which the lion's share was probably marketing). The industry claims to spend $802 million to bring each new drug to market, but independent analysis shows that the true figure is a small fraction of that amount.

6. The U. S. is the only advanced country that does not regulate drug costs in some way, and other countries spend only about half as much for the same drugs as Americans. Methods vary, but essentially governments in other countries take advantage of their bargaining power to negotiate prices. Still, drug companies do not sell at a loss in these countries.

7. The pharmaceutical industry has an iron grip on Congress and the White House. It has the largest lobby in Washington, with more lobbyists than elected representatives, and it contributes heavily to political campaigns. Over the past two decades, Congress has enacted a series of laws that practically ensure windfall profits to the pharmaceutical industry, at public expense. For example, the Medicare prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 specifically prohibits Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

8. Drug companies promote diseases to fit drugs. To expand sales, they persuade people in affluent countries that they are suffering from conditions that need long-term treatment. Thus, millions of normal Americans come to believe that they have dubious or exaggerated ailments like "generalized anxiety disorder," "erectile dysfunction," "PMDD," and "GERD."

9. The part of the FDA that approves new drugs receives half its support from drug companies. The FDA reviews drugs for safety and effectiveness before they are allowed on the market, but drug companies pay large "user fees" in return for quick reviews. That means the agency is beholden to the industry it is supposed to regulate. .

10. New drugs are not required to be any better than old ones, and there is usually no way to know whether they are. Drugs have to be tested before the FDA will approve them, but they do not have to be compared with older drugs for the same condition, only with placebos. That means we don't know whether new drugs are better or worse than old ones. They just have to be reasonably safe and better than nothing -- *a low standard indeed.

11. Drug companies have enormous influence over what doctor are taught about drugs and what they prescribe. The companies support most continuing medical education (CME) courses, medical conferences, and meetings of professional societies. They have armies of sales representatives to visit doctors and teaching hospitals to tout their wares, hand out free samples, and provide meals and other gifts. There is ample evidence that this huge investment in medical "education" pays off in terms of the prescriptions doctors write.

12. Drug companies have a lot of control over clinical trials of their drugs, which makes drugs look better than they are. They support much of the drug research done in academic medical centers by faculty researchers. In return, they insist on designing studies that increase the likelihood of a favorable result. There is good reason to believe that much of the company-supported research on prescription drugs is biased as a result.

13. The pharmaceutical industry portrays itself as a model of American free enterprise, but it is anything but. Of the top ten companies in 2002, half are European. And while the industry is free to decide what drugs to develop and to price them as high as the traffic will bear, it is utterly dependent on government-funded research and government-granted monopolies in the form of patents and FDA*conferred exclusive marketing rights.

14. Even while the pharmaceutical industry turns out whole families of me-too drugs for relatively mild conditions in affluent people, it pays almost no attention to major scourges in poor people -- like malaria. It also gives short shrift to less profitable drugs. There are shortages of some vaccines and life-saving drugs, such as antivenins for poisonous snakebites; because few companies want to make them.


____________________________________________________

Author, industry consultant, and owner of Brinkzone.com

LEF Member, since 1993!

"Principle is a terrible thing, because it demands not what is convenient but what is right. " - Jonathan Turley
Post #455
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 Posted 11/17/2010 12:44:41 PM
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You nailed it Will. It seems so very akin to the high ranking military personnel who decide what companies get those lucrative contracts and then retire to " work for ?" the very companies they awarded those, at times obscenely profitable contracts to. 
   I wish to add a word of hopefulness regarding this topic, and that is this: because of the public uproar over such things as $300 DOLLAR hammers and toilet seats, etc., going to military contractors, they are at least somewhat more cautious in their ripoffs . Not as bold in their thievery. Speaking up and against such abuse does, at least sometimes put the brakes on these ripoff artists to some degree.    ...Syntax
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 Posted 11/22/2010 10:09:01 PM
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And as if that weren't bad enough, you can tell by all the warnings on the TV ads that these meds are more likely to harm you than to help you.  Also, if you come to suspect, as I now do, that glycol ether poisoning is causing most of our Autoimmune issues, cancers and birth defects.... and that the medications most of the time themselves contain glycol ether ... it's no wonder.  Check out the chemical forumula and names of ingredients in our medications  http://www.valdezlink.com/re/drugs/list.htm

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Dr James D. Sidman: "Be a lumper not a splitter" (Look at the BIG PICTURE / not separate into its component parts)

Per definition, doctors do not know what the fatigue is of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFS, FM also) Find AIHA or IMHA, THE FATIGUE of CFIDS

Exposure to glycol ether looks like 'the flu'
http://www.valdezlink.com/re/j2.htm
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 Posted 12/4/2010 5:20:32 AM
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Now look what the FDA has 'approved' Dec 2, 2010

 
"FDA Panel Endorses Fecal Incontinence Product"


GAITHERSBURG, Md. -- An FDA advisory committee voted 5-0 with one abstention that the benefits of Solesta, a bulking agent injected into the rectum to prevent fecal incontinence, outweigh its risks

 

Maybe we would do better to avoid the exposure to the diarrhea causing chemicals in the first place (glycol ethers such as 2-butoxyethanol) instead of treating a symptom


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Dr James D. Sidman: "Be a lumper not a splitter" (Look at the BIG PICTURE / not separate into its component parts)

Per definition, doctors do not know what the fatigue is of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFS, FM also) Find AIHA or IMHA, THE FATIGUE of CFIDS

Exposure to glycol ether looks like 'the flu'
http://www.valdezlink.com/re/j2.htm
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 Posted 12/7/2010 6:18:16 PM
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Bupropion/naltrexone
Combination of
Bupropionnorepinephrine/dopamine reuptake inhibitor
Naltrexoneopioid receptor antagonist


December 07, 2010

"FDA Panel Endorses Weight-Loss Drug

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- An FDA advisory committee has voted 13-7 that the modest weight-loss benefits of an investigational combination of naltrexone and bupropion (Contrave) outweigh the drug’s blood pressure risks. The hope is that the new drugs can succeed where many others have failed: delivering significant weight loss without risky side effects.   U.S. obesity rates nearing 35 percent of the adult population. Bupropion/naltrexone (proposed trade name Contrave) is an experimental treatment for obesity in phase III clinical trials.[1] . . . "
Bupropion/naltrexone
Combination of
Bupropionnorepinephrine/dopamine reuptake inhibitor
Naltrexoneopioid receptor antagonist


Keep in mind, that liver damage can produce weight loss, and if it is from exposure to glycol ether chemicals, it is often not found by tests.  NOT the kind of weight loss anyone would want!

 

Bupropion/naltrexone
Combination of
Bupropionnorepinephrine/dopamine reuptake inhibitor
Naltrexoneopioid receptor antagonist




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Dr James D. Sidman: "Be a lumper not a splitter" (Look at the BIG PICTURE / not separate into its component parts)

Per definition, doctors do not know what the fatigue is of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFS, FM also) Find AIHA or IMHA, THE FATIGUE of CFIDS

Exposure to glycol ether looks like 'the flu'
http://www.valdezlink.com/re/j2.htm
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 Posted 12/14/2010 3:13:35 AM
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‎"Pfizer Inc. said Dec 10, 2010 it is pulling its blood pressure drug Thelin off the market and stopping all clinical trials because the drug can cause fatal liver damage." No wonder it and Avandia are so harmful (They contain glycol ether - which targets liver & kidneys.)

http://www.valdezlink.com/re/health/bpmedicationdamagesliver.htm


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Dr James D. Sidman: "Be a lumper not a splitter" (Look at the BIG PICTURE / not separate into its component parts)

Per definition, doctors do not know what the fatigue is of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFS, FM also) Find AIHA or IMHA, THE FATIGUE of CFIDS

Exposure to glycol ether looks like 'the flu'
http://www.valdezlink.com/re/j2.htm


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 Posted 12/15/2010 2:18:54 AM
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Child Deaths Prompt FDA Warning on Cough Drug

12/14/2010  "After reviewing reports on 31 overdoses of the prescription cough medication benzonatate (Tessalon) -- including the deaths of five toddlers -- the FDA said it was beefing up the drug's label warnings" Of course they have also found Tylenol to be poison,but still say to give to children/ us http://www.valdezlink.com/re/drugs/coughmed.htm


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Dr James D. Sidman: "Be a lumper not a splitter" (Look at the BIG PICTURE / not separate into its component parts)

Per definition, doctors do not know what the fatigue is of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFS, FM also) Find AIHA or IMHA, THE FATIGUE of CFIDS

Exposure to glycol ether looks like 'the flu'
http://www.valdezlink.com/re/j2.htm


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 Posted 12/17/2010 8:50:03 AM
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In about 1932 the FDA was a weak, powerless agency ... until home remedies such as drinking uranium fluid for an injured arm, or the girls in manufacturing who licked the paint brushes for glowing hands on clocks ... died horrible deaths (bones disintegrated from the inside) ... that the FDA became more powerful.

ticagrelor (Brilinta):  (1S,2S,3R,5S)-3-[7-[(1R,2S)-2-(3,4-Difluorophenyl)cyclopropylamino]-5-(propylthio)-3H-[1,2,3]triazolo[4,5-d]pyrimidin-3-yl]-5-(2-hydroxyethoxy)cyclopentane-1,2-diol
WASHINGTON 12-16-2010  - The FDA told AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of the novel antiplatelet drug ticagrelor (Brilinta), that it won’t approve the product without additional clinical data analyses. However, the company won’t have to run entirely new trials.


http://www.valdezlink.com/re/drugs/ticagrelor-brilinta.htm

... of interest to cardiologists regarding a patient's exposure to glycol ether?  *


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Dr James D. Sidman: "Be a lumper not a splitter" (Look at the BIG PICTURE / not separate into its component parts)

Per definition, doctors do not know what the fatigue is of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFS, FM also) Find AIHA or IMHA, THE FATIGUE of CFIDS

Exposure to glycol ether looks like 'the flu'
http://www.valdezlink.com/re/j2.htm


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