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6 Kinds of Pills Big Pharma Tries to Get You Hooked on for Life

Since direct-to-consumer drug advertising debuted in the late 1990s, the number of people on prescription drugs for life has ballooned.
April 26, 2012 |

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Adam Michal Ziaja

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Why has Big Pharma failed to produce new antibiotics for deadly infections like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci), C. Difficile and Acinetobacter baumannii even as they leap from hospital to community settings? Because there is no money in it.

Pharma executives "have shown less interest in medicines like antibiotics that actually cure disease than in those that only treat symptoms," writes Melody Petersen, author of Our Daily Meds. "Most blockbusters are pills for conditions such as anxiety, high cholesterol or constipation that must be taken daily, often for months or years. They are designed for rich Americans who can afford to buy them." Nor are medicines for tropical diseases like malaria, which kills a child every 30 seconds, a priority, notes Petersen. They also lack ka-ching.

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Business ethics = do it if it

Business ethics = do it if it makes the most money
Politics ethics = if flip-flopping and lying wins votes, do it
law ethics = if evidence is inconvenient, hide it
In summary, means justify ends. From my observation probably one of the most prevalent and dangerous philosophies. I personally believe this is a lie. Corrupt means cannot achieve pure ends. Somehow the ends is determined by the means.

An eye-opening read..

..Dark cloud over the good works of the Gates Foundation.
It's the same, but different.

"free-markets don't work"

I often hear from liberals about how drug companies are focusing on products like Pfizer's Viagra instead of malaria cures in Africa.

They use this example to vilify free-markets in healthcare, and this is why we need government health-care that can focus on value-added mission instead of a profit driven mission.

I've thought, hey, Pfizer is using the profits from popular products like Viagra, to reinvest in R&D of future medicine, so Viagra is helping subsidize the possible cure for Alzheimer.

Does there need to be a greater consumer demand for drug companies that focus on cures, not symptoms? Non-profits need a greater role in this market? Currently it take a philanthropist like Gates, to focus on finding a cure for Malaria in Africa. How can you create a market/profit incentive for finding a Malaria cure in Africa?

reedr3v's picture

Big Pharma is totally enabled by the FDA.

It persecutes natural remedy producers and physicians, it persecutes natural lifestyle producers such as small organic farmers and raw milk producers. Pharma is a monopoly just like the AMA. the whole effect of government regulation is a favored elite and very high bar for any alternatives.

Malaria vacuum coming

There is a malaria vaccine coming soon, by GSK. They are basically giving it away to Africa

They don't understand government is controlling corp

They think corporations act on their own with no government control. They think that if government gets involoved (because to them government is not involved enough), everyone in the government will be a Ralph Nader working to personally make their lives better. They can't think government is THE problem, no matter how corrupt, or even how personal they get heurt, they are sure government could save them from corporations corroption.