Whether you are a doctor, nurse, or pharmaceutical representative, chances are that you know about the controversies that are going on in the pharmaceutical industry. If you do not know anything about the problems with this industry, then chances are that you will be shocked beyond belief at the corruption occurring within this medical field.
There are many ways in which drug companies influence the medical field, the biggest effect being that they are our providers of prescription medications for patients. Since they are such a major provider, it is no wonder that most pharmaceutical companies spend about twenty billion dollars a year in order to influence our nation’s doctors to prescribe their patients the company’s drugs. They attempt to make the doctor prescribe their medications over their competitors and will use gifts and catered lunches in order to sway them.
The drug industry has a very high amount of control of many facets of the medical field. Some of these aspects where their control is nearly limitless include education and pharmaceutical studies. The people who make decisions regarding medical treatment and prescription guidelines are the same people who run drug trials through pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, the idea of putting money-making drugs on the market seems to be a higher priority than whether or not these drugs work in drug trials.
To many of us, being fortunate enough to get the newest and best drugs that are on the market sounds like a great opportunity. However, the truth is that the drug industry is a monopoly. Their biggest goal is to make the most amount of money that they possibly can from the prescription drugs that they introduce. In fact, most of the time, their only goal is to make money without the altruistic goals of improving health care. While many of us believe that modern medicine these days is based on honesty, decency and doctors who really care to help us get better, the drugs that we are prescribed are often not even proven to be truly effective.
Americans currently spend between 200 and 300 billion dollars for prescription drugs each year on average. The prices of drugs are astronomical, well exceeding the cost of what it takes to make and test them. Certain drugs, which include Claritin (an allergy medicine), AZT (the first drug that is proven to treat HIV and AIDS), and Taxol (a cancer drug), are only being introduced to the market because of how well they will sell. Whether or not some of these drugs even work, such as Claritin, is debatable.
Drug companies almost always test their drugs through clinical test trials, which makes the results bias. A lot of the time, they end up trying to hide evidence that their drugs are ineffective or harmful. They will only expose the positive effects of these drugs, but they intentionally forget to mention possible negative side effects.
These companies also put drugs out on the market that are generic brands, or basically just copycats of the original drug. Most of the time these drugs will be a whole lot cheaper, meaning that they are more likely to sell. These generic drugs are proven to do the exact same job as the original one, so having a generic and a brand name is just a scam to make more money.
The biggest problem with this corrupt industry is that there is no way to let people know what is really going on behind closed doors. Many magazines, especially health based ones such as Prevention, depend on pharmaceutical company advertisements to pay their bills. Since these magazines are so dependent on these prescription advertisements, there is no way that they are going to give up this monthly income to expose the scandal.
Drug companies also have an influence over politics, which they gain from their well-paid contributions and campaign lobbyists. Prescriptions through Medicare cost twice as much than they normally would because the industry influenced Congress to make a bill that guaranteed high profits for drug companies, rather than there being cheaper drugs available to senior citizens.
The whole medical field is influenced by research that drug companies provide them with, whether it is right or wrong. As you can see, the drug industry is a very corrupt business and needs major reform. They should not be permitted to purchase gifts and expensive lunches for physicians. That money should instead be used to decrease the cost of prescription medications.