Our Government and Big Pharma
Have any of you seen such a love affair as the one that exists between our government and big pharma? Why is it that Americans pay more for medications than any other country on the planet? It is hard to understand isn’t it! Why do you suppose our government is the only government in the world that allows this to happen? What do they have to gain from letting drug companies destroy their constituents?
It is almost as if all our politicians are all getting a monthly stipend from the gigantic money-making pharmaceutical companies isn’t it. Do you suppose they are? Naw. Our politicians would never do that. Our congressional leaders are interested in our well being.
According to Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review article by Leslie E. Sekerka and Lauren Benishek: Thick as Thieves? Big Pharma Wields its Power with the Help of Government Regulation
Americans are barraged by an endless flow of ads that claim to remedy medical maladies with prescribed drugs. The commercials depict productive and happy lives, with suggestive associations that human flourishing can be achieved via pharmaceutical intervention. The appeals are accompanied by an exhaustive inventory of potentially negative life-altering side effects. As ads end with this depiction of relational bliss through drug use, viewers hear a fast-paced listing of monotone non-segmented disclaimers, which can range from modest impacts (e.g., slight weight gain) to very serious implications (e.g., suicidal ideations). Research suggests that hearing about the risks of use may increase consumers’ trust in the advertising. 1 Sufferers may also conclude that stronger means better (i.e., helping them more effectively manage their condition). 2 Patients may prefer a name-brand drug because the medicine may have a higher perceived quality due to advertising and promotional activities. 3 American consumers are enculturated to reinforce their desire for convenience and accessibility, while also wanting their pains to go away. Moreover, they expect to view ads that compel them to want novel products or new applications. When it comes to health, consumers tend to mitigate the risk of taking drugs. 4 Cognitive dissonance fuels a process of rationalizing side effects as part of the cost of wellbeing. 5
Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising (DTCPA) refers to any promotional effort by a pharmaceutical company to present pharmaceutical drug information to the public in the lay media. 6 Drug companies claim the ads are designed to educate patients, encourage doctor-patient dialogue, and move people to take more responsibility for their healthcare. 7 Opponents suggest that this type of marketing tends to normalize obscure disorders, encourages people to believe they suffer from certain dysfunctions, and prompts framing uncommon diseases in a normal light. 8 When pharmaceutical firms get U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a new product, under the auspices of health communication, the government enables them to market the drug and create demand where none previously existed.
The drug industry has now become the biggest defrauder of the federal government, as determined by payments it has made for violations of the False Claims Act (FCA), surpassing the defense industry, which had long been the leader, according to a new Public Citizen study.
Why do we Americans allow big pharma to deluge our youngsters with drug advertising? The American citizen grows up thinking a pill can cure anything and everything. Why bother to work out and quit drinking. Surely, we can do as well with a medication to help anything and everything.
All Americans need to begin a health cycle. We all need to work out, eat healthier and exercise daily. This has never been more necessary in American history than it is now. Along with getting rid of prayer in the schools, we have also gotten rid of physical education. I am guessing the facilities did not have enough bathrooms to keep all the students happy.
God bless America and God bless you all,
Rick R. Redalen, M.D., Maverick Doctor
Pick up a copy of my book “God’s Tiniest Angel and the Last Unicorn,” available on Amazon.
Dr. Rick is a retired American physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has done mission work around the country and around the world. He is now on a mission to improve healthcare in America. Visit maverickdoctor.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor note: Please visit
http://law.emory.edu/ecgar/content/volume-5/issue-2/essays/thieves-pharma-power-help-government-regulation.html for the footnoted references in the quote from Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review.