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Is YOUR Doctor Saying No to Drug Company’s ‘Free Lunch’ Deception Campaign?

October 08, 2009 | 34,437 views

The video “Big Bucks, Big Pharma” pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar drug industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and created for monetary gain.

Media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which Direct-To-Consumer drug advertising glamorizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors. Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The video above is a full feature documentary, so whenever you have an hour, I highly recommend you take the time to watch the film in its entirety.

Many people still do not understand the enormous power wielded by the pharmaceutical industry. They, in a very real sense, have dictated the rules of the entire health care system through their massive lobbying.

According to federal data, the pharmaceutical industry spent $168 million in their lobbying efforts in 2007 -- a 32 percent increase from the year prior. And their financial influence has shaped the health of the entire U.S., if not the world, for the worse.

Shocking Facts about the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • The price of drugs is increasing faster than anything else a patient pays for.

    Drug prices are rising at more than twice the rate of inflation, and the prices of the most heavily prescribed drugs are routinely raised, sometimes several times a year. Some medications have a mark-up of 1,000 percent over the cost of their ingredients.

  • Your doctor may have an ulterior motive behind your prescription.

    Drug reps often give gifts to convince doctors to prescribe the medications that they represent. These drug reps usually have no medical or science education. What they do have, however, is training in tactics that are on par with some of the most potent brainwashing techniques used throughout the world!

    Worse yet, earlier this year it came to light that drug giant Merck had a hit list of doctors to be "neutralized" or discredited because they were speaking out against the painkiller Vioxx.

    So when persuasion tactics don’t work, Big Pharma has shown it does not hesitate to ramp up the ante against dissenting doctors.

  • Pharmaceutical companies spend almost twice as much on marketing than research.

    In 2000, Big Pharma spent $16 billion on aggressive promotions to consumers and doctors.

    Merck spent $161 million just on advertising for its deadly drug Vioxx, which quadrupled its sales to a cool $1.5 billion.

    Meanwhile, $125 million was spent on Pepsi ads, and Budweiser beer ads reached $146 million. Vioxx advertising was almost neck-and-neck with GM’s Saturn promotions, which was the most advertised car in the U.S. with $169 million worth of ads.

  • Guilty of health care fraud.

    Pharmaceutical companies are now being tried in federal courts as a result of their exploitation of Medicare. For example, in 2003, AstraZeneca had to pay more than $340 million in penalties for coaching doctors to cheat Medicare. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, AstraZeneca’s criminal conduct caused losses of nearly $40 million to Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded insurance programs.

But the largest health care fraud settlement in history is happening right now. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has to pay $2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company illegally promoted off-label uses of four of its drugs: the painkiller Bextra; Geodon, an antipsychotic; the antibiotic Zyvox; and the anti-epileptic drug Lyrica.

  • Engage in research fraud.

    Earlier this year, Baystate Medical Center announced that Scott S. Reuben, a prominent Massachusetts anesthesiologist, had fabricated 21 medical studies that were published in several anesthesiology journals between 1996 and 2008.

    His studies claimed to show benefits from painkillers such as Vioxx, Bextra, Celebrex, and Lyrica. Dr. Reuben's research work also claimed positive findings for the antidepressant Effexor XR as a pain killer.

    Drugmaker AstraZeneca is also accused of burying unfavorable studies on its antipsychotic drug Seroquel. They chose not to publicize results of at least three clinical trials of Seroquel, and engaged in “cherry picking” of data from one of those studies for use in presentation. The company is currently facing about 9,000 lawsuits claiming it failed to properly warn users that Seroquel can cause diabetes and other health problems.

  • Global market for pharmaceuticals worth more than the GNP of many nations.

    In 2007, the global market for pharmaceuticals was worth more than $693 billion. This is more than the gross domestic product (GDP) – which is the market value of all the output produced in a nation in one year -- of these COUNTRIES, according to GNP statistics from the World Bank:

  • Belgium (GDP $448.5 billion)

  • Sweden (GDP $444 billion)

  • Switzerland (GDP $415.5 billion)

  • Norway (GDP $382 billion)

  • Saudi Arabia (GDP $381.7 billion)

In fact, if placed on the list ranking the countries of the world according to gross domestic product, the pharmaceutical industry would rank number 17 out of 185 countries in 2007!

Their power and influence over government, the field of conventional medicine, and your mind through massive marketing efforts, is in a class of its own.

  • "New" drugs aren‘t really new.

    Two-thirds of “new” prescription drugs are identical to existing drugs or modified versions of them. The only thing that’s changed is the price tag.

  • Drug companies are taking advantage of underdeveloped countries to perform clinical trials.

    In developing countries, government oversight is more lax, and people of poorer means and less education are more willing to take an experimental drug for money—oftentimes not realizing the potential ramifications. An article in last month’s issue of south Asian magazine Himal highlights the problem of outsourcing drug testing on human subjects in India.

How to Survive in a Diseased Health Paradigm

Folks, you CAN Take Control of Your Health. You don't have to put up with this kind of insanity any longer. By educating yourself on the tactics employed, you can learn to see right through the propaganda, and stop being deceived by drug company lies and deceptions.

Then, tell your family, friends and neighbors, and be a beacon of light.

I am confident that with tools like the Internet, the days are numbered for the drug companies, and collectively we will stop this unwise and foolish expenditure of resources. It is a massive David vs. Goliath battle, but there is no doubt in my mind that the victory will be ours.

Remember, there are a number of basic strategies you can use to avoid getting sucked into the current disease-care paradigm:

  1. Eat a healthy diet that’s right for your nutritional type (paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)

  2. Drink plenty of clean water

  3. Manage your stress

  4. Exercise regularly

  5. Experience healthy doses of sunlight

  6. Limit toxin exposure

  7. Consume healthy fat

  8. Eat plenty of raw food

  9. Optimize insulin and leptin levels

  10. Get plenty of sleep

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