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Ghost in the Machine, Part 2 — Success Breeds Greed That Gets in the Way of Ethics, Common Sense and Caution

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Story at-a-glance -

  • Direct-to-consumer drug advertising has led to wider use of prescription drugs by American adults and children
  • FDA conflicts of interest result in approvals of increasingly dangerous drugs
  • Pharma defends high drug prices with high-priced PR campaigns and patient front groups

In this Mercola article series, we look at the "Ghost in the Machine" –– the murderous forces in our health care system that harm patients instead of help them. This series exposes the deceptions that occur in almost all facets of health care today for no reason other than money. It also exposes the identities of the ghost's "puppet masters" who perpetrate health misinformation and unethical drug marketing for profit, whether it's Big Pharma or its helpers in academia, government and nongovernment agencies.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising, which began in 1997, has done a lot more than make Pharma arguably the most profitable industry in the world and a Wall Street success story. It has greatly increased the number of prescription drugs that Americans take. In 1992, five years before DTC advertising began, Americans took an average of seven prescription drugs a year. A mere 15 years later that number had nearly doubled to 12 per year.


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