Warning! Are Your New Medications Any Better Than The Old Ones? By: Lindsey Collins Vivian Kleijnjans
Importance?• This presentation serves to inform people of what is happening with medicines and big pharmacy companies.
Pharmacy Numbers• For 2011 Assured pharmacy company made $16,444,573.• This is just one small company and a company that primarily treats chronic pain.• They had an increase of $167,821 from 2010. – The reasoning for this increase was because there was an increase in the number of patients serviced. Which brings me to my next point…
Reason for Increase in Medicine Usage• Drug companies will do whatever it take to sell their drugs. Some examples of how they advertise for there drugs are as follows:• Branding Drugs- Companies put out commercials that appeal to the average person. They create an emotional bond with the consumer and make a connection with the consumer. For example: the commercial shows a patient frolicking through a flowery field with her child and having a great time. The consumer feels if they want to be happy like the lady on the commercial then they will ask their doctors for the medicine.
Reason for Increase in Medicine Usage• Disease Mongering- This is when a drug company makes their consumer feel that they have a problem or disease when in fact they are perfectly healthy. This creates a problem when people start taking drugs that have harmful side effects for really no reason.• Takes healthy person and medicalize them.• The companies sell drugs to make $$ NOT to solve a problem!• Make up disorders to sell a drug. Things that happen to everyone and are a normal part of life are turning into diseases and the companies have the perfect medicine for it.
Disease Mongering • Disease Mongering Tactics• There is a powerful industry in our society that is working overtime to – Taking a normal function and invent illnesses and to convince us implying that there’s something we are suffering from them! wrong with it and that it should• Lynn Payer wrote a book called be treated. Disease-Mongers: How Doctors, Drug – Defining as large a proportion of Companies, and Insurers Are Making the population as possible as You Feel Sick. suffering from the “disease”.• Payer defined disease mongering as – Describing suffering that isn’t “trying to convince essentially well necessarily there. people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill.” – Taking a common symptom that could mean anything and making it sound as if it is a sign of a serious disease
Any Better or Safer?• Drug companies are coming up with new drugs• Research into 39 proprietary medicinal products (PMPs) launched on the German market in 2009 and 2010 shows that there were frequently insufficient data available on efficacy when approval was granted.• The researchers evaluations also show that for around half of approvals the only trials presented compared the new drug with a placebo, not an effective comparator drug.• When comparing a drug to a placebo it is easy to say that they are better or safer, however when comparing to a comparator drug, there are little to no differences in many of these drugs.
No Free Lunch• Drug advertising is directed towards doctors• Doctors get free gifts such as pens, mugs, clocks, vacations, etc. from drug companies in order to push their drugs• Drug companies spent over $60 billion on marketing and $30 billion on research. !BIG PROBLEM!• No free lunch pledge "I, __________________, am committed to practicing medicine in the best interest of my patients and on the basis of the best available evidence, rather than on the basis of advertising or promotion. I therefore pledge to accept no money, gifts, or hospitality from the pharmaceutical industry; to seek unbiased sources of information and not rely on information disseminated by drug companies; and to avoid conflicts of interest in my practice, teaching, and/or research."
FDA and Congress• Congress controls the FDA in order to protect consumers• The FDA have a relationship with Big Pharma Companies• This means, basically that the FDA controls congress• There hasn’t been one new drug that hasn’t passed through congress in recent years.
How Can Such Issues Be Resolved• Move away from using corporate funded information on medical conditions/ diseases• Generate independent accessible materials on conditions and diseases• Widen notions of informed consent to include information about controversy surrounding the definitions of conditions and diseases• Compare new drugs to other effective drugs, not just a placebo to see how effective and improved the new drug really is
How Can Such Issues Be Resolved• Regulate the cost of drugs• Patients need to talk more with doctors to see if there is an equally effective treatment for less cost• Patients need to have the ultimate choice• Doctors need to turn down free lunch benefits• More truth in drug advertising – side effects need to be made known, problems aren’t always fixed by a pill