How Big Pharma Greed Is Killing Tens Of Thousands Around The World
Sir Richard Thompson, the Queen’s personal doctor for 21 years and former-president of the Royal College of Physicians has come out warning that many medicines are less effective than thought, that too often patients are given useless – and sometimes harmful – drugs that they do not need, and that drug companies are developing medicines they can profit from, rather than those which are likely to be the most beneficial. He and several other physicians are also accusing the NHS of failing to stand up to the pharmaceutical companies.
The Queen’s former doctor is calling for an urgent public enquiry into the drug companies’ ‘murky’ practices, as he calls them. ‘The time has come for a full and open public enquiry into the way evidence of the efficacy of drugs is obtained and revealed. There is real danger that some current drug treatments are much less effective than had previously been thought, ” said Sir Richard.
This isn’t happening in America but oh that it would.
There are six physicians total who are calling for this overhaul: Sir Richard; Dr Malhotra; Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health; psychiatrist Dr JS Bamrah, chairman of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin; cardiologist Professor Rita Redberg, editor of medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine; and Professor James McCormack, a pharmaceutical scientist. The conflicts of interest have outweighed their ability to stay silent and Dr Malhotra in particular is worried about the, ‘epidemic of misinformed doctors and misinformed patients in the UK and beyond’.
“Furthermore, he adds the NHS is ‘over-treating’ its patients, and claimed that the side effects of too much medicine is leading to countless deaths. And he claims the full trial data on statins – cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed to millions – has never been published, and also points to questions about the power of Tamiflu, a drug that has cost the NHS nearly £500 million. The group has called on Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee to conduct an independent enquiry into the safety of medicines. They claim public funding is often allocated to medical research because it is likely to be profitable, not because it will be beneficial for patients. “
And that Tamiflu? A 2014 report concluded that it(which the NHS spent £473million stockpiling) was no more effective than paracetamol(aka-acetaminophen). Clearly big pharma is gaming the system, as Dr Malhotra put it, by spending twice as much on marketing than on research.
“Dr Malhotra said: ‘There is no doubt that a “more medicine is better” culture lies at the heart of healthcare, exacerbated by financial incentives within the system to prescribe more drugs and carry out more procedures. But there’s a more sinister barrier to making progress to raise awareness of – and thus tackle – such issues that we should be most concerned about. And that’s the information that is being provided to doctors and patients to guide treatment decisions.’”
It is estimated that in the UK, one in seven NHS treatments- including operations- are unnecessary and in the US one third of all healthcare activity isn’t beneficial, at all, to patients. In 2009, Dr. Marcia Angell echoed this point revealing that, “of the 667 new drugs approved by the FDA between 2000 and 2007, only 11 per cent were were considered to be innovative or improvements on existing medications.” That makes them copies. But, given that a pharmaceutical company’s primary responsibility is to their shareholders, this should not surprise us. But it should anger us.
Peter Gotzsche, professor of research design and analysis at the University of Copenhagen estimates that prescription drugs are the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer and the FDA reports that ‘adverse events’ from prescribed meds have more than tripled in the past decade in the US. “This has resulted in more than 123,000 deaths in 2014 and 800,000 total serious patient outcomes – including hospitalizations and life threatening disability”, reports The Mail Online article. However, this is most likely a huge underestimate.
And some of these meds are based on likely false research. About 10 years ago, John Ioannidis, professor of medicine and health policy at Stanford University, published a study which found that ‘the greater the financial interests in a given field, the less likely the research findings are to be true’. Well great.
What should be the ultimate deterrent, court appearances and fines, have actually done little to slow them down. Profit is a big motivator. While you might have to pay out 3$Billion in fines, you’re going to make 25$Billion in profits(prescriptions are at an all time high with more than 1 billion handed out every year and this figure has doubled in the past decade). Just like in the US, corporate greed and systematic political failure has brought the NHS to its knees. It’s a broken system.
For the sake of our health and that of our children, it’s time to demand better care and more transparency. Yes I say it all the time, but you deserve better- for yourself and your family.
Source: Daily Mail