Big Pharmaceutical companies: Are they Curing Or Causing Diseases?

Mudasir Shiekh
April 17, 2017 0 Comments OPINION 214 Views

The drugs have brought us undeniable benefits. Thanks to modern medicines many of us are now living healthier and longer lives ever than before. But frauds within the big pharma are also making headlines from past few years. Each year big pharma companies are fined billions of dollars for committing frauds, manipulation of data and for their secretive practices. From last five years pharmaceutical companies have paid about $15 billion for unethical and dangerous business practices which include withholding safety data and promoting drugs for unapproved uses. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was fined $3 billion, the biggest fine ever paid by any pharma company on three criminal counts in US. Pfizer paid $2.3 billion for similar malpractices as of GSK. Novartis ended up paying $420 million for misrepresentation of their medicines. For making money these pharma giants have put our lives at a stake. They don’t follow prescribed guidelines in clinical trials and later they even don’t clearly mention the side effects of these drugs. The main purpose of big pharma is to earn a big profit irrespective of the effects on human lives.
Risperdal is only approved to treat schizophrenia, but sales representative promoted it for treating anxiety, depression, agitation, confusion and hostility. The patients who have taken this drug are now suffering from diabetes and development of breasts in teenage boys. Patients from all over world have sued Johnson and Johnson for these severe side effects. It was never mentioned in any sales promotion that the drug has such side effects although the company officials were aware about it.
Avandia is the world’s bestselling diabetic drug. It has fetched about $13.8 billion to its manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline. But its license has now cancelled in several countries like Saudi Arabia as the stastical analysis of USA state finance committee revealed that Avandia caused more than 83,000 heart attacks in USA alone. The company officials of GSK have lied about the results of clinical trials which showed that Avandia is more dangerous than its competitor Actos. Actually there are various alternatives available for treating diabetes, but huge money of GSK has put Avandia at a front foot. GSK is also fined for promoting Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses
Johnson & Johnson, a renowned name in India and world over for cosmetics and drugs was pledged guilty to fraud in a case brought by the U.S. government in November 2013, and agreed to pay $2.2 billion in settlement over allegations that the company has promoted psychiatric medications for unapproved uses and bribed doctors to prescribe those medications periodically. According to the DoJ’s criminal and civil complaint “for 22 months ending Dec. 31, 2003 the company’s sales force actively promoted the use of the company’s antipsychotic medications for elderly patients with confusion or dementia, despite evidence that they increase the risk of stroke in such patients.”
Medical research is now predominantly funded by drug companies. So scientists have almost no choice but to mainly concentrate on most profitable but not necessarily on effective treatment. Approximately about one third ingredients of all medicines are derived from herbs. But a herb can’t be patented, so the pharmaceutical companies are extracting ingredients in order to create a monopoly. Usually the extraction of ingredients drastically reduces the medicinal effects of the herb. According to tests done in Germany, St. John’s wort, the entire herb kills the AIDS virus in the test-tube, while hypericum, the isolated ingredient does not. The reason for suppressing HIV treatment by herbal medicines is simple. HIV is a gold mine for pharmaceutical, giants because the patient has to take the drugs each day even before they develop symptomatic AIDS. After developing AIDS the patientnow become a diamond mine as they have to treat opportunistic infections in addition to their regular drug cocktail.
The prescription drugs of pharmaceutical companies are perfect products of monopoly. These drugs are usually patented by a single manufacturer so they can increase their price at the discretion of their firm. These mega corporations are suppressing all forms of natural treatment. They have suppressed treatment of heart disease by coconut oil. Coconut oil is very cheap, readily available and has no side effects. Pharma companies have no desire to fund studies or promote interest about this as it can’t be patented. Information about coconut oil is deeply buried in scientific literature and a very small number of people are aware about it. Experienced clinicians, researchers and authors have vast knowledge about medicinal uses of coconut oil but are suppressed by profit seeking enterprises.
The use of antidepressant drugs has astronomically risen during past few years. Various programs are used by pharmaceutical companies to put more and more people into the category of mental illness. Since the inception of Prozac and other antidepressant drugs the number of people using these drugs has skyrocketed. Various factors are responsible for increased use of antidepressant drugs. The first version of Diagnostic and Stastical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) published in 1952 mentioned around 100 disorders.The most current version published in 1994, DSM-IV, listed almost four hundred disorders.The most important factor which leads to increased use of psychiatric drugs is that thesedrugs cause adverse sideeffects, which call for taking more drugs? The side effects of these drugs include convulsions, mania, metabolic diseases, psychosis, diabetes, violence, suicide and even premature death. Side effects of these drugs provide more opportunities for diagnosing another mental disorder which in turn provides a good reason to prescribe yet another drug. Teen screening is a propaganda used by mental health industry to recruit children into the quagmire of biological psychiatry. Department of mental health development and disabilities of USA has reported that the teen screen survey conducted by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) was funded through giants from major anti-depressant manufacturer. Joseph Glenmullen of Harvard medical school said that the questionnaire used to diagnose depression may look scientific, but on examination the questions asked and scale used were entirely subjective measures.
There are thousands of secretive practices which are being used by pharmaceutical companies for making money. Our health system isn’t designed to keep us well, or cure our disease, or even prevent disease. It’s designed to drag us into a system of pharmaceutical dependency that’s fronted by drug-pushing physicians who for the most part believe that patients have virtually no role in their own health or disease and only doctors know what they’re talking about.
Author is MBA; M.PHIL , Email:mudasir.shk01@gmail.com

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