A Summary of the Findings
So let’s summarize what we have discovered so far, starting with the Big Pharma Lobby. Unfortunately, money speaks in Washington and Big Pharma is flushed with cash. Politicians and policy makers are motivated to cater to the industries needs, through policy formulation. The Big Pharma lobby has pushed for regulation that is not in the best interest of the nation but rather economically advantageous for the industry. What’s the result? More Americans struggle to afford the medication they need.
The second area Big Pharma has invaded is the doctors’ office. They have accomplished this through marketing and advertising campaigns directed at the patient and their ‘trusted’ physician. Big Pharma’s direct-to-consumer advertising often misleads patients and encourages diagnosis. The ethics of physicians are tampered with through the industry’s marketing ploys. Also, Big Pharma has altered the relationship between patient and physician: patients may have to consider their physician’s ulterior motives for prescribing a certain treatment.
Big Pharma’s marketing has been accused of further perpetuating the pill and diagnosis culture of the United States. Their invasive advertising tactics is said to attribute to the nation’s silent epidemic of overusing prescription drugs.
The third arena Big Pharma has entered, as a means to amass more money, is the meat industry. They capitalized on the animal science sectors’ deficiency of funds thus the meat industry and Big Pharma have grown co-dependent on each other. A huge chunk of Big Pharma’s profits are derived from pharmaceuticals bought for the purpose of animal consumption while the meat industry has become more efficient. Both industries are preoccupied with the monetary aspect of their practice and disregard the paralleling public health consequences. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) further enables the feeding of pharmaceuticals to livestock.
Money Makes the World Go Round
Big Pharma has infiltrated establishments that should be primarily concerned about the needs and wants of the public. The federal government is supposed to devise regulations that best serve the nation’s citizens. The doctors’ office should be an environment where the patient’s health is the only source of motivation for the physician. Finally, citizens should be able to consume meat without worrying about potential health effects. Ideally, they should be able to trust the FDA’s oversight of the food industry. However, as shown by the past six posts, you cannot always trust the entities whose function is to insure your financial and physical well-being.
Returning to my Original Questions
Are pharmaceutical companies more concerned with the well being of their customers? Or have they evolved into an entity whose actions are motivated by greed?
I would have to say that the companies are motivated by greed rather than securing public health. If I’ve demonstrated anything throughout this blog, it’s that Big Pharma uses its clout to intentionally infiltrate other industries and establishments in an effort to increase its profits. Big Pharma is just like any other industry and ultimately, profits matter more than patients.
Yuhas, Alan. “Prescription painkillers’ overuse has become ‘silent epidemic,’ US warns.” US healthcare. The Guardian, 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015