Drug prices are not high because pharmaceutical companies are trying to recoup their research and development costs. Humans are just a commodity to them. This story should not only upset you but enlist you to force our politicians to do something about it.
Pharmaceutical companies ripping us off subliminally
Pharmaceutical companies some of the most profitable corporations and they do it by teaching us to screw ourselves into purchasing drugs we don't need. I read a must-read article titled "Overwrought Marketing? Ads, Not Research, Create Some Pharma Best-Sellers" details how pharmaceutical companies use marketing to promote drugs, not relative efficacy.
The ad in the excerpted video features Danny Glover describing a condition of people who cry or laugh uncontrollably. The condition is said to afflict people with neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, strokes, and Lou Gehrig's disease. But as described, many people with emotional problems could fall prey to the drug Niedexta.
“I suspect this disease is being redefined to include overly emotional people” through advertising, said Adriane Fugh-Berman, a doctor who teaches at Georgetown University Medical Center and has investigated pharmaceutical marketing practices. The United States is one of two countries that allows advertising of prescription drugs.
Worse, the ad could encourage the viewer to 'coerce' the doctor into a diagnosis necessitating the drug. The worse part of this story is the legalized theft that is the drug. It is neither new nor is it a drug that justifies its exorbitant price.
The case of Nuedexta is notable because of its price, more than $700 a month for a supply of the twice-a-day pills. The drug is a combination of two low-cost ingredients — an over-the-counter cough medicine and a generic heart drug — that, purchased separately, would run roughly $20 a month based on online cost estimators. To be sure, the comparison is apples to oranges because the dosage of the heart drug is so much lower in Nuedexta than is generally available on its own by prescription. Experts say a do-it-yourself treatment would be difficult and potentially dangerous for a consumer to try to concoct. “You’d have to get the exact doses right, and that would be tricky,” said Dr. Aiesha Ahmed, a neurologist at Penn State Hershey Medical Center who has researched the prevalence of PBA and its treatment options.
The pill doesn’t cure PBA but must be taken for the rest of a patient’s life to help reduce the laughing or crying episodes. While it’s the only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug specifically for PBA, doctors have successfully treated the condition with several alternatives costing far less — all antidepressants.
“The cost for mixing two old drugs together is unconscionable,” said Jerry Avorn, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
So pharmaceutical companies are brainwashing Americans into buying products for illnesses that they may or may not have at very elevated prices.
The strategic marketing of Nuedexta is part of a broader trend in which even small pharmaceutical firms turn to high-cost airwaves to encourage use of their products. Pharmaceutical industry spending on DTC television ads has been on the rise — up 62 percent since 2012 to an estimated $6.4 billion in 2016 — even as TV advertising for other product types stayed flat, according to Kantar Media, a consulting firm that tracks multimedia advertising. By last year, drug ads were the sixth-most-common category of television advertisement — behind such things as cars and restaurants — up from 12th just five years ago.
A number of the ads, like Nuedexta’s, promote medication for relatively unusual conditions, such as a sleep disorder that affects only people who are blind; or more common conditions, such as opioid-induced constipation.
This behavior should be a crime. We are talking about one's health. If we leave health care to profits and marketing, then every human being must necessarily get treated like a sick person else they have no value to for-profit health companies. Have you ever noticed that anytime you go into the dentist for a cavity they upsell you into a root canal and a crown? One never knows if their medical treatment was performed for a real medical condition or an undeserved profit. We need
One never knows if their medical treatment was performed for a real medical condition or an undeserved profit. We need single-payer Medicare for all where drug companies are strictly regulated. Moreover, if taxpayers via the NIH or some other federal or state agency, played a role in research and or development for any drug, the U.S. Treasury or state coffers should share in the profits.
Also published on Medium.