One take on big pharma

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One take on big pharma

Postby Loobie » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:56 am

I listened to this guy yesterday on a local Cincinnati radio show. Disclaimer: I have no idea, opinion, or horse in the race of the evils/goods of the pharma industry that anyone should take as gospel. I am only providing a link to one 'take' on the inside of big pharma.

We have spent a lot of time talking about big pharma, especially in the CCSVI thread, so I thought this would be timely. It makes you go hmmm? and is valuable to construct an informed opinion I believe. You need to see both sides of an argument after all.

Here it is: ... death.html

This guy could be completely full of shit so this is not me saying "look at this stuff I found! Can you believe it?". It's just something I thought would be timely.
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Re: One take on big pharma

Postby Lyon » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:47 pm

Last edited by Lyon on Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One take on big pharma

Postby NHE » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:37 pm

Here's a book I found to be of interest...

Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All Into Patients. Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels. Nation Books, 2005.

Quoted from the book’s inside sleeve:
Thirty years ago, Henry Gadsden, the head of Merck, one of the world’s largest drug companies, told Fortune magazine that he wanted Merck to be more like chewing gum maker Wrigley’s. It had long been his dream, he said, to make drugs for healthy people - so that Merck could "sell to everyone."

Gadsden’s dream now drives the marketing machinery of the most profitable industry on earth.

Using their dominating influence in the world of medical science, drug companies are systematically working to widen the very boundaries that define illness. Old conditions are expanded, new ones created, and the markets for medication grow ever larger. Mild problems are redefined as serious illness and common complaints are labeled as medial conditions requiring drug treatments. Runny noses are now allergic rhinitis, PMS has become a psychiatric disorder, and hyperactive children have ADD. When it comes to conditions like high cholesterol or low bone density, being "at risk" is sold as a disease in its own right.

Selling Sickness reveals how widening the boundaries of illness and lowering the threshold for treatments is creating millions of new patients and billions in new profits, in turn threatening to bankrupt health-care systems all over the world. As more and more of ordinary life becomes medicalized, the industry moves ever closer to Gadsden’s dream: "selling to everyone."

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Postby concerned » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:51 pm

I don't doubt that there is truth to that. Look at how many people have anxiety or depressive disorders that need to be medicated nowadays. I'm also almost positive that there are plenty of surgeons out there pushing ineffective procedures on people to stuff their pockets. Greed outside of a face-to-face community setting (where what's good for you is good for me) is always a bad thing, then again, I guess everything else is as well.

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:50 am

i learned about this while helping a friend with her school project:
(the 5th edition of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

interesting ... _diagnoses

and finally

Robert Spitzer, the head of the DSM-III task force, has publicly criticized the APA for mandating that DSM-V task force members sign a nondisclosure agreement, effectively conducting the whole process in secret: “When I first heard about this agreement, I just went bonkers. Transparency is necessary if the document is to have credibility, and, in time, you’re going to have people complaining all over the place that they didn’t have the opportunity to challenge anything.”[23]

Although the APA has since instituted a disclosure policy for DSM-5 task force members, many still believe the Association has not gone far enough in its efforts to be transparent and to protect against industry influence [24]. In a recent Point/Counterpoint article,[25] Lisa Cosgrove, PhD and Harold J. Bursztajn, MD noted that "the fact that 70% of the task force members have reported direct industry ties---an increase of almost 14% over the percentage of DSM-IV task force members who had industry ties---shows that disclosure policies alone, especially those that rely on an honor system, are not enough and that more specific safeguards are needed." David Kupfer, MD, chair of the DSM-5 task force, and Darrel A. Regier, MD, MPH, Vice Chair of the task force, countered that "collaborative relationships among government, academia, and industry are vital to the current and future development of pharmacological treatments for mental disorders." They asserted that the development of DSM-5 is the "most inclusive and transparent developmental process in the 60-year history of DSM." The developments to this new version can be viewed on [2]. In June 2009 Allen Frances, head of the DSM-IV task force, issued strongly-worded criticisms of the processes leading to DSM-5 and the risk of "serious, subtle, (…) ubiquitous" and "dangerous" unintended consequences such as new "false 'epidemics'". He writes that "the work on DSM-V has displayed the most unhappy combination of soaring ambition and weak methodology" and is concerned about the task force's "inexplicably closed and secretive process."[26]. His and Spitzer's concerns about the contract that the APA drew up for consultants to sign, agreeing not to discuss drafts of the fifth edition beyond the task force and committees, have also been aired and debated.
odd sx? no dx? check w/ dietitian
99% don't meet these. meds/lifestyle can affect levels
status can be low in ms & other cond'ns
'but my results are normal'. typical panels don't test all
deficits occur in 'normal' range
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Postby concerned » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:21 am

Man, the DSM V has been delayed a long time it seems. Or at least some friends and I have been discussing it for some years. 2013 now?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of psychiatry. In fact, I'm a long standing fan of R.D. Laing. (I'll admit a waxing and waning interest in Jung and Reich, but that's a long way from pharmaco-psychiatry.)


I think creating the autism spectrum disorder category is smart, as I know I can't tell the difference between some friends with aspergers and some friends with high functioning autism, and some seem counter-intuitively in either category.

I also like the new usage of 'dependence' as I'm quite sick of hearing how anti-depressants are 'non-addictive', with the essence of addictive being opiate addiction. The tolerance and withdrawals from SSRI's and the like certainly seem at least somewhat similar to what we see in opiate addiction, er, 'dependence'.

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