From time to time, the alternative health media publishes an article serving as a scathing exposé, revealing some of Big Pharma’s dirty tricks used to maintain or increase its profit margin. Quite simply, each and every exposé shows capitalism at its ugliest. As a consequence, patients affected may end up broke, permanently sick, sicker, or even dead. How low will Big Pharma stoop in its lust for profits?
As an insight, and with a view towards protecting yourself, not becoming a victim of corporate greed, here are 8 examples to show how Big Pharma cares more about profits than people.
1. Protecting self-interests
Irrespective of high efficacy, the selling of cheap, natural, non-toxic alternative remedies are regarded by Big Pharma as a threat to their profit margins. With help from the authoritative muscle of the FDA and the DEA, Big Pharma makes sure that a number of these alternative remedies are criminalized to protect their self-interests.
For instance, take the recent case of kratom, a non-addictive plant that has helped many addicts wean off their opioid drug addiction. In spite of this and the burgeoning Big Pharma opioid painkiller drug addiction epidemic, there has been an out and out attempt to criminalize kratom.
How low can it get? Not satisfied with making obscene profits on an addictive drug, Big Pharma also tries to prevent addicts from weaning off their addiction by making this natural remedy illegal and thus unavailable.
Further, kratom has also been given an unsubstantiated and inaccurately bad press through the FDA issuing false warnings. These false warnings need to be rescinded.
2. Pushing addiction
Not just opioids, there have been other cases of pushing addiction for bigger profits. Sometimes in the most dastardly ways:
Mylan Pharmaceuticals had secured the patent to their product EpiPen, an anti-allergy pen-type dispenser. They then started giving it away for free at schools. Dependency on this treatment grew at the schools because of its addictive nature. In the meantime, through successful lobbying, Mylan managed to get the “EpiPen Law” introduced (aka the “Emergency Epinephrine Act”), enabling the company to make these epinephrine dispensers permanently available at schools.
As more and more became addictive in the schools, the company then went from giving the treatment away for free to hiking the price up to hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
3. Price hiking
With no competitors in its way, that allows Big Pharma to charge ridiculously huge prices for their drugs. For example, U.S cancer patients may have to pay well over $100,000 for their treatment. Bear in mind that the efficacy of the treatment, such as chemotherapy, has been shown to be very low.
4. Neglecting the poor
“There is much evidence for Big Pharma’s gro$$ overpricing. How low can it get when Big Pharma charge’s 100’s and 100’s of times more than their manufacturing cost for a medicine that prevents death as desperately ill customers end up dead because they can’t afford this treatment??” –The author
Yes, at this very moment there will be some cash-strapped patient or parent somewhere in the country requiring life-saving medication that he/she can’t afford which will result in death. Yet another awful case where health freedom is restricted because of Big Pharma’s lust for profits.
5. Preventing competition
In order for Big Pharma to get its products out into the market, strict and rigid protocols involving R & D, the FDA, manufacturing, marketing and government lobbying needs to be overcome. All of which requires large cash injections, often over long time periods. In effect, these protocols make it very difficult for alternative competitors to compete. Further, Big Pharma will systematically suppress alternative competitors in whatever way that’s seen fitting for preventing competition.
6. Protecting patency
If your natural plant-based remedy competes with Big Pharma’s chemical-based equivalent, then you could be in for a hard time:
Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive, non-invasive component of the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). It has been used for treating a whole range of ailments including muscle spasm relief. However, a number of U.S companies such as Natural Marketing and Consulting and Green Roads Health selling this natural product in a dietary supplement have recently come under threat from the FDA.
Their product containing cannabidiol competes directly with Big Pharma’s patented chemical-based equivalent. In order to protect its profit machine and patency the FDA representing Big Pharma has threatened closure of these companies.
There are many other similar variations on this theme where the FDA muscle in on cheap, natural alternatives and its suppliers with threats of fines or closures:
The natural alternatives bring in no money for the FDA: Unlike Big Pharma’s chemical-based equivalents that have brought in huge sums of money through the FDA demanding strict protocols to meet their approval.
7. Aggressive marketing based on shady science and misinformation
Big Pharma bought and paid off politicians overseeing enactments of liberalizing laws have had a substantial hand in allowing the selling of dangerous pharmaceuticals. Big Pharma’s influence has come from pushing aggressive marketing based on shady science and blatant misinformation.
For instance, Purdue Pharmaceuticals claimed that OxyContin, their opioid painkiller drug, was ‘safe and effective.’ This blatant misinformation covered up the contradictory facts. One of those contradictory facts was that OxyContin had been found to be highly addictive. However, having been given governmental approval, the opioid painkiller made huge sales for Purdue, but went on to create an addiction epidemic.
8. Making employees surplus to requirement
In spite of making billions of dollars, Big Pharma will think nothing of relocating its resources to avoid paying taxes or make employees surplus to requirement in order to save money.
To avoid paying taxes in the USA Mylan Pharmaceuticals re-incorporated at Holland. However, its staff, including executives and plant infrastructure remained in West Virginia. The re-incorporation at Holland allowed Mylan to a get whopping great tax cut, somewhere in the region of 16-23% even though it was still operating at West Virginia!
As a response to complaints about the extortionate drug prices Big Pharma will often make the excuse that it’s down to high R & D costs. This is clearly not the case: For every $20 spent on marketing Big Pharma will spend $1 on R & D. Then there’s the fact that the Big Pharma workforce has been hugely reduced. Many of these job loses are in R & D.
In hindsight, with a view towards protecting yourself, not becoming a conned victim of insidious corporate greed, having done your own research, remember to discern: Will the treatment offered to you be in your best interest? Or will it be detrimental because Big Pharma doesn’t really care about your heath; all it sees is profitability…
Further, with hindsight, spread the word to expose the greed and corruption to protect the health of your family and friends. Money must not be allowed to be stronger than ethics or truth.
Image credit: The Anti-Media
You can read more from Paul A. Philips at his site NewParadigm.ws