It’s no secret that the prescription drug companies are some of the richest in the world. There isn’t a person around who hasn’t felt the sting in their wallet at least one time from these greedy people. A lot of people know about the scams that these companies pull off but they don’t know how they are done. Today we will look into some of them.
The drug companies don’t want you to know most of what they do because it’s not good. In most cases it’s flat out illegal and some of what you are about to read will shock you.
“Profits above patients” has long been the behind closed doors campaign slogan for the major drug companies. They create fake campaigns with renamed medications, spend more on marketing than actual research, and tell you about this wonderful new drug that’s not really new at all.
What they get away with is truly amazing and the money they make is even more mind blowing. It clearly explains why they do what they do. If you can make billions of dollars committing fraud and get away with it, why would you stop? The worst part of it is there is nothing that you and I can do about it. We just have to hold out hope that the government will eventually step in and get a handle on it.
15. Drug prices can increase several times a year
The price for prescribed drugs is more than out of hand. The prices go up and up and the increases can actually happen several times a year, for the same drug! In some cases there are prescribed medications that have a markup of more than 1000% over what their ingredients cost. If you want to talk about a scam or robbery or whatever you want to categorize it as, this is it!
14. The doc may give you drugs that you don’t need
That sounds a little odd doesn’t it? However, it’s very true. Just because your doctor gives you a prescription, that doesn’t mean you actually need it. He (or she) could be simply giving you the prescription because they need to move some of those types of medications. Kickbacks and bribes are huge in this business and we will talk about them later on.
A doctor could be given anything such as a break on pricing for another drug or even tickets to a big game that they want to go to. Your health could be put at risk all in exchange for pushing meds from a certain company.
13. Drug companies outspend research with marketing
That in itself is a very scary thought. Think about that and let it digest for a minute or two. A lot of these companies will actually spend more money on marketing their drug, than actually researching it. In a lot of cases that outspending could be as high as twice as much. Twice as much!
So the next time you see that commercial on television with the laundry list of disclaimers, think about that. Think about how much it cost them to make the commercial and how much they spent on research for this new wonder drug. The list of disclaimers should tell you the answer to that.
12. Many companies are found guilty of Medicare fraud
Whenever details of these lawsuits and court proceedings come out, the details are staggeringly scary. The companies go to great lengths to defraud the public, Medicare, and sometimes even the doctors they deal with. Anyone who has money is not safe from these vultures.
AstraZeneca was fined more than $340 million for teaching doctors how to cheat Medicare. They were so good at pulling it off that they actually taught doctors on how to do it. They probably turned some honest doctors into criminals and did it out of nothing more than pure greed.
It’s all to often that we now see ads on television advertising class action lawsuits against the makers of this drug or that drug. They all get caught eventually but the cost to the public is way too high.
11. The top 5 are worth more than some regions
If you take the top five drug companies in the world (Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Novartis and Merck) and combine their wealth you’ll find some staggering numbers. Those numbers are higher than the GNP of sub-Saharan Africa. Think about that for a moment. When you get through thinking about that, think about this: The total combined wealth is actually twice the combined GNP of that region. Yes, it’s more than twice. That is just insane.
When you wonder how all of the fraud keeps happening, there is your answer. Money is the root of all evil and as long as there are billions of dollars available, they can keep coming up with new ways to make even more money.
10. Americans spend more on meds than anyone
In the year 2002, Americans spent more than $200 billion on prescription medication. Now with the markup increases that happen constantly, in some cases several times a year, you can only imagine how much was spent last year.
To compare what some other countries spent on prescription medication that year, look to India where $420 was spent on a diabetic patient for the year. In the United States that number is $10,844 spent on that same patient.
9. A lot of “new” drugs really aren’t new
The scam continues when a new drug is introduced. You really have to do your homework to make sure it really is a new one. A lot of them are identical to something that’s already out there, just being presented under a different name for different symptoms. You also have countless cases of an existing drug being modified and then claiming to be a new treatment for something else.
A good example is Nortriptyline. This was first prescribed as an antidepressant but doctors soon found out it didn’t really work for that. However, it did make migraine headaches go away, so it was reintroduced as a migraine killer. You can bet the price went up when that happened.
8. They take advantage of underdeveloped countries
There are very few companies that don’t perform clinical trials in underdeveloped countries. The reasoning for this is quite simple when you break it down. The governments in these countries just don’t care that much. They are given nice chunks of change to look the other way. The laws are so lax to begin with that it doesn’t take much for the drug companies to do whatever they want to there.
You know that the companies are thinking they can get away with plenty there that the US wouldn’t stand for. If a clinical trial goes bad and several people die in these very poor regions, would anyone even notice?
7. Americans take more drugs than anyone
This makes perfect sense as the US spends more on drugs than any other country in the world. Look at these numbers that say Americans account for 5% of the world’s population, but they account for more than 50% of the prescription drug usage in the world. That’s ten times more than anyone else.
More than 80% of the prescribed painkillers in the world are taken by Americans. There is an average of 259 million painkiller prescriptions written each year in the US.
Almost 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug while 20% are on at least five prescribed drugs. If you don’t think that the drug companies are behind these amazing numbers, think again.
6. They repackage medication, make you think it’s new
Marketing is such a huge part of pushing prescription drugs now that the companies have found another way to scam the public. Prozac is supposed to be an antidepressant and Sarafem is a drug that it targeted to women. The name that includes “fem” makes it sound like it’s something that is made exclusively for women doesn’t it? That’s by design.
Both drugs are in fact, the exact same thing. Only the name, color and packaging are different. If you compare them side by side you’ll see that they are exactly the same thing. The company that does this is Eli Lilly and apparently it’s ok because nobody has told them to stop this practice.
5. A disturbing look inside the numbers
In 2016 The American pharmaceutical field was reported to be worth more than $374 billion. If you break that down per American, for the most part it equals out to more than $1,240 per person, per year. A further breakdown would show that the drug companies are pocketing about $103 per month, per American. Going even deeper it equals out to about $3.50 per day that each and every American stuffs into the pockets of the drug companies.
The sad part is that there is nothing that we normal people can do about it. If you need something, you need it and that’s all there is to it. As long as the government keeps allowing this to happen it will only get worse.
4. Companies teach sales reps the art of lying
Doctors use medical journals to keep up with the latest and greatest in medications and other things. The fact of the matter though, is that not all doctors have time to sit down and read. If they are good at what they do they may be very busy and not have any free time to sit down and catch up on the newest technology and medication.
That’s where the drug company reps come in. They visit the doctors and fill them in on everything they are missing out on. The problem there is the drug companies dictate to their reps what to say. They actually teach them how to lie to doctors to get them interested in their product.
3. Prescription drugs kill
Every single year in the United States, more than 200,000 people die due to some kind of prescription drug. This is reported to be the third largest killer of Americans, close behind cancer. So what that means is that these prescription drugs that are supposed to be helping people get better, are actually killing more Americans than most things we encounter in life.
Do you think there is any correlation between the following numbers? From 1999 until 2010 the suicide rate in the US went up by 30%. During that same time frame the usage of antidepressants had also gone up considerably. Are they related? Quite possibly they are. These aren’t the only kind of prescription drugs killing people though. It’s just one small example.
2. Rampant Bribery
This field is not only filled with liars but it’s also littered with bribery on just about every level of life. Bribery in the prescription drug field is as common as you waking up every single morning.
It happens everywhere but the example we will share today is from China. GlaxoSmithKline has been accused of dishing out more than $500 million in bribes. In BRIBES! I know plenty of companies that would kill for that kind of revenue, let alone have it just lying around to give away.
The bribes were given to hospital administrators, doctors and government officials. The bribes were given so that GalaxySwitchPine would be cracked down on, giving GlaxoSmithKline a bigger share of the market. No matter where you come from though, bribery is illegal and they are in big trouble for it.
1. The number of people on antidepressants is depressing
The New York Times once reported that over 30 million Americans are on some kind of antidepressant. That was several years ago so can rest assured that the number today is even higher. That number would suggest that 1 out of 10 are on something. The antidepressants are also the drug that has the highest suicide rate associated with it. So you can look up those numbers and make your comparisons as well.
25% of women between the ages of 40 and 60 are also on some kind of antidepressant. That’s one in four women in that age group.
Given all of the information we have just learned, there should never be a question anymore about what’s wrong with the country.
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