9 thoughts on “What is Our Problem with Pharmaceutical Companies, Especially When It Comes To Drugs For The Brain?

  • January 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

    It is not the drugs that I fear and hate, but the culture of improved earnings that the drug companies must necessarily enter into compete in today’s global markets. Combine that with psychiatrists who want to ensure and increase their uncertain financial interests, and there is a perfect formula for abuse, a formula that I became enmeshed in myself. Insurance companies also enter the mix and require the certainty of a diagnosis and certain diagnoses require much more and longer term applications of medications than others.

    The correct drug and dosage has been a lifeline for me, but there were some wilderness years when I was misdiagnosed and very overmedicated. I will never get that time back.

    It is an oversimplification to present my argument this way, but I believe strongly that there must be a clear and bold ethical line drawn between the drug companies, prescribers and insurance companies. Until there is, they will all be under a dark cloud.

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  • January 18, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Any company that 1) markets their potentially dangerous products to the wrong people and 2) deliberately hides or alters documents showing that their products are dangerous is deplorable.

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  • January 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Amen! Medications have improved the quality of my life so much! Thank God for people who research our brains and create medications to stabalize them!

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  • January 19, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I totally get you about being insulted when someone wants to assume I’m gullible if I take a prescription med that helps me regulate my stress levels. My med is a life-saver and I don’t feel the need to justify it to anyone. Having said that, we are in a med-crazy society. So many of the same people that rail against “drugs” (the illegal kind) are juggling many legal ones and on their own high. Many doctors consider Ritalin and other meds the go-to thing, with profit margins being part of the consideration. There’s room to argue on both sides.

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  • January 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I don’t hate the pharmaceutical companies but I question the cost of the medications used for mental illness. One of my medications, Abilify, costs over $900 for 15mg a day. Another, Cymbalta, costs approximately $600 a month for 90mg. My entire drug cost is almost $2,000 a month (although the new health law will decrease that amount for brand names… still have to pay 93% of generics). That is way out of line. I do have insurance but right now I pay 38% of the cost of the meds. Next month I will be in the doughnut hole (Part D of medicare) and will have to pay the entire amount until I have paid $4,500, which won’t take long. However, I have to come up with the money quickly. My only way to do it is to put it on my credit card and pay it off over the year. Yes, I think psychotrophic drugs cost too much.

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  • January 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    There is a great deal of ongoing discussion to argue that these psychotropic drugs cannot be shown to do anything. There is no ‘testable objective evidence’ of that. Placebo actually comes close to the results of the active drugs. One source states that in anti-anxiety drug testing placebo accounts for more than 30 percent of positive results in testing. It doesn’t matter which drug you discuss.

    How can that be? In 1873 London the mentally ill were put in hospitals but since it was thought nothing could be done for them no treatment was attempted. They recovered anyway.

    Where are those spontaneous remissions today? There should be many of them. Have you ever heard of one? It can be argued that they are the people who recover while under treatment. No one can open the box and determine what caused a remission.

    If you obtain the physicians prescription instructions for several of these drugs the method of operation is “unknown.”

    That means that although the drug course costs as much as $300 each month they don’t know what they do or if they do anything.

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  • January 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Drugs are not a panacea for all ills, but can help mitigate disease or symptoms. Pharmaceutical companies need to better promote benefits verse risk to the patient.

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  • February 15, 2011 at 4:24 am

    It is the FDA/CDC complicity in things like covering up for Thimerosal toxicity, Prozac safety, and other ills, which is objected to.

    No objection to FAIR profits. But 500% markups on toxic chemicals with dangerous side effects, some as bad as the condition prescribed for, are outrageous. Read Kevin Trudeau’s books, and check the documentation.

    Read Dr. Andrew Weil’s work. Read a few white papers on naturopathic medicine, by doctors (NDs) – not internet fly-by-nights.

    Consider WHO funds our med schools, drug studies, conferences? Any chance of biased information or dual relationships? Yes.

    Plain logic tells us no one is cured by ingesting a foreign substance, or made sick from lack of one!

    Our nation suffers from mental conditioning to look for easy cures, expecting “professionals” to do it all for us. We want to keep living toxic, unhealthy lifestyles, deficient in human love and community, and think drugs are the answer? There is the real insanity.

    And NO, alcohol and such are NOT okay with the public as self-medication. Where did you get that? Opinion or study?

    Rxes are more toxic, some are addictive, and all carry unknown long term effects. Read the side effects on an insert or two – even a layperson is justified in being wary of them. They can make you go psychotic, suicidal, into parkinsons type symptoms. THAT is the “problem” with brain rxes. They mask a problem. Like putting tape over the engine light in your car.

    What is outrageous is the refusal of insurance to cover anything but rxes, even with studies and evidence to prove effectiveness of something safer, say, like standardized Vinpocetine, gingko biloba, or dermal thiamine cream. In Japan, Germany or Romania these get used/paid by state medical insurance.

    America is known for stifling alternative remedies, so the public self-pays for what they can find. Common knowledge on alternative/complementary medicine sites – no need for a college database.

    Shalom.

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    • February 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Carla,

      I loved your response as it shows just how complex our society has become, and the problems in it. We have created a complex web of continual dualities, and if we really get into the debate of them they are mind boggling. I often think we are best to go back to a type of Amish way, where we don’t use electricity, drive cars, use pesticides, etc., although even they have their contradictory ways of living (i.e. can’t drive a car to work, but can get a ride).

      Some things I find particularly perplexing:
      -Why aren’t we up in arms about the massive amounts of money internet related companies / individuals related to the internet make – when clearly there are plenty of downfalls from the internet? Why aren’t their profits scrutinized when others are?
      -Why aren’t we mad at manufacturers of products that contain chemicals, when clearly eating some of these foods kill people?
      -Why are mad when nonprofit executive makes extraordinary amounts of money if they do well for their nonprofit – but instead punish them with public ridicule for being greedy?

      Society today perplexes me with the amount of contractions practiced every single day. I was once condemned for riding a snowmobile and spewing pollution into the air, when that same person mowed their lawn and drove their car to work every day (and I rode a bike, used an old hand mower). I just don’t understand who we think we are as individuals to make all these judgements on other people when we are total walking contractions ourselves.

      Back to your comment, I don’t know who would pay for projects to study the mind and how to improve it other than pharmaceutical companies. The founder of google certainly has no interest. And a nonprofit does not have the resources generally because it is hard to recruit great talent to a place where they will get highly scrutinized and condemned for little pay.

      I don’t need to spend money on a study to prove that alcohol is okay with the public as self-medication. It is said up to 88% of people in the U.S. drink alcohol. Alcohol is involved in 50% of all traffic related deaths involve alcohol. Industries are making billions of dollars off alcohol, hiring lobbyists, advertising to younger generations – yet what is being done? I guarantee you if I spent the money on a survey, I could easily find that people are much more accepted for drinking alchohol than taking perscription medications.

      I think we all have demons and battle them best we can – and it is up to ourselves to judge ourselves, not others. I think if each person worked to take care of themselves, they would find there is more than enough work to be done to make the world a better place. I, for one, am hard enough on myself – I don’t need other people continually pointing out what I am doing right / wrong according to their standards and experiences.

      I’m thankful people are looking at ways to take care of themselves that does not include harming others. I’m thankful that there are pharamceutical companies out there working to help those that are struggling. And I hope that people like Dr. Weil realize ways to make major profits, so they can spend money on research that shows how people can lead even healthier lives than the ones they are currently leading with all kinds of alternative therapies.

      Drugs aren’t alone the answer – but I don’t agree that all they do is mask a problem. They make it easier to deal with problems / get to the roots of problems and stay steady in doing so. They also make us much more able to solve problems we may not feel otherwise capable of solving.

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