Steven Peters of NaturalRevolution.org is admittedly biased — the name of his website kind of tips his hand. If any doubt remains, here is a quotation about Big Pharma:
If this were a terrorist group causing death and destruction like we’ve never seen in any other time in history, the US would be bombing every last one of them out of existence.
In any given year, in U.S. hospitals, more than two million patients are afflicted by ADRs (adverse drug reactions) caused by prescribed drugs. That seems like a lot. Now, imagine how many non-hospitalized people are walking around suffering from adverse reactions to their prescriptions. We can only guess, because ambulatory patients are not kept tabs on by any central agency. Over 100,000 Americans die in a year from adverse drug reactions, a statistic that comes with a price tag of $12 billion.
Granted, people are all different, and some react differently than others to substances concocted in laboratories. Some have previously undiscovered allergies and sensitivities. Some undermine themselves by not revealing what else they are taking when the doctor asks. Many emergency-admission patients are in no condition to provide comprehensive medical histories, or have no one at their side to help.
Plenty of medications need to be titrated, or carefully measured out, until the optimal dosage is established. With so many variables, all meds are not going to work perfectly for everyone all the time. Also, a big part of the problem lies with the protocols by which pharmaceuticals are tried out on healthy people who are not taking other major meds. Peters writes,
But when these new drugs are declared “safe” and enter the drug prescription books, they are naturally going to be used by people who are on a variety of other medications and have a lot of other health problems.
In other words, drugs “generally recognized as safe” have a way of being unleashed upon the public with less than stellar results. This makes patient vulnerable to the same disadvantage as the “end user” who buys a next-generation computer. Too often, a product is released before all the bugs are worked out, and the end-users (in this analogy, the patients) are pressed into service as beta testers.
In the industry, this is known as the post-approval stage of information gathering, another phase in which medical ethics might give way to a conflict of interests. Peters calls on stats from the General Accounting Office showing that for a nine-year period (1976-85), half of all newly released drugs had “serious post-approval risks,” and actually were responsible for heart failure, respiratory arrest, anaphylaxis, seizures, blindness, birth defects, and more.
Readers, please excuse a personal intrusion from the blog author. In the several orthopedics practices I worked in, the doctors were always men. The offices were often visited by reps from the pharmaceutical corporations, who almost invariably were very personable, model-level gorgeous young women. Coincidence?
Not to put too fine a point on it, drugs are prescribed for many different reasons, some of them having to do with doctors being treated to over $2 billion worth of hospitality annually, at 314,000 events per year sponsored by Big Pharma.
Next, we will discuss weight-loss drugs specifically.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!