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the "other" drug war

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't know if anyone else watched it tonight.....

tonight on Frontline, PBS.... the documentary was all about the "Other" drug war...

I was rivoted.

here is a link to pbs

(edited to note: I think that link crapped out... here is a nother link... tell me if it doesn't work for you)


"How profitable is the pharmaceutical industry?

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable business sectors. In 2002, Fortune 500 drug companies made profits of 18.5 percent profit, while the median profitablity of all Fortune 500 companies was around 3 percent. The industry maintains that these high profits are needed to continue the very expensive, high risk development of new drugs."

It might have been hard to notice it, but I'll repeat. They make 18.5 percent profits.... while the median profitiblitiy of fortune 500 is companies... is 3 percent.

They insist they should run at that profit. while everyone else is below 5 and as we know...they pay politicos much money in campaign contributions so that they can continue at this rate..

as for the risk of new drugs developed...

Go through the transcripts or see the show on repeat... you will learn that their so called r&d.... they only spend 13 percent of their profits. As for marketing they spend 16 percent.
they spend more money on advertising than budweiser does....think about that...

and their so called breakthrough drugs.... are just more glamorous and more expensive takes on advil... and others garden variety over the counters.

check the link and open up other pages on it... it is very, very informative.

post #2 of 22
I daresay if you live anywhere near-urban in the US you cannot help but notice the amt of drugstores being built............... Here in the Chicago burbs they are everywhere. Often 2 right across from each other!!! I am within 20 min of no less than 16 !!!!!

They are not doing that hoping that you will need them, rather because you are taking massive amts of whatever.

I once heard an interview on NPR regarding pharms and they spoke with a women of 47 who was taking 6 drugs daily/therapeutically!!!! This included estrogen (of course : ), steroids (tennis elbow), migrane relief, the rest I can't remember.

Can you imagine?
post #3 of 22
I accidentally caught some of the last portion of the show. Anyone know if we can get a copy or transcript from them? I was totally amazed at the information being relayed.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
go to the link I posted and poke around.
pbs and frontline are pretty good about providing transcripts.

it was fascinating. and it was very sad. Nothing like seeing how we are getting screwed by the most greedy industry on earth. imo
post #5 of 22
"You may start out taking a pill for high blood pressure and, as a result, develop a wheeze. Instead of switching blood pressure pills, you are now prescribed a new medication for asthma, which upsets your stomach and prevents you from sleeping. To treat the stomach, you are prescribed Tagamet, which causes mental confusion. Because of jitteriness and insomnia, Valium is added. Yet Tagamet increases the level of Valium in the blood and makes it more toxic. What started out as a blood pressure problem winds up being diagnosed as possible senile dementia - and people with senile dementia need care - perhaps in an institution."

< edited to say this is NOT a quote from the site but from my local newspaper printed around the time of this thread. >
post #6 of 22
Check out this month's Utne Reader and read the article "A Drug for All Reasons."

very informative to say the least.
post #7 of 22
That was an awesome frontline.

During the episode they said that at their website you could get all the transcripts, watch the interviews etc.

it was a very eye-opening episode.

Els' 3 Ones--there are some illnesses that do require the taking of multiple medications--so yes i can imagine taking 6 meds a day--i havent taken that many (my tops was 4 meds 2x a day) but I know people taking many more than that. thats not to say that the woman on npr wasnt totally over-medicated. just a different point of view.

it is just a shame that people think that illness is something to be exploited for a profit.....

the complete monopoly of drug companies was overwhelmingly scary--and listening tothe ceo's talk about how they just need this money...grrrrrr.

this is an important issue to me--i'm glad other people saw this episode and had the same reaction as me.
post #8 of 22
They said the pharmaceuticals spend (was it...?) 18% on advertising and that this was more than spent on Research and Development. Things that make you go Hmmmmmm......

<edited cuz I goofed>
post #9 of 22
I worked for a year in a lab for R&D in the food industry. (1979)

We did the most ridiculous, wasteful experiments!

When I asked the head tech why we were dumb doing things as "cooking" lettuce, he told me, "Miriam, we try everything, EVERYTHING!"

You can imagine what it is like in the pharmaceutical industry.

I strongly suspicion that a cure for cancer has long ago been found, and stashed away. Sorry if I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but really! All of this time, and $, and there are even more cancer deaths!

Keep that $ coming.
post #10 of 22
There have been fascinating studies done on cancer and germanium in the past - but these results are not widely touted as possible alternatives to chemo, etc.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
no, leila, it was the opposite. they spend more on marketing than r&d. 13 for r&d 16 for marketing.
post #12 of 22
a women of 47 who was taking 6 drugs daily/therapeutically!!!!
I once discharged a man from the hospital with no less than THIRTY-ONE prescriptions! Yep, thirty-one.

post #13 of 22

Oooops. I have fixed my post now. That's what I was trying to say - it just came out backwards !!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
hey, I think my link crapped out... so I put in a new one to Frontline directly, but in case there is trouble...

here it is again


BYW, Leila, I figured that was what you meant. Either it way, it is gross what they do. Talk about war profiteers... "drug wars".
post #15 of 22
Thanks Trabot

post #16 of 22
As far as the efficacy of drugs produced and distributed in Canada, the statement that they may not be as safe as those approved by the FDA is a scaremongering tactic. Drugs in Canada have to undergo the many identical tests that those in the States do. This is a turf war about money and nothing more.
post #17 of 22
ITA with InfoisPower. I just got the flier in the mail today, urging me to call my congressman to tell him to "stand with seniors and public health officials to oppose unsafe imported medicines."

If this were true, why then we should be heading north to "liberate" our dear neighbors from the death grip of socialized medicine and unsafe drugs...anyone?
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
"stand with seniors and public health officials to oppose unsafe imported medicines."

manipulative assholes!
post #19 of 22
Aren't the drugs being sold in Canada at a greatly reduced price manufactured by the same drug companies that are overpricing their product especially to seniors and the working poor in the U.S.?? Is the Canadian government really that duh-mb they don't know how to place controls ??

Turf Wars - Exactly.
post #20 of 22
i haven't any experience w/ canadian drugs, but i can tell you, that in mexico it's amazing! my fil lives near a border town and goes there once a month to get his meds for heart, blood pressuer, etc... what would cost him $150/mo. in the us costs him less around $30 in mexico...it's amazing... we went with him and there are dozens of phamacies right across the boarder.. the us customs didn't even blink an eye when we told them we had bought meds...
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