A reader of this blog who wants to be identified as Doctor’s Daughter wrote the following editorial and submitted it to KevinMD, which turned it down. KevinMD is aimed at doctors. One recent article (“Why 99% of health care should be angry“) said this: “The real top earners in health care, however, are not physicians, but executives of big corporations, non-profit and especially for profit.” Here is what Doctor’s Daughter wrote:
(On Kevin MD’s website there was a recent piece entitled “How Can Pharma Earn the Trust of Patients?” which was submitted by Richard Meyer, the executive director of Online Strategic Solutions, which develops strategies for companies that engage in direct-to-consumer marketing. . . I feel compelled to offer a different viewpoint, focused on pharma’s actual business practices.)
Far too many pharmaceutical companies have:
1. Spent more money on marketing than on honest research and development.
2. Set exorbitant prices for drugs. For example, they have engaged in price-gouging for cancer drugs, with many costing more than $50,000 annually.
3. Tried to medicalize almost everything and, quelle surprise, they have a pill for that! Few of these drugs do anything to cure the condition; they just alleviate the symptoms.
4. Undermined the independence of guideline panels by making sure that the panels are filled with pharma friendly researchers and clinicians.
5. Unduly influenced the judgment of physicians and tried to undermine their integrity with gifts and cash.
6. Prevented lower-priced generics from coming on the market with “pay to delay” agreements and by other means.
7. Chosen profits over safety (remember the Heparin scandal?).
8. Designed studies that only report the supposed benefit of a particular drug and suppress information about adverse effects.
9. Exercised undue influence over panels that review the efficacy and safety of drugs.
10. Have continued to spend billions on advertising by saturating prime-time TV with Direct-To-Consumer ads to “Ask your doctor…”
With these kinds of abusive practices, should anybody trust these guys?
A reasonable list of complaints.