Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Comment: Heather Johnson on "Five alarming facts about Big Pharma"

With healthcare becoming a major issue in the Presidential campaign it’s difficult to discern truth from fiction. As a nation we don’t want to believe that there are conspiracies to milk the populace for all we’re worth, but it can be hard to overlook certain facts that raise red flags. I don’t think either candidate is going to swiftly overturn what the big pharma companies have been formulating for years and that’s sad. All we can do is be up on the trends and educate ourselves and our friends and families about what’s really going on.

Here are five facts that need out attention:

1, Doctors are not always looking out for our welfare.

When pharmaceutical reps stroll into a doctor’s office with gourmet meals and free handouts it’s hard to figure out which doctors are not on the take so to speak. Most doctors believe it’s unethical, in the very least, to accept these freebies I’m one who thinks that most probably do. Ulterior motives are disgusting when it comes to someone’s well-being.

2, Brands have ridiculous mark-ups.

We all know that it’s cheaper to buy a generically named medication versus the popular brand name. What’s scary is that these mark-ups can be sometimes as astronomically high as a thousand percent. The greediest industry keeps getting greedier.

3. Representatives often haven’t a clue about what they’re talking about.

There has been Congressional testimony from drug reps that state that the big companies hire the pretty people to peddle their product. These representatives may go through a short two-week training period before they’re sent out to the hospitals to meet with doctors. Most of the training revolves around selling techniques, the sleazier the better, and not about the drugs themselves.

4. The generic brands are gaining momentum.

This is a breath of fresh air compared to some of the other facts we’ve looked at. The generic brands of medications have enjoyed a surge in sales since the mark-ups instilled by the big brands have come to light. People are tending to shop around for their drugs and go for the cheaper generic brands and shop at stores like Wal-Mart.

5. Drug prices are on the rise, constantly.

Prescription drugs are typically the most expensive portion of a patient’s healthcare bill. It is common for companies to increase the price of the most heavily prescribed drugs multiple times a year. With this vicious cycle in place, one of the only ways this tide will be turned is for the public to become educated and make sounder decisions for themselves.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of nursing school rankings. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

1 comment:

kash said...

Thank you very much. This was a great help.