Doctors are usually the ones conducting checkups for their patients but in Consumer Reports National Research Center’s second annual prescription drug survey, the roles are reversed. Consumers gave their doctors checkups and they did not get a clean bill of health.
Of the 1,150 adults surveyed:
- Almost 70 percent think Big Pharma (big pharmaceutical companies) has too much influence on what drugs doctors prescribe
- 50 percent feel that a doctor’s first impulse is to prescribe a drug without first considering other alternatives to address a health condition
- 47 percent believe that Big Pharma’s gifts and incentives influence doctors to prescribe certain drugs
- 41 percent said doctors tend to recommend newer and more expensive prescription drugs over older and less expensive ones.
Big Pharma’s influence over doctors is not something new, Dr. Joseph Mercola points out. A study showed that drug companies are the biggest influence on a doctor’s decision on which drug to prescribe, and that 70 percent of doctors consider drug representatives an easy and convenient source of information on new drugs.
The giant pharmaceutical companies don’t waste any time when it comes to wielding influence over doctors. Drug representatives even visit future doctors while they’re still in med school.
The Big Pharma Payroll
While Big Pharma also floods television and print media with direct-to-consumer ads, the bread and butter of the entire marketing operation is direct contact with physicians. This is one of the main reasons why drug companies spend about $16 billion each year to influence doctors and only about $4 billion on direct-to-consumer ads in the United States.
The “payroll” means about $10,000 for regular doctors and for some, millions. An infamous example is world-renowned child psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Biederman of Harvard Medical School. Biederman is a recipient of several awards, is on the editorial board of multiple journals, and a reviewer on most psychiatric literature. His influence has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs for children.
A Congressional inquiry in 2008 revealed that Biederman earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from Big Pharma from 2000 to 2007, but only reported $200,000 to Harvard officials – a major conflict of interest.
There are more Dr. Biedermans out there helping the pharmaceutical industry rake in profit that is more than three times the average of other Fortune 500 companies.
Big Pharma doesn’t want you healthy. If you were then you wouldn’t need to buy another pill or take another shot. Drug companies have mastered the art of creating the fear that motivates you to buy expensive medication that rarely addresses the underlying cause of disease.
Dr. Mercola believes that no prescription drug can truly prevent disease because synthetic chemicals cannot produce health as they don’t belong in your body to begin with.
Your body has the unique ability to heal itself. Take control of your health. Making necessary lifestyle changes will help create abundant health for you and your family, lessen your visits to the doctor, and avoid ineffective and potentially dangerous drugs.