"Hey mom," shrieked Sarai, running to her mom, "my tongue, it's all green!" Sarai sounded scared. "Don’t worry Sarai," her mom said trying to reassure her daughter, "I’m going to give you a pill that will make the green color go away." Yes, there’s a pill to be had for every complaint. Thanks to the pharmaceutical industry, they have managed to successfully convince the population that medication consumption is the ultimate panacea for all ailments. However, their intentions are selfish because these companies develop drugs mostly for profit rather than the health of consumers.
First, the drugs are developed by using clinical and animals trials to test for potential risk, safety, and harm they may cause to human life. The drugs have to be safe for human consumption and are screened for harmful and toxic chemicals. Drug companies use their money and influence to manipulate and gain access to public clinic records of patients and are able to develop drugs based on the information they receive from these files.
"Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars" (Web). The pharmaceutical companies are continuously developing drugs in an effort to target everyone, even the healthy. Drugs are developed to treat even the mildest physical ailment and are made to specifically treat only one form of illness. Therefore, someone who has multiple complaints will consume different drugs for each complaint. The drugs are made to treat, not to cure, so one has to always be in a state of being constantly medicated, which creates a dependence on the medication, which means more money for the drug companies.
After identifying a potential illness, the drug companies begin the task of marketing the drugs to an unsuspecting population; no one is exempt. According to Gadsden's "Selling to Everyone" (1), "That’s the desire of pharmaceutical companies and their promotional ads are specifically targeted to create fear and anxiety, to make you think that you need the drug due to the sickness that you now think you may have. In an effort to promote their drugs these companies come up with new disorders in order to promote new drugs which are expensive using various media, it's a strategic marketing ploy and it works in their favor. The pharmaceutical companies promote their drugs using media coverage such as radios, television, newspaper and journalists. Actors are also used in these promotions and they play a vital part as they testify to the effectiveness of the drugs they are paid to promote. They will tell you that before using a certain drug they felt depressed, anxious, fearful and withdrawn, unable to participate in everyday activities, according to one such marketing quote ‘does juggling work, family, and personal commitments leave you feeling frazzled and stressed out? We have the tools to help you'" (Web). This promotional campaign was aimed at women who experience menstrual symptoms and suggests the need for medication during the menstrual cycle. Even doctors are part of the promotional campaign for these drug companies and are paid to refer their mental-health patients to prescription drugs instead of psychotherapy treatment. The drugs are also marketed by patients who are chosen to talk about how a specific medication has helped them to recover. Commercials are aired during prime time news in order to reach the vast majority of viewers. Institutions that represent patients are also instrumental in spreading the news about certain new illnesses that require a certain new drug marketed for it. These pharmaceutical companies are no fools, they are aware of the power of the media and are using it to their financial advantage.
According to Rosenberg, “Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of PAXIL or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need” (Web). Studies have shown that prolonged use of certain drugs has proven to be fatal. Certain mental health drugs have been proven to have deadly, irreversible effects. Drugs for the elderly who have dementia are labeled with warnings that the drug causes death. This warning is, however, ignored, and the drug continues to be prescribed for elderly in nursing homes. Psychiatric drugs prescribed to treat mental illness have proven to cause one to have suicidal thoughts. The effects of heart disease and cancer drugs have led to the deaths of 225,000 patients from adverse drug reactions. Pharmaceutical drugs have been responsible for the deaths of 106,000 Americans who succumb to the side effects of harmful drugs. The medical professionals who prescribe these drugs totally ignore the Hippocratic Oath that they took when they promised to first do no harm to the patients who have entrusted their health to them. They continue to prescribe drugs capable of doing quite the opposite of healing in return for financial compensation given to them.
My initial response while researching this paper and discovering the ruthless practices and suppressive operations of the pharmaceutical industry was one of disbelief. My recommendation is basically for one to take responsibility for one's actions. Instead of running to the doctor first try to find out about your diet and how healthy the foods are that you consume. Opt for a diet of fruits and vegetables instead of dining at the fast food killers and get in the habit of reading the caloric content of goods bought at the grocery and the supermarket. I have started doing that and making drastic changes to the diet of myself and my family. I also recommend taking vitamins regularly, this has really helped me, as I was feeling sluggish and unfocused. It is also important to get in the habit of reading, as this can prove to be very empowering. We should not just sit and absorb all that media feeds us, we should be proactive and make our own decisions concerning our health. I have friends and family members who have medical appointments that never seem to end and I always wondered why is it necessary for such frequent visits to the doctor. Now I know that it's all about the money and to keep us hooked on drugs so that we keep going back and drug companies increase in wealth. I recommend that you decrease your sugar intake and instead replace it with raw honey, which will not cause your blood sugar level to rise, thus lowering the risk of diabetes. Get in the habit of drinking water instead of soda and sugary drinks. Reduction of salt intake also proves to reduce the risk of heart-related problems. We don’t have to feel powerless and vulnerable.
Due to their financial prowess, the pharmaceutical companies have managed to successfully manipulate and control the lives of the vast majority and has been able to keep the population dependent on drug consumption. That’s the way they want to keep it, we are all at risk of being turned into patients. They have long gone from being content to helping the sick get well to helping the well get sick. Certain drugs in their own rights have earned the respect of saving lives, physicians also do a tremendous job of helping victims of accidents and trauma to recover. They just don’t seem to be content with that and have now widened their scope of interest by making it easy to gain access to treat diseases that they are primarily responsible for creating. It's reported that the Food and Drug Administration is trying to regulate vitamin consumption and they are trying to keep hidden what our ancestors have long known and practiced, good nutrition by the consumption of ground provision free from pesticides and growth hormones.
In the long run, what we eat is important. How about creating a network of vitamins and minerals for the preservation of the strength and sanity of future generations? PHARMA has long diverted from the Hippocratic oath sworn by new physicians to "first do no harm."