Thursday, September 01, 2005

Fear Mongering, Profit Driven Drug Companies

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The above is an ad I saw in Time Magazine by a drug company trying to enforce its communistic grip of the US drug monopoly that these types of companies have enjoyed for so long. They are using this as a scare tactic to convince you that anything made overseas in some "shady" country could not possibly be trusted. If that is the case, then don't ever shop at Wal-Mart, buy another pair of shoes or buy a car from any American car company ever again.

Why is it that we can trust a place like China to make our baby strollers, safety seats, children's toys and every piece of baby clothing but we can't trust them to make a boner pill? Why is it that this is one area where capitalism and free trade is bad? Why are they so afraid of the competition?

Is it because the top 7 pharmaceutical companies earn 20 billion in annual profits, that the top 12 make more profit than all the top 24 automotive related industries, including GM and Ford, combined? Could it be because a company such as Merck made 6 billion dollars in profits in 2004? Could it be because these companies make an 18.5% return of revenues, which is 8 times higher than the average of other industries? Could it be that the pharmaceutical industry wants to remain one of the most profitable industries in the world? Or could it be that we as Americans are just being taken for a ride since we pay around 45% more for drugs here than they do in other western countries, and we account for nearly half of all world wide drug revenues?

In 1990 Americans spent 37 billion dollars on prescription drugs but by 1997 it was almost 79 billion. In 2001 the top 10 US drug companies increased their profits by 33%. Prescription drugs are the fastest growing portion of health care costs as they typically increase 17% per year and will soon overtake physician compensation as the 2nd biggest expense in medical care.

You may say that they need to keep competition out because they are developing cures for cancer and AIDS and need the revenues for research and development, and to make sure their drugs are safe, right? Wrong. Only 1 out of 5 dollars made in the drug industry goes towards research and development; most companies spend twice as much on marketing and advertising. Most drug research comes from small biotech companies who later get their breakthroughs pushed by the major drug companies. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states that over 100,000 people in the US die per year due to side effects from their medication; that's almost three times the amount of deaths from automobile accidents. The FDA claims there may have been as many as 28,000 deaths from the drug Vioxx alone.

Now, to address all the bullshit in the ad; I know the thought of buying medicine from the Neanderthals in third world nations such as New Zealand is terrifying so I have come up with some statistics from the CIA to break down the threat.

Greece, Canada, Israel and New Zealand all have longer life expectancies than the US. If these countries can keep their people alive longer than we can, then I want to take the drugs that they are taking; clearly they are working.

The Czech Republic, Greece and New Zealand all have higher literacy rates than the US. Maybe the reason our drugs kill so many people here is because the pharmacist can't read the labels and end up putting the medicine in the wrong bottles.

Here is another thought; half of the countries listed on their map are now or were at one time nuclear powers. So does this mean we trust them with the power to wipe out humanity but we can't trust them to cure humanities menstrual cramps and swollen prostates?

I would also like to point out that the company who made this ad is a British, not American company. China and India both have a larger GDP than the UK (2nd and 4th) and both have plans of going to the moon within the next few years. Oooh, I'm scared; besides, when was the last time you saw a doctor or a pharmacist who wasn't from one of the countries that were mentioned in the ad?

13 comments:

trick said...

Personally, I'll take my drugs from anywhere I can get them.

United We Lay said...

We get ours from Colombia and we're perfectly fine.

Son of Lilith said...

But Toad, when you combine socialism and capitalism so that it increases profit for the suits, everybody wins, right? RIGHT?

Toad734 said...

Ya I guess its just like the farm and corporate subsidies; it's ok when you are giving someone something for nothing as long as they don't need it, with this communism is ok as long as someone can make an inflated profit off of peoples pain.

As long as you don't provide free health care and drugs for poor people it isn't socialism.

Sandi said...

Toad this is a subject that is near and dear to me. I am a caregiver to my elderly mother, and getting her meds every month is like paying rent. I have jumped through so many hoops for all of these drug companies so I can get her meds at a discount or even free in some cases, but the blood sucking bastards make you go through all those hoops every three months.
Yes, before anyone asks, she does have Medicare, big whoop. Their drug plan only give about a 40.00 a month savings, that is not enough to make a difference.

Two Minutes J said...

Profit Profit Profit. Thats what its all about. As if they're not making enough money as it is. This ad is the epitome of propaganda. I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll find them, pull them out of their high rise offices by their gullivers, exchange some foul slovos, and then pummel these grahtzny bratzys with my rookers in their litsos. After that, I'm viddy to do a little in-out in-out with their devotchkas. After all, that's what they're doing to prescription drug prescribers. Yea, that'll be real horrorshow,...and all that cal.

Nölff said...

The art of advertizing + hjypocondrics = $$$$$$$

Nölff said...

I meant to spel it like this: hypochondriacs

Tom Harper said...

I saw that ad too. What a crock of shit. Unfortunately, there are probably a lot of rednecks in this country who'll see the ad and think "ewww, icky third world people touching the pills I'm taking." Some people will be dumb enough to fall for that ad.

Mushroomhead and Wolfboy said...

i was jsut going through some blogs ended up on your and read what u wrote and i cant agree with u more, i wish i could say more beyond that but it seems that u can the comments here have covered that already ^_^

Jim said...

Not to be too much of a dick, but the word is spelled "you" not "u". As soon as I get to that, I stop reading your comment.

Mike V. said...

Ah, the irony.
All of these companies support rabid "anti-socialist" republicans, but when it comes to getting their own form of socialism, then that's another story, of course.
God forbid that people are allowed to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits on this beautiful labor day, and heaven forbid that we should be able to get prescriptions at the best price, especially those on a fixed income.

George W. Bush said...

My drugs came from Ollie North...and now you know the rest of the story...