Generics and Evidence based medicine–Big Pharma’s influence

It’s about the money, not the patient!

It’s not surprising to hear that drug companies try to block the release of competing lower cost products. Our patent system has become an instrument of monopolies and needs revision.

Add that to pharmaceutical companies’ campaigns to undermine evidence based recommendations of less expensive medications and you have a system based on maximizing cost not benefit.

“A confluence of factors blunted Allhat’s impact. One was the simple difficulty of persuading doctors to change their habits. Another was scientific disagreement, as many academic medical experts criticized the trial’s design and the government’s interpretation of the results.”

“Moreover, pharmaceutical companies responded by heavily marketing their own expensive hypertension drugs and, in some cases, paying speakers to publicly interpret the Allhat results in ways that made their products look better.”

In the U.S. value and cost/effectiveness are deemphasized as considerations in treatment decisions. Providers are influenced in many ways in their choices for patients. One would hope that patient outcome is the primary concern but it appears that personal gain, drug company emollients, and over the top pharmaceutical company advertising are major factors as well.

We can’t afford our health care and 50 million people have no health coverage; medical expenses are among the leading causes of bankruptcy; and our health outcomes are mediocre when compared with other industrialized countries.

This is not a great advertisement for the so called “free market” system.

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One response to “Generics and Evidence based medicine–Big Pharma’s influence

  1. You hit the nail on the head. Drug companies are allowed to have a monopoly on the meds they release. They claim they need that time to recoup the costs from R&D, however they overstate their claims on how much that actually costs. In the meantime, they spend billions on adverting.

    If we were allowed to purchase lower cost prescription meds from safe sources out of the United States & generics were more easily available, big pharma would be forced to drop its prices to respond to the competitive market.

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