A short Fact Speech on Pharmaceutical Corruption that I performed – March 19, 2009
|Heart attack, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, bone loss, seizures, stroke, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, stomach bleeding, rectal bleeding, kidney failure, anxiety, depression, spasms, swelling, hair loss, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, and of course, a 4 hour erection. Welcome to the world of side affects among the more popular of prescription drugs. When simply looking at this discrete list of side affects, I often find myself asking, “Why is there such a multiplicity of readily available, government regulated prescription drugs that do just as much, if not more damage that help?” Well, the fact of the matter is that when analyzing the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying influence in the legislative process, as well as viewing the effects of pharmaceutical advertisements, there is corruption within this deceitful industry.
Let’s start with the Pharmaceutical industry’s unfair advantage in our the lobbying system. Their advantage; money; plain and simple. In fact, between the years 1998-2004, the pharmaceutical industry spent over $612 million dollars on lobbying purposes in this country alone, which is more than any other industry or special interest group. When interviewing Wendy Blum, a Registered Nurse with over 20 years experience, I found that while lobbying for home health care services in Albany, she soon realized how uninterested our senators and other assembly persons truly are when discussing policies that won’t exponentially benefit them or their political party. Compare this to the pharmaceutical lobbyists who frequently give out millions to political parties in order to influence their policy decisions. Not to mention the pampering, the wining, the dining, the kickbacks, and ski trips for the politicians themselves. At the end of my little interview with Wendy, she mentioned that, “At the end of the day they (pharmaceutical lobbyists) would have a lobster dinner for senators, assembly persons, and other staff. Again, swaying their vote.” Doesn’t sound fair to me.
But let’s move on to the heavily overplayed, dreamlike pharmaceutical commercials that make the average person feel abnormal, when they are not. In fact, many physicians agree that these commercials and ads not only convince people into thinking there is something wrong with them but also tells them what medication to take. Commercials like the one on http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=YRRsLFXtnlk, without a doubt, damages the patient/doctor relationship because the patient already feels that there is something wrong with them; which makes it particularly difficult for doctors to properly diagnose their patients. Not to mention it makes the average doctor look like a drug dealer in a white coat.
So what have I learned? I’ve learned that the pharmaceutical industry has way too much power and influence over government policies and the average viewer of mainstream advertisements. The sad thing is that this problem will remain for awhile because it is so profitable to our higher ups. It’s even gotten to a point where the pharmaceutical companies don’t even deny these claims. They just plead the fifth and watch their millions pile up. Even doctors, who do profit off of these companies, have come out against it. It’ a corrupt mess that puts innocent people at risk just to make a quick buck. I hope you all have learned a little something as well. Thank you.
Blum, Wendy K. "Unfair Politics: The Common Folk vs. Pharmaceutical Companies." Personal interview. 11 Mar. 2009.
"December 2007." Pharma Marketing Blog. Web. 15 Mar. 2009. <http://pharmamkting.blogspot.com/2007_12_01_archive.html>.
Deen, Thalif. "HEALTH: Corruption in Pharmaceutical Industry Kills - IPS ipsnews.net." IPS Inter Press Service. Web. 16 Mar. 2009. <http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=35799>.
"Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption - The New York Review of Books." The New York Review of Books - Home. Web. 15 Mar. 2009. <http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22237>.
"YouTube - Zoloft TV Ad (2004)." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 18 Mar. 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRRsLFXtnlk>.