Prescribing Profits: Big Pharma's Reign over America's Health
1892 WordsMay 5, 20148 Pages
Prescribing Profits: Big Pharma's Reign Over America's Health
"The boundaries between academic medicine — medical schools, teaching hospitals, and their faculty — and the pharmaceutical industry have been dissolving since the 1980s, and the important differences between their missions are becoming blurred. Medical research, education, and clinical practice have suffered as a result"
—Marcia Angell, the Boston Review
For decades, Americans have willingly sacrificed thousands of dollars for prescription drugs to help them eat, sleep, focus, relax, lose weight, make friends, have sex, and pursue happiness. Our culture encourages us to look for "quick fixes" to our problems rather than getting to the core of the issue. In recent…show more content…
Overall, the analysis found that 37% of physicians said they sometimes or often agreed to prescribe a brand-name drug at their patients’ request.” Consumers rarely think to give their doctor permission not to prescribe them a drug. The emotional connection and sense of urgency created by advertisements can make patients develop a sense of dependency on the product before even trying it. Persuasive marketing has contributed to drug overprescription among healthcare providers, which is a main factor of the fifth leading cause of death in the United States: adverse drug reactions. An adverse drug reaction is defined as "an appreciably harmful or unpleasant reaction, resulting from an intervention related to the use of a medicinal product, which predicts hazard from future administration and warrants prevention or specific treatment ... or withdrawal of the product" (Edwards & Aronson). Each year, they cause an estimated 100,000 deaths and 1.5 million hospitalizations. Many doctors prescribe medication that their patients have requested whether or not the drug is the most beneficial option for the individual. Without thorough examination of a patient's medical history, he or she is more likely to experience unpleasant side effects from the requested drug. The arthritis medication Vioxx, for example, was withdrawn from the market in 2004 after it was discovered to have caused up to 160,000 heart attacks and strokes. Incidentally, the company had