Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Drug companies rank almost as low as oil and tobacco companies in esteem!

Given the great value that drugs yield over many other healthcare alternatives (death, surgery, illness) why do the companies that manufacture them rank so low in esteem among the public? The Kaiser Family Foundation report from February 2005 (chart below) has some damning survey results for the drug companies.

Doctors have the most esteem, tobacco companies the least. Oil companies are not ranked much better than the tobacco companies. But third from the bottom are the pharmaceutical companies which actually equal the hated HMOs and managed care plans in the rankings. Shocking.

This chart might explain it. While 60% of the public (below left) thinks that the pharmaceutical industry has an important role in society by researching new drugs and treatments, 70% of them (below right) think they are too interested in making profits and putting profits ahead of people.

The truth is that drugs are effective. The issue may be in getting that message out to the general public and being heard over the shrill complaints of populist politicians and the media trying to drum up a story. The other plain simple fact is that in our economic system even the pharmaceutical companies have stockholders and if these companies don't make profits, no one will invest in them, the companies go away and no drugs will be made. That extreme result is not going to happen, but this data presents a perfect climate for someone (politicians for instance) to step in with yet more regulation with no objection and maybe even assent from the general public. They would get to make a name for themselves whether regulation would be wise or not.

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Anonymous said...

So you've accepted the drug companies' word that all their drugs are effective? Try reading The Truth About the Drug Companies, by Marcia Angell, a physician and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Daniel Haszard said...

I took zyprexa which was ineffective for my condition and gave me diabetes.

Zyprexa, which is used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, accounted for 32% of Eli Lilly's $14.6 billion revenue last year.

Zyprexa is the product name for Olanzapine,it is Lilly's top selling drug.It was approved by the FDA in 1996 ,an 'atypical' antipsychotic a newer class of drugs without the motor side effects of the older Thorazine.Zyprexa has been linked to causing diabetes and pancreatitis.

Did you know that Lilly made nearly $3 billion last year on diabetic meds, Actos,Humulin and Byetta?

Yes! They sell a drug that can cause diabetes and then turn a profit on the drugs that treat the condition that they may have caused in the first place!

I was prescribed Zyprexa from 1996 until 2000.
In early 2000 i was shocked to have an A1C test result of 13.9 (normal is 4-6) I have no history of diabetes in my family.
Daniel Haszard http://www.zyprexa-victims.com