FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

New Year’s Resolutions for Big Pharma

by MARTHA ROSENBERG

It was another year of fighting black boxes, sweet talking juries and burying incriminating clinical data for Big Pharma.

But before its reputation is completely gone–How many pharmaceutical salesmen does it take to change a light bulb? It doesn’t need to be changed; it just needs a new name and formulation before the patent runs out–Big Pharma could make the following New Year’s resolutions.

1.We will instruct our reps not to waltz into doctors’ offices ahead of patients many of whom are–hello!–not feeling well and have been waiting a long time. We will admonish them to stop high fiving after a sale and using verbs like “aced ” and “got over big time.” They will never call the doctor “dude.”

2.We will stop pushing schizophrenic drugs like Seroquel and Zyprexa to the depressed, anxious, moody, confused, aged and people we can convince are bipolar through alarmist ad campaigns. (“Are you sure you don’t have racing thoughts?”) We will admit they are dangerous drugs with serious weight gain, hyperglycemia and diabetes side effects that we tried to bury until the New York Times outed us.

3.We will stop selling depression to people with simple life problems–“Tired of your commute? Weather got you down? You might be depressed!”– to boost SSRI sales. We will admit they are dangerous drugs that can cause–not prevent–suicide in all age groups except the old who we have on Seroquel and Zyprexa, anyway. (see above)

4.We will stop trying to resuscitate HRT—“it’s good for women between 49 and 49 1/2 with intact uteruses and no history of heart disease or bringing lawsuits”–and admit we perpetrated a 40 year lethal hoax and should be keeping Bernie, Skilling and Fastow company at Club Fed. We will acknowledge the other “females” HRT harmed and release mares and their foals from Premarin farms immediately.

5. We will stop trying to replace the HRT market by conducting osteoporosis scare campaigns starring Sally Field and Cheryl Ladd and admit bisphosphonates by stopping bone remodeling can cause–not prevent–fractures (see SSRIs, HRT) We will further admit bisphosphonates can cause jaw death, a painful and deadly side effect we weren’t going to mention until loudmouth dentists spoke out. (Thanks a lot, buddies.)

6.We will stop marketing the newer sleeping pills like Ambien as “safe” and “nonaddictive” and admit they are the club drug of choice across the nation and a leading cause of traffic accidents and air travelers who don’t know which side of the ocean they’re on. We will withdraw our application to start selling Ambien to children and ask ourselves what were we THINKING?

7.We’ll stop relying on agricultural antibiotics for the bulk of our revenues and admit they are causing antibiotic resistance in our own pills and focusing attention on our failure to create new antibiotics in the last decade. We will further admit they enable factory farming conditions so sickening you don’t want to look at them before eating.

8.We will stop exploiting childhood behavior problem with antidepressants, antipsychotics, “mood stabilizers” and other pediatric straightjackets. Despite the fact that our demographic data tell us “get them at 5 keep ’em for life,” we admit we are creating a generation that will be ready for rehab by middle school. (“Remember when were straight– in the second grade?”)

9.We will stop financially inducing doctors to attach their names to journal articles we have written which promote our drugs, bash our competitors and just happen to address the main areas of concerns prescribers have. Not only does it fool no one, we’ve been busted twice by JAMA.

10.We will stop paying the FDA to fast track our drugs. Even though early approval means a quick killing in sales, the lack of follow-up clinical data can produce other “quick killings” we don’t need. After all, Vioxx didn’t cause heart attacks in monkeys.

11.We will replace our salesmen, psychologists and integrative marketers with biologists and chemists. Sure they cost more– but instead of coming up with new drug names when a patent is running out and new diseases to sell Americans from their TV sets (“Hey Doc do you think I have this?”) they can come up with new drugs. What a concept!

MARTHA ROSENBERG is a Staff Cartoonist at the Evanston Roundtable. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Providence Journal. Arizona Republic, New Orleans Times-Picayune and other newspapers.  She can be reached at: mrosenberg@evmark.org

 

 

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail