New Year’s Resolutions for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Our Reps Will Wait Their Turn To See The Doctor

They will not be dressed to star in music videos. Prior experience at Hooters or Work Out World will not be sufficient for hiring. They will not call the doctor dude. We understand others waiting to see the doctor are sick.

We Will Leave Poor Countries Alone

We’ll stop conducting clinical trials on people who can’t give informed consent and think they’re getting medical care. We will stop marketing cholesterol drugs, HPV vaccines and lifestyle drugs to poor people whose major health problems are malaria, diarrheal diseases and potable water.

We’ll Stop Extortion Pricing and Looting Medicare/Medicaid

We admit that pricing drugs at $52,321.80 a month (Actimmune), $42,570 a month (Chenoda) or $87,800 for a course of treatment (Harvoni) is extortion. Frankly we’re amazed we have gotten away with it.

We Will Stop Financing Patient Front Groups (“Astroturf”)

We admit the flash mobs that materialize at FDA hearings to beg for an expensive drug to be approved are paid by us. So are groups that swarm Medicaid offices demanding that a cheaper drug not be substituted for an expensive one. We admit we originated the meme that “one out of 4 has mental illness” to sell psych drugs. It’s working.

We Renounce Our Love Affair With Biologics

Sure Humira, Enbrel, Remicade etc. make us multi billions every year but we admit they are the ultimate dupe. Despite our cagey marketing, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic plaque psoriasis and Crohn’s disease are hardly the country’s main health problems. Worse, they invite cancers in the young, frequently-lethal T-cell lymphoma and two types of skin cancer.

We’ll Stop Selling Diseases

We admit we convinced people with real life problems and their doctors that they had depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety and assorted “spectrum” disorders and made billions doing it. We further admit that almost no one has exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, shift work sleep disorder and non-24-hour, sleep-wake disorder despite how much we advertise them but hey, people are gullible.

We’ll Stop Selling Risk of Diseases

We admit that scaring people into taking meds for abstract risksthe risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, asthma, osteoporosis, menopause and old age–is one of our most successful marketing gambits. Patients never know if the expensive meds they take every day are even working–so we have a lifelong customer.

We’ll Stop Causing Antibiotic Resistance

We acknowledge that the ten million pounds of antibiotics we sell a year to keep caged farm animals alive are going right into people’s dinners and waterways. In addition to creating obesity (why farm animals get them) they also create resistant bacteria which kills thousands a year. We admit we have no interest in creating new antibiotics because there is no money in it compared with drugs people take for life.

We Will Stop Testing Drugs on the Public While the Public is Using Them

We admit that we often market drugs before their safety is known. Think Vioxx, Bextra, Baycol, Trovan, Meridia, Seldane, Hismanal, Darvon, Raxar, Redux, Mylotarg, Lotronex, Propulsid, phenylpropanolamine (PPA), Prexige, phenacetin, Oraflex, Omniflox, Posicor, Serzone and Duract. But hey, even after the injury suits, we still made money.

More articles by:

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).

Weekend Edition
August 07, 2020
Friday - Sunday
John Davis
The COVID Interregnum
Louis Yako
20 Postcard Notes From Iraq: With Love in the Age of COVID-19
Patrick Cockburn
War and Pandemic Journalism: the Truth Can Disappear Fast
Eve Ottenberg
Fixing the COVID Numbers
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Every Which Way to Lose
Paul Street
Trump is Not Conceding: This is Happening Here
Robert Hunziker
The World on Fire
Rob Urie
Neoliberal Centrists and the American Left
John Laforge
USAF Vet Could Face ‘20 Days for 20 Bombs’ for Protest Against US H-Bombs Stationed in Germany
Andrew Levine
Clyburn’s Complaint
Kavaljit Singh
Revisiting the Idea of Pigou Wealth Tax in the Time of Covid-19
Paul Ryder
Here Come the 1968 Mistakes Again
T.J. Coles
Fighting Over Kashmir Could Blow Up the Planet
David Macaray
Haven’t We All Known Guys Who Were Exactly like Donald Trump?
Conn Hallinan
What’s Driving the Simmering Conflict Between India and China
Joseph Natoli
American Failures: August, 2020
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid or One State: Has Jordan Broken a Political Taboo?
Bruce Hobson
The US Left Needs Humility to Understand Mexican Politics
David Rosen
Easy Targets: Trump’s Attacks on Transgendered People
Ben Debney
The Neoliberal Virus
Evelyn Leopold
Is Netanyahu Serious About Annexing Jordan Valley?
Nicky Reid
When the Chickens Came Home to Roost In Portlandistan
Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj
The Power of the White Man and His Symbols is Being De-Mystified
Kathy Kelly
Reversal: Boeing’s Flow of Blood
Brian Kelly
Ireland and Slavery: Framing Irish Complicity in the Slave Trade
Ariela Ruiz Caro
South American Nations Adopt Different COVID-19 Stategies, With Different Results
Ron Jacobs
Exorcism at Boston’s Old West Church, All Hallows Eve 1971
J.P. Linstroth
Bolsonaro’s Continuous Follies
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
Right-Wing Populism and the End of Democracy
Dean Baker
Trump’s Real Record on Unemployment in Two Graphs
Michael Welton
Listening, Conflict and Citizenship
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump Is The Only One Who Should Be Going To School This Fall
John Feffer
America’s Multiple Infections
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Thinking Outside the Social Media Echo Chamber
Andrea Mazzarino
The Military is Sick
John Kendall Hawkins
How the Middle Half Lives
Graham Peebles
The Plight of Refugees and Migrant Workers under Covid
Robert P. Alvarez
The Next Coronavirus Bill Must Protect the 2020 Election
Greg Macdougall
Ottawa Bluesfest at Zibi: Development at Sacred Site Poses Questions of Responsibility
CounterPunch News Service
Tensions Escalate as Logging Work Commences Near Active Treesits in a Redwood Rainforest
Louis Proyect
The Low Magic of Charles Bukowski
Gloria Oladipo
Rural America Deserves a Real COVID-19 Response
Binoy Kampmark
Crossing the Creepy Line: Google, Deception and the ACCC
Marc Norton
Giants and Warriors Give Their Workers the Boot
David Yearsley
Celebration of Change