Drug companies have been accused of conning the public in a report that claimed more than four fifths of new medicines offer few benefits.
An estimated 85 per cent of drugs coming onto the market offer only slight advances on existing treatments while having the potential to cause serious harm due to toxicity or misuse, the study concluded…
”Sometimes drug companies hide or downplay information about serious side-effects of new drugs and overstate the drugs’ benefits,” said Prof Donald Light, a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey.
”Then, they spend two to three times more on marketing than on research to persuade doctors to prescribe these new drugs. Doctors may get misleading information and then misinform patients about the risks of a new drug. It’s really a two-tier market for lemons.”
He alleged that the pharmaceutical industry owned companies in charge of drug testing and provided ”firewalls” of legal protection behind which information about dangers or lack of effectiveness could be be hidden.
Companies were assisted by the ”relatively low bar” for effectiveness that had to be crossed to get a new drug approved…
”A few basic changes could improve the quality of trials and evidence about the real risks and benefits of new drugs. We could also increase the percentage of new drugs that are really better for patients.”
In his paper, Prof Light concluded: “The evidence here indicates that the two-tier market for prescription drugs is the largest and most dangerous market for lemons in modern society. Neither wars nor used car injuries come close.
Nothing that a lot of us haven’t recognized for years; but, it’s always helpful to see legitimate studies provide some ammo against the greedy bastards running the pharmaceutical industry.
I’ve long felt the barrage of advertisements in the mass media for prescription drugs should be outlawed like cigarettes. If they’re beneficial, your physician will have learned about them. Otherwise, the pharma giants are just building artificial demand with their propaganda.