Pharma’s primary customer is Wall Street, not patients

  • The S&P 500 healthcare sector has been on a tear in recent months, on track for its best quarter in five years and surging to an all-time high on Friday.
  • A forensic accounting of available financial data of the pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and Abbott—shows that from 2013 to 2015, these four multinational drug makers collectively avoided paying about $3.7 billion in taxes.
  • Publishing in JAMA Internal Medicine the median estimated cost of the full range of studies: $19 million to get new drug approval.
  • Pharma’s primary customer continues to be Wall Street.

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It borders on medical malpractice

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80 percent of adults and about one-third of children now meet the clinical definition of overweight or obese.
  • The medical community’s primary response to this shift has been to blame fat people for being fat.
  • Medical students receive an average of just 19 hours of nutrition education over four years of instruction—five hours fewer than they got in 2006.

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Let’s blame the drug companies for high drug prices!

  • The total impact of obesity and its related complications on the United States’ economic output has been estimated at between 4 and 8 percent of gross domestic product.
  • According to the American Diabetes Association, the annual cost of diabetes in 2017 was $327 billion, including $237 billion in direct medical expenditures and $90 billion in reduced worker productivity.
  • The effects of poor diet and inadequate physical activity at any weight — contributed to declines in life expectancy in 2015 and 2016.
  • The obesity epidemic is largely overlooked as the media continue to blame drug companies and PBM’s for high drug costs.

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Dr. Baselga and a serious lack of judgement

  • One of the world’s top breast cancer doctors failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from drug and health care companies in recent years, omitting his financial ties from dozens of research articles in prestigious publications like The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet.
  •  Did not follow financial disclosure rules set by the American Association for Cancer Research when he was president of the group.
  • The feedback from within the medical community has been sharp “Dr. José Baselga’s demonstrated lack of ethics by not disclosing his ties to big pharma is a cancerous lesion on the entire medical research community. SHAME, SHAME, Dr. Baselga”.

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Most dangerous prescription drugs not opioids

  • 48.8%, nearly half of anticoagulant adverse events required a hospital stay.
  • Based on CDC data there were nearly 22,000 severe injuries, including more than 3,000 deaths, reported by patients and health care workers relating to blood thinners in 2016.
  • The annual number of people harmed by anticoagulants could be as much as ten times greater than voluntary reports indicate, reaching nearly a quarter of a million people.
  • As many as one-quarter of people with atrial fibrillation who have a low risk of stroke are given blood-thinning drugs they likely don’t need.

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Gilead exec’s flee after milking the health care system

  • Executives at Gilead are leaving a sinking ship.
  • Sales of a breakthrough drug they purchased through the acquisition of Kite Pharma  have failed to match expectations.
  • Gilead charges thousands of dollars for a drug for their AIDS drug, but competition is creeping in.
  • Since Truvada was approved for HIV prevention six years ago, its average wholesale price has increased by about 45 percent.
  • Without more drugs to buy Gilead’s stock has been declining.

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