The absurdity of blaming pharma


  • By 2030, nearly one in two adults will be obese, and nearly one in four will be severely obese.
  • In as many as 29 states, the prevalence of obesity will exceed 50 percent, with no state having less than 35 percent of residents who are obese.
  • Well-intentioned efforts like limiting access to huge portions of sugar-sweetened soda, the scientists note, are effectively thwarted by well-heeled industries able to dwarf the impact of educational efforts by health departments that have minuscule budgets by comparison.
  • Yet too many people believe pharma wants people to stay sick so they can make money.

Food is very cheap in the United States and super easy to access,” said Dr. Bleich, a professor of public health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. We eat out more, consuming more foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt, and our portion sizes are bigger.

We also eat more highly processed foods, which have been shown to foster weight gain, thanks to their usually high levels of calories, sugar, and fat. A recent study showed that even when controlling for weight, consuming lots of processed foods raises the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Let’s be clear about this:

Obesity is a national health emergency and is leading to exorbitant healthcare costs.

Despite the fact that we are eating the wrong foods, drinking too much sugary beverages and not exercising a number of people still believe pharma companies are to blame for high healthcare costs. They are fools.

Millennials are on track to become the most obese generation in our nation’s history. This, in turn, is going to lead to rising healthcare costs that threaten our economy.

There are solutions but political barriers remain

Four years after Chile embraced the world’s most sweeping measures to combat mounting obesity, a partial verdict on their effectiveness is in: Chileans are drinking a lot fewer sugar-laden beverages, according to study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks dropped nearly 25 percent in the 18 months after Chile adopted a raft of regulations that included advertising restrictions on unhealthy foods, bold front-of-package warning labels and a ban on junk food in schools. During the same period, researchers recorded a five percent increase in purchases of bottled water, diet soft drinks and fruit juices without added sugar.

New York Times

Why can’t we do that? Our political system is driven by lobbyists and you can bet that both the sugar and soft drink industries would fight this with a flow of dollars that buys politicians.

Why are so many people blaming pharma? It’s simple, our politicians love to ride the wave of voter discontent and pharma is an easy target. Yes, some drug prices are obscene but PBM’s, insurers and hospitals are raking in piles of cash too.

We need to look in the mirror more and stop blaming people because of our poor health habits. If we don’t healthcare costs are going to eat our economy alive.