The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

Stay informed about what is hot in Washington and the states about natural health

Just How Many Conventional Docs are in the Pocket of Big Pharma? The Evidence Is Disturbing

12

New government data show drug and medical device makers paid a shocking $6.49 billion to doctors and hospitals in 2014.

It’s no secret that the pharmaceutical industry has an incestuous—and incredibly profitable—relationship with some of the doctors who prescribe their drugs to patients. But a new set of data compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows the extent to which some doctors are in the pocket of Big Pharma.

The CMS data was made available through the publicly searchable Open Payments program. The program is meant to increase transparency by requiring drug and device manufacturers to report payments to doctors.

The $6.49 billion in payments included consulting fees and other costs—like travel to exotic locales, lodging in expensive hotels, and big food and beverage tabs. Pharmaceutical companies often offer continuing education courses to doctors in the form of talks and conferences that are little more than promotional opportunities for the latest products Big Pharma is trying to peddle. The CMS report mentions payments to doctors for a training seminar held in the Cayman Islands.

Companies argue that the payments are necessary to conduct research and get input from practicing doctors. Research-related activities accounted for about half of the total payments—but many of the top research payments were related to drugs that have already been on the market for years.

One pediatric geneticist from Illinois collected nearly $447,000 in consulting fees from Pfizer in 2014—the largest single payment to an individual doctor.

Again, the data reveal what regular readers already know: that too many doctors have close ties to Big Pharma, creating a tremendous conflict of interest.

The fact of the matter is that, while Big Pharma often gripes about the cost of researching and developing new drugs, pharmaceutical companies spend about twice as much—$60 billion each year in the US alone—on marketing as they do on R&D. (Read Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Pharma for more details). Much of that is marketing directly to doctors. Why would Big Pharma continue to do this if it wasn’t money well spent?

Fortunately, the pharmaceutical industry’s stranglehold on the practice of conventional medicine is starting to become more widely reported. John Oliver, in his popular HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” devoted a lengthy segment to the issue of pharmaceutical marketing and payments to doctors. The rising cost of drugs is becoming an issue on Capitol Hill as Big Pharma seeks to extend its patent privileges in federal legislation and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.

Share.
  • Truth59

    The trade deal is a horrible deal for everyone except the big companies.

  • adam1224

    voala, that is America, money is everything

    • Until it all comes crashing down! Then they’ll realize that money was nothing all along and they’ve been misleading and destroying themselves.
      It is as if we have two choices as a Human Species: Perpetrate a toxic treadmill monopoly and mindless stare on as we destroy ourselves in a pursuit of NOTHING ~ Or pursue a glorious, advanced world that benefits ALL life and nurtures people and planet.
      Because there is a category of fools who wishes to stand in the way of the latter, we must needs be their end so we can make this glorious world that we desire, with or without them.

  • BChristine

    Excellent article and very factual. Every time I have visited my PCP (which is not that often btw), there are Pharma reps waiting to meet with the Drs. there. I am not at all surprised that Research & Development takes a backseat to all the Marketing; not only to selling of drugs to Drs., but just look at all the mainstream advertising for these drugs. These commercials should be BANNED. U.S. is the only country that allows this! To this industry, selling drugs is their business and they don’t care they are messing with peoples lives — as long as they make their money. Unfortunately the Hippocratic Oath for most mainstream Drs. is no longer upheld. Very sad.

    • backtonature

      Very common lament of doctors. Patient comes in having seen Rx on TV. Demands product. Doctor gives in, because if not, the patient will go elsewhere and get it from another doctor. I agree that all TV and magazine and electronic/online public ads for prescription pharmaceuticals should be banned.

    • Mike G

      New Zealand also allows drug advertisements, so the USA is not the only country that allows them. I completely agree with everything else you wrote though, and it hardly makes it any better that one other nation allows the ads………they should be banned everywhere.

  • parra

    I have always said you can find better doctors in other countries. I remember when I was in my country, I used to see Americans patients waiting in the doctors waiting room. Sometimes, I heard them saying doctors care more in my country than in the U.S. I was surprised, it’s Incredible that U.S. being a power country but only cares about money. Some years later, I was watching U.S news on tv and one of the news was about people dying in the emergency rooms. Clearly noticed nobody cares.
    There are Americans that have lived in other countries for years. They can compare between the countries. But there are also Americans that have never traveled and they don’t know any better than what they see and heard where they live. If most Americans really knew other countries then they would be able to tell the difference and improve the system. It is incredibly how people judge without knowing really.

    • larm007

      I lived in Germany for 6 years and worked for the Germans two of those years A small company station wagon was provided for our transportation to and from work. Their health care system was excellent (I indeed had to use it once). Also worked as a civilian at a US Army Hospital. There, 2nd day after breaking my ankle, a walking cast was applied in the morning so I could go to work (with it still wet) in the ICU at 3pm. I was a making $5.50/hr (RN, BTW) and accruing 1 day sick leave per month. Also got mono and took 3 days off (only 2 were paid)…worked 3 months before my blood work was okay again. My German friends were shocked at both of those events. Lived and worked in China as well. Co-worker collapsed at work and was hospitalized for 3 days with scads of tests done. Her bill was $700. Some chemo pills here can cost that much each. I gag each time I hear “we have the best health care in the world.”

    • There are also some of us who aren’t being allowed to leave so we are being forced to deal with how awful the U.S. is, which is why I complain so much!

  • Michele FitzGerald

    Over two decades ago Drs sold their souls to Big Pharma. Big Pharma is now after natural products to dominate the market. Without Drs pushing drugs instead of the welfare of its patients, Big Pharma would not have such breadth in the market. Recently Drs are under scrutiny, as they should be, for prescriptions. Drs can no longer be trusted to act in the best interest of patients with only 15 minutes to spare for a patient in order to make a profit, pushing legalized drugs, and thinking of a free vacation compliments of Big Pharma. The patient can’t afford to delegate their health problems to a Dr because Dr has become a capitalist, no longer a healer.

  • The U.S. is nothing but an organized crime ring of business men turned crook.

  • DisqusMember101a

    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The USA founding fathers knew this. They warned of the dangers of centralizing power. They setup the best checks on government power they could at the time. It was supposed to keep government from wronging the people they’re supposed to serve. So, did it work? Is this government’s power held in check? Or does it continually wrong its own People? Has “abuse of power” and “wrong doing” by government gotten out of control? LOL!

    The problem with governmental abuse of power is that it always serves its Own INTEREST or SPECIAL INTEREST. And always to the detriment of the People’s and YOUR best interest. Governmental wrong doing will always be the inevitable result of unchecked power!

    Most government atrocities throughout history would never have gotten off the ground had there been at the time a mechanism for the People to Check and Balance government through Direct Participation in government!

    Abuse of power and wrong doing by government can and will be overturned and held in Check by the People when the political mechanism that puts them back into Direct Control of government is adopted.

    What political mechanism could put the control of government back into the hands of the People? There’s a political movement with said mechanism at its core. The core principle is that of true Checks and Balances on government power. – A “People’s Branch” of government allows the People to exercise DIRECT oversight of government. The People literally govern the government! Ultimately Checking and Balancing government power will bring those responsible for governmental power abuse and wrongs to justice!

    Here is actionable info that may help if read carefully…

    Who and what political movement reintroduced, into the public awareness, the concept of increasing Checks and Balances as a solution for controlling government wrong doing? They didn’t – We did! – www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org.

    There is a way to make government truly transparent and accountable: www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org

    There is a way to make government directly responsible to the people: www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org

    The People do not have to let the government work against them/the People! A People’s Branch will see that abuse of power and authority is punished: www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org

    Think for yourself! Think of what a People’s Branch could mean for You and/or Your loved ones’ finances, health, rights, freedoms, security and justice etc. Find out why a People’s Branch would be good for You and Your loved ones! Find out why a People’s Branch will result in a better future for Your children! You don’t have to take our word for it. A Reasonable, Responsible and Conscientious Person would find out if it truly had a chance to help them. They would talk to family and friends and find out how they feel about a People’s Branch and why?

    Reasonable, Responsible, and Conscientious People need to know that they should act NOW before things get worse and their numbers fall too low…

    Yet, realize that taking back control of government may not be easy. Always remember that the Reasonable, Responsible and Conscientious People are opposed in this epic struggle for Direct Participation in their government by SPECIAL INTEREST and those that serve them. – Namely their henchman – the GATEKEEPERS.

    Amazingly, these GATEKEEPERS are most often our own – leaders, organizations, political parties, politicians, elected officials, bureaucrats, public servants, print and broadcast news organizations, the media, radio/TV talk show hosts, authors, advocates, pundits, alliances, federations, websites and so called political action sites etc.

    They’re constantly among us – even out front. Don’t You get it? – To do their job for their masters, i.e. SPECIAL INTEREST, they must have positions as GATEKEEPERS. SPECIAL INTEREST knows that keeping the People as a whole under control requires a system of GATEKEEPERS. Whether or not the GATEKEEPERS are unwitting dupes or dumbed down or just compartmentalized cronies, most end up serving SPECIAL INTEREST over those they are supposed to serve i.e. Your and the People’s best interest!

    Checks and Balances!

    Who and what political movement reintroduced, into the public awareness, the concept of increasing Checks and Balances as a solution for controlling government wrong doing? They didn’t – We did! – www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org.

    Many GATEKEEPERS use the words Checks and Balances every day. Yet, why don’t they want You to know about the ultimate mechanism for implementing them. www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org.

    You may wonder if they even know about us. Yes, they know about us but refuse to acknowledge our efforts. They have even started to manipulate our words and blocking our message that the Ultimate Checks and Balances on government can and will come from the People’s Direct Participation in government. They don’t want this political movement challenging their power. Why do you think GATEKEEPERS give every political genre of any political persuasion a venue and forum? Yet, no GATEKEEPER will even openly take up discussing the remote possibility of a People’s Branch of government? WHY?

    Isn’t it because they know that anything other than the People Participating Directly in government offers little or no real resistance to the corruption of the power structure? They realize that the People Participating Directly in government, a People’s Branch, changes everything! They know that, with a People’s Branch, the People will no longer allow government to serve SPECIAL INTEREST over the best interest of the People – YOUR best interest!

    Yet, the system is designed to allow the People a reactive mode only. The People are only offered pretend paths for changing government’s wrong doings (i.e. voting to elect officeholders, organizing, campaigning (for so-called good people), running for office (by so-called good people), public protests, marches, demonstrations, rallies, sit-ins, calling and/or writing your elected officials etc.) At best the pretend methods only slow government wrong doing temporarily. GATEKEEPERS are paid to direct the People/You into these pretend paths which will only burn out good and well-meaning People by burning up and wasting their time, energy, money and/or resources with little or no positive and/or lasting results. They’re paid by their masters, the real power behind government i.e. SPECIAL INTEREST, to keep the People/You from waking up to these truths…

    If the People/You don’t wake up then they will continue by default to control the closed system. They know that they win and You lose as long as they can direct You into the pretend paths that are designed to keep out any DIRECT Checks and Balances from the outside – We the People! Think about it! Why should it have taken women sixty years to get the right to vote? Why should it have taken so many years for blacks to get the right to vote?

    Isn’t it obvious, GATEKEEPERS push their pretend methods for improving and/or stopping government wrong doing because their pretend methods are designed to fail You and keep SPECIAL INTEREST in control? It’s the job of GATEKEEPERS to push their pretend methods because they are proven to keep the power in the hands of SPECIAL INTEREST. Yet, while the People are directed down their pretend paths to change and improvement, SPECIAL INTEREST continues their own direct access and participation with Your elected officials for the purpose of seeing to it that THEIR best interest gets served!

    Don’t you realize that if a People’s Branch of government had existed in the past then the People would have made sure that most of the bad things of those times would’ve been avoided? Yet, it’s still not too late. We must now focus on the present and prepare for the future. Remember, if you want things to be better for Yourself and Your loved ones, now and in the future, then You’ll join us. Together we’ll Check and Balance government and make sure that government serves the People’s and YOUR best interest!

    In the meantime most GATEKEEPERS will continue to push their PSYOP of getting You to believe that their pretend methods are new and they’ll work for You this time? It’s a sophisticated PSYOP. We know their PSYOP has worked in the past – maybe even on You. Many have fallen for it. Many still believe that these same old approaches will work for them. Yet, their pretend methods for improvement are not new and they’ll never work to insure that government serves YOUR best interest.

    REMEMBER, most GATEKEEPERS aren’t willing to help you see that the best and only long term solution is to cut through the political red tape and defeat the political trap masters at their own game! Isn’t it obvious why they act so much like Controlled Opposition? They are Controlled Opposition! If you study what many of these people actually say and how they say it, instead of only agreeing with what you think they are saying, then you too may see how controlled opposition really works. Yes they talk a good game. But they continue to direct your attention away from the obvious solution – YOU! You are the real solution! Once you make up your mind to have a Direct Participation in government on the things that affect You and Your loved ones then You’ll join us!

    Remember, most GATEKEEPERS continuously choose to serve their followers with only talk and do nothing of consequence for them. Most GATEKEEPERS mission is to program you to also only talk and do nothing of consequence for yourself! Talk is cheap. Their rhetoric is ultimately Controlled Opposition simply because they never engage a viable long term solution. Yet, we do and we have! Here: www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org

    So, the question is – WILL IT WORK ON YOU NOW? Now that You can see their game and You see a real viable solution for Yourself and Your loved ones – a People’s Branch! Only YOUR Direct Participation in government can insure that YOUR best interest is served! Can’t you see this?

    It is paramount that You Participate Directly in government where You can pass or fail Your elected officials vote on matters that affect You.

    Isn’t it foolish to let others, especially GATEKEEPERS – politicians, elected officials, public servants, bureaucrats and media mouthpieces, etc., continuously undermine Your best interest? Wouldn’t it be prudent to have a Direct say in the things that affect You and Your loved ones? Many Reasonable, Responsible and Conscientious people are now coming to realize that they need a mechanism whereby they can Participate Directly in government in order to help safeguard their own best interest!

    What could this mechanism be?

    The answer is a People’s Branch of government!

    The process to get a People’s Branch of government starts with the petition!

    Why a Petition? Because it’s time tested and a Constitution guaranteed method whereby People/Citizens can take action and change the governing and political process! People are now beginning to see how the Petition can be used to help protect their rights and freedoms. Therefore, none should forget or forgive any GATEKEEPERS that make fun of or demonize the Petition and its power and strength for good in the hands of good people!

    We advocate only patronizing the good GATEKEEPERS. i.e. ONLY The ones that are working to help you safeguard You and Your loved ones own best interest. Only they are truly worthy of Your attention, admiration, alliance, loyalty, and support! To find out if the ones You follow are truly worthy simply ask them – if they are interested in promoting the best way (Citizens Participating Directly in government as an incorruptible Checks and Balances!) for everyone to help safeguard their own best interest!

    If the GATEKEEPERS You follow genuinely care about the People’s/Your rights and freedoms then they will show that they have faith in the judgment of People as a whole! Many GATEKEEPERS demean the People for trying to exercise their best judgment when they’re forced into having to choose between two evils! Is that really fair when they demean the public and say it’s the public’s fault for electing a corrupt politician! Yet, it’s never really the People’s fault when some slick politician fools their constituents and gets elected – then double-crosses them! Wouldn’t the answer be to institute a foolproof mechanism to Check and Balance the double-crossers? A People’s Branch of government!

    The GATEKEEPERS that genuinely care about their follower’s best interest will have no problem in helping to get the word out about this powerful solution i.e. our Petition for a People’s Branch of government! With our petition we create a way to set-up a mechanism for corruption-proof Checks and Balances on government. If you’re not hearing about this movement from the GATEKEEPER you’re following then you’ll know they’re probably a Controlled Opposition GATEKEEPER SHILL.

    An ACTIONABLE Long Term SOLUTION for most of our problems exists HERE: www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org

    People are coming to understand that not unlike the original need for a Constitution and Bill of Rights, the true strength of a People’s Branch of government is that it will help them protect themselves from the tyranny of government and SPECIAL INTEREST. They are coming to realize that their own best interest and the best interest of the vast majority of the people are one and the same.

    Divide and conquer has long been used by SPECIAL INTEREST to fool the People into believing it’s only their peers – others like themselves that are their real enemy. They don’t want YOU to know it’s really them, SPECIAL INTEREST, that’s YOUR real problem – literally. They do this simply by keeping the People’s/Your attention focused on what they say is the problem and its solution.

    Ever heard of Problem, Reaction, Solution? Don’t you get it? Look at what others say – here and/or elsewhere… Can’t you see it? Most have their attention subverted! Look at what they’re focusing on! Some, many or all may simply be some form of Troll or dis-information pusher. Even if some are wellmeaning they mostly affect You into diverting Your attention away from the systems control methods. Many do these things in hopes of stopping the People/You from seeing the Real Actionable Solution of a People’s Branch!

    Yet, people are coming to realize that SPECIAL INTEREST and their GATEKEEPERS are benefiting from Their Own Form of Direct Participation (i.e. influence/manipulation) in government at the expense and detriment of the People’s/Your Own Best Interest. Therefore, until the People/You wake up and adopt this, People’s Branch of government, mechanism for Direct Participation in government, then the People’s/Your own best interest will only continue to suffer.

    Yet, it is exactly because SPECIAL INTEREST will always continue to trample the People’s best interest that from time to time Reasonable, Responsible and Conscientious people have to resort to revolution – violent or otherwise!

    ABOVE EVERYTHING THE PROPAGANDISTS THROW AT YOU – REMEMBER THIS: A People’s Branch of government can and will Stop/Reform/Amend/Reverse and Heal the power structure and justice system. A People’s Branch will see that those responsible for governmental wrongs are justly punished!

    Wake up or die asleep it’s up to you! Reasonable, Responsible and Conscientious people are choosing to wake up! You too can Wake-Up to the only non-violent way to take your government away from SPECIAL INTEREST.

    Only when citizens have a direct participation in their government concerning matters that affect them will their and their loved ones’ issues (Freedoms, Rights, Security, Financial, Health, Political and Justice etc.) have a true chance to be properly addressed!

    Your Direct Participation in government on matters that concern You and Your loved ones is paramount!

    A People’s Branch creates the best way to Check and Balance government! If SPECIAL INTEREST continues to get their way then You and Your Loved Ones may lose everything! Why not help us help you?!

    Every Reasonable, Responsible and Conscientious person should be asking themselves WHY DO LEADERS OF BOTH MAJOR PARTIES HATE THE IDEA OF A PEOPLES BRANCH?

    Those that truly seek fair and equitable solutions can find them at The People’s Branch. Implementing a People’s Branch in your local area is the key you have been waiting for….

    Ultimately a People’s Branch of government will hold accountable those behind government’s multifaceted injustices and wrong doings – namely, the governmental authorities doing SPECIAL INTEREST bidding!

    Additionally, governmental persons acting against the best interest of the People should be forewarned that, at a future date, their actions may be deemed unlawful and therefore punishable. They should be aware that their actions or lack thereof that result in the creation of wrongs, such as so called “trade agreements,” that ultimately harm the People’s best interest may at some point be adjudicated to be harmful and therefore unlawful. Further, it would be wise of the wrong doers to realize that they, the perpetrators of governmental wrongs, may be held responsible and accountable for those wrongs as easily as a simple declaration or adjudication! Said wrongs may have dire consequences for those found to have helped implement or aided their authorization, through their actions or lack thereof. Those individuals may be found guilty of sedition and/or treason and tried for treason to the United States of America. Any and all elected officials and officeholders would do well to remember that there’s no statutes of limitation for the crime of treason!

    Many governmental wrongs such as “Fast Tracking, NAFTA, TPP, Shielding GMOs and/or their harm from discovery etc.,” and others may yet result in charges and convictions of treason for those responsible and accountable for their implementation. Charges and convictions for treason may be possible if it’s found that government officials failed to represent the best interest of the People and their actions subsequently turn out to undermine national security. It should be understood that any governmental officials, especially current or ex-presidents and current or ex-congressional officeholders, may be open to charges of treason should their actions and/or lack of actions be deemed to have ECONOMICALLY undermined national security. Everyone would do well to remember that the final judgment rendered by the People concerning many governmental wrongs has yet to be written!

    ANNOUNCEMENT: OPEN CHALLENGE TO ANY AND ALL GATEKEEPERS – WE CHALLENGE YOU TO DEBATE THE MERITS OF A PEOPLE’S BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT WITH US – THE MEMBER(S) OF THIS POLITICAL MOVEMENT – THE PEOPLE’S BRANCH. (YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND US – www(dot)ThePeoplesBranch(dot)org)….

    Did you hear that? GATEKEEPERS – What’s your response? Why do GATEKEEPERS always refuse open debate with this political movement? Why would any GATEKEEPER have a problem bringing this political movement to their followers and the masses? What part of the people’s ability to participate directly in their government thereby creating an incorruptible Checks and Balances upon governmental wrongs – atrocities and corruption – DON’T YOU GET?…

    GATEKEEPERS can’t name one issue or one problem that a People’s Branch would make worse! Yet, we can name any number of issues and problems that a People’s Branch will make better, improve and/or solve for WE THE PEOPLE!

    Why not advocate for a People’s Branch of government and let all the GATEKEEPERS you follow know that you want them to openly debate the merits of a People’s Branch to Check and Balance government?
    .20150725020114.