“But is it true that they [The Pharmaceutical Industry, PHARMA] bribe/encourage doctors to prescribe certain medicines?” Well, yes! They do! But that doesn’t mean my friends are bad!
I like what Shane has to say. I don’t like the way he says it.
I have friends in PHARMA. Great thinkers!
I left a science career of 40 years, to study business!
In PHARMA, we endeavored to cure diseases. Not create symptoms to fix with expensive drugs! Some of our friends and family had those diseases. We were motivated to cure! But we were the scientists on the bench. Not the CEOs or the marketing department!
A few days ago (well, years now), my sister, Marian, sent me a link to a video, which features a Mr. Shane Ellison.
Marian asked my opinion of the movie, with the question:
“But is it true that they [The Pharmaceutical Industry, PHARMA] bribe/encourage doctors to prescribe certain medicines?”
“He [Shane Ellison] has a Master’s Degree, like Dr. Science [see video below]. I spent 12 years in PHARMA and I know that this guy has it wrong. My colleagues worked hard to find cures for diseases, not to just cure symptoms, unless that was needed. For instance, treating nausea induced by chemotherapy treats the symptoms of drug-induced nausea, which allows the patient to handle the treatment [chemotherapy].”
It was Mr. Ellison’s diatribe that reminded me of ‘Dr. Science,’ who also has a Masters Degree in Science!
I have nothing to gain from supporting PHARMA. I no longer work there. I am enjoying my new online career, which includes blogging. Glaxo and Sanofi treated me extremely well. They expected their staff to maintain high ethical standards. I worked in the Gertrude Elion building. What a great lady, and scientist.
My colleagues really cared about discovering cures for a wide range of diseases, from cancer to Alzheimer’s. They also employed the best scientific tools and methods.
The comment by Mr. Ellison that surprised me, was:
“When I worked for the Drug Industry, Science was completely abandoned. We designed drugs based on symptoms, we don’t cure.”
I find this statements hard to accept. Unless the ‘Psycho Pharmaceutical Industry’ is very different to places that I’ve worked. I have no way to prove or disprove it’s veracity. I am just concerned that his general indictment of PHARMA is unfair.
Every industry has bad apples. There are checks and balances. Many such filters are mandated by law. This leads to a mountain of onerous and expensive record keeping for PHARMA. Making new drugs a challenging task. I am not completely in agreement with the current PHARMA business model, which I think would benefit from a Bell Labs approach, and I said this often whilst in their employ. It is, however, their industry and thus their call.
Did I mention that I’m studying business?
Health care begins and ends with us – it’s your body-mind, for heaven’s sake.
We each decide whom to seek out for health care guidance. We each get to decide whether or not to take the advice or ignore it. I have been very glad of certain medicines, such as an antibiotic that rapidly cured a bad case of ‘Walking Pneumonia’ (Mycoplasma infection). However, I have refused treatment for stress (Valium), preferring, over the doctor’s protestations, to take a vacation and meditate more (which was very effective). I happened to disagree with my physician.
The problem comes when you have no medical training, and even this is becoming less of a problem with the Internet. This issue reminds me of couple A and couple B in my blog post entitled ‘Zen and the Art of Body Maintenance Revisited.’ You will generally get the medical treatment you earn with respect to the energy you invest in your body. I know little about the maintenance of my car, so I am at the mercy of the mechanic, much of the time at least. You can’t know everything, but you only have one body so it deserves as much attention as you are able to afford.
Health care involves a large team of people, of which PHARMA is but one small component. I don’t think that demonization and generalizations are the answer. If there is a real issue in the case of certain companies and certain ‘Psychopharmaceuticals’ maybe we are dealing with an effective whistle blowing process, which is a good thing. Are Mr. Ellison’s claims reasonable? I don’t know, but I have my doubts based on my experiences in PHARMA.
You pays your money and you takes your choice, as they say.
If you are having trouble communicating with your doctor, read ‘Your Medical Mind.’ Great book!
Oh! Yes! Don’t forget!