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6 ways Big Pharma manipulates consumers: “The secret? Recycling old and discredited drugs and marketing diseases to sell the few new ones.”

April 29, 2013

Honestly, whenever there is an article in the mainstream press about science I get worried, especially when it is about high emotion topics like medicine. Add in a left leaning publication like Salon and big pharma and you really have a recipe for some terrible journalism. 3) One has to be pretty blind to not see the destructive force of substance addiction on society. Vaccine against certain drugs would be nothing short of a miracle. With one injection (or a couple-not up to date on the specifics), one can create immunity against a drug, say meth, much like one creates an immunity against a virus. Then, the next time the addict slips and takes the drug, there is simply no effect. Antibodies neutralize it and the molecules are cleared by the immune system Another example is the drug Varenacline. It is a nicotinic agonist used to help patients keep smoking. It binds to the nicotine receptor, but less strongly than actual nicotine. This stops the patient from experiencing the worst of withdrawal. But since it occupies the site of the receptor, nicotine can’t activate it, so smoking doesn’t create a "high". When on the drug, people usually simply quit smoking, saying "its just not fun anymore". Success rates on the drugs are around 25%, compared to 5% with no medical treatment. 4) Its hard for someone without insomnia to imagine being an insomniac. I have insomnia and take pills for it (gasp!). It is a legitimate medical condition and they are producing a treatment for it. This is not to say that insomnia isn’t incredibily lucrative. It is a chronic disease that needs a pill most nights for a very long time and it affects otherwise healthy/productive people (ie are able to pay-a lot- for relief) 5)"Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and plaque psoriasis are rare disorder" Whoever wrote this sentence is a fucking moron. "No wonder a recent ad campaign tries to convince people with back pain “that doesn’t go away” that they really have ankylosing spondylitis." AS affects young males in their early twenties and is the inflammation of the vertebrae which can lead to blindness, heart failure and severe permanent disability. To compare this to an old lady’s little back pain due to osteo-arthritis is ridiculous. 6) They do have a point on this one.

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