You panic if your insurance won’t cover your prescription. The pharmaceutical companies pay off the doctors who promote their drugs to you. The amount of fines that they pay for all of this is miniscule. Welcome to the world of Big Pharma. This is all so very depressing, which is also good for them, because they have antidepressants just for you.
In 2014, the top 10 international pharmaceutical companies had over $450 billion in sales, led by Johnson and Johnson with over $71 billion. Worldwide, the entire pharmaceutical industry had approximately $1 trillion in sales in 2014- download pdf file.
Between 9/2009 – 2/2014, the Justice Dept. collected $13 billion from the pharmaceutical industry in settlements for fraud: fraudulent marketing practices; fraud for promoting medicines for unapproved uses. Sounds like a lot to you and me, but it amounts to just $2 billion/year. Chump change for this industry.
Time Magazine reported that in a 5-month period in 2013, pharmaceutical companies made 4.2 million individual payments totaling $3.5 billion dollars to U.S. doctors (and dentists). This included 360,000 doctors. If you have space on your hard drive, you can download their entire database and see if your doctor is on the list of beneficiaries of the pharmaceutical industry. Multiply it out and that is $8 billion a year paid to doctors. Now doesn’t that $2 billion/year paid to the Justice Department begin to sound like petty cash?
Even those of you who try and “go natural”, and religiously watch people like Dr. Oz for alternative recommendations may also find they are being fooled. Dr. Oz was hauled before a Senate committee for touting a magical weight loss product — green coffee extract — that would help people lose 18 lbs of fat and weight with no exercise, according to the Washington Post, another form of medical quackery, which not a single other doctor or the AMA saw fit to challenge.
They won’t be taking their hands out of your pockets anytime in the near future as long as they pay that many doctors and so little in fines. Our solution for big-pharmaceutical companies’ induced depression is to take a look at some underwater pictures.
The picture above was taken along a break in the roof of the cave where the sunlight created a silhouette of a sting ray near the very top. However normally caves are very dark.
The grey object in the middle of the darkness is an air tank from a diver up ahead. You can see the air bubbles he just exhaled. The only light was from the momentary flash of the strobe.
The end of the cave has a nice contrast transitioning from the dark interior to the clear blue ocean outside. The little specs at the cave mouth are hundreds of tiny fish. Anyway, isn’t this better than going to the doctor and popping some more pills?