Dr. Josh Kane Head Researcher at A Better Today Recovery Services and Lecturer and ASU continues this series from Big Pharma Opioid Epidemic, Part 3 – Over-Prescribing for Treatment, Not a Cure.
The amount of money being spent on advertising by big pharmaceutical companies is increasing around 20 percent per year.
With all that advertising they are leaving out, at least, one key factor.
“What we’re not being told is that no pill can cure a social disorder, only social solutions cure Social disorders,” Kane explained.
Why are These Medications So Popular?
“Medical explanations of social disorders are appealing to a society that wants simple answers to complex problems.”
This goes for each person and society as a whole.
“It’s easier to focus on individuals, it’s easier to tell them you’re sick than it is to say society is sick. Treat the victim, don’t treat society, because fixing society is too hard and too costly.”
But that’s not how it should work, it should be acknowledged that these social disorders are coming from a society that isn’t working as it should.
“We should be saying, yes you feel unwell but that is because society is making you sick. And yes this pill, it might make you feel better for a time but over time, it will only make you sicker.
“But that’s not what we say. We say yes you’re sick and yes that is depressing – but this handful of pills will make you feel better and if you stop feeling the effects or feel bad because of the many side effects then we have more pills for that.”
A side effect of OxyContin is constipation, a majority of people who are taking it will have this side effect.
What Big Pharma did, instead of not prescribing it, was to come up with another drug that will help people who are taking OxyContin use the restroom more regularly.
“We become sicker and society becomes sicker and all the while, big pharma becomes richer.”
Restless Leg Syndrome and ADHD are both good examples of over-prescription.
In the 1990s, GlaxoSmithKline led the charge to medicate RLS.
“Glaxo had a stable of drugs that were being prescribed for real diseases like Parkinson’s. Glaxo ran numerous experiments to see if there were other ‘conditions’ that these same drugs could be prescribed to ‘make better’.”
In its research Glaxo found that there were many people who couldn’t sleep due to tension in their legs. “This is commonly known as the Jimmy Legs. There was a Seinfeld episode about the Jimmy Legs, Kramer couldn’t get to bed at night and his girlfriend couldn’t sleep in the same bed with him … and that’s the Jimmy Legs, people get them every now and then and they have for centuries.”
Glaxo found that one of its drugs, ReQuip, help 70 percent of people with RLS.
“They also found out that 60 percent of these same people responded to a placebo because Jimmy Legs ain’t a real disease. They didn’t tell that to the FDA.”
…continue on to Big Pharma Opioid Epidemic, Part 5 – Prescription Drug Effects