Your waitress wants you to get another round of drinks. We get it. She wants to sell more and boost her tip.
But what if your doctor is doing the same thing when it comes to drugs? Unfortunately, they also want to sell more, and boost their tip… from the pharmaceutical companies.
But unlike the waitress, the doctor relies on a system of lies and manipulations.
Some doctors don’t even know what they are caught up in. They perform the tests. They read the journals. The tests say you have a disease. The journals say what treatments work.
But too often the tests are designed by the drug industry. And the journals are written and reviewed by frauds.
All the sudden, everyone has a disease! What could have caused such a vast increase in hypertension, obesity, and osteoporosis?
The answer is an expanded definition of who is considered afflicted.
You walk into your doctor’s office for a physical exam and step on the scale. Last year, the doctor said you were overweight. Now he says you are obese — at the same weight.
A nurse takes your blood pressure. You have hypertension — with the same previously healthy reading you’ve had for years.
The doctor scans your wrist bone. You have a condition called “osteopenia” — with the same bone density that was fine last time you were measured…
You are suddenly sick, simply because the definitions of disease have changed. And behind those changes, a Seattle Times examination has found, are the companies that make all those newly prescribed pills.
This is nothing new. Unfortunately, the above quotation is from the introduction to a 2005 series of articles. They were sounding the alarm early, but things have only gotten worse.
Back then, the pharmaceutical industry had a hand in designing the testing tools for osteoporosis. They helped change the definition of obesity. They redefined diseases without any strong evidence. And they did this by giving money to doctors in order to promote their agenda. Some of the doctors who received kickbacks were policy setters in the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Institute for Health, and other medical associations.
Every time the boundary of a disease is expanded — the hypertension threshold is lowered by 10 blood-pressure points, the guideline for obesity is lowered by 5 pounds — the market for drugs expands by millions of consumers and billions of dollars.
The result? Skyrocketing sales of prescription drugs. Soaring health-care costs. Escalating patient anxiety. Worst of all, millions of people taking drugs that may carry a greater risk than the underlying condition. The treatment, in fact, may make them sick or even kill them.
One woman was taking a medication to lower her blood pressure. When it was ineffective, the dose was doubled. This caused an allergic reaction which sent her to the hospital and could have been deadly. Her doctor switched her to other medications.
Her doctor, Saunders, doesn’t sound like some evil stooge taking back room bribes. He sounds like a man caught up in an industry in crisis.
But Saunders isn’t sure whom to trust. He questions the stream of studies leading to new guidelines urging broader use of new medications.
“In my heart of hearts,” he said, “I am concerned that these studies that are telling people that it’s best to get down to 120 over 80 are all paid for by drug companies who are trying to sell pills. It makes me uncomfortable. I think the days of getting unbiased information are gone.”
But this is all old news. Most people have gotten a glimpse of such conflicts of interest………………….