According to Donald Light, Ph.D., a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the pharmaceutical industry is a “market for lemons” and the pharmaceutical industry spends much more marketing those lemons to the public and physicians than on researching the safety and efficacy of drugs. Light points out that drug studies are typically rigged or misrepresented to minimize evidence of drug hazards and side effects while creating a misleading impression of drug benefits. Few researched medicines fare better than placebos and those which do are rarely tested for long-term effects. Light found that about 85% of newly approved drugs failed to demonstrate significant benefits while many did appear to pose risks of significant adverse effects.
Dr. Light presented his research on August 17th, 2010 in Atlanta at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. He stated in his press statement that “they spend two to three times more on marketing than on research to persuade doctors to prescribe these new drugs. Doctors may get misleading information and then misinform patients about the risks of a new drug.” Dr. Light’s paper, Pharmaceuticals: A Two-Tier Market for Producing ‘Lemons’ and Serious Harm, is an analysis of the pharmaceutical industry and the way it functions. The conclusions were developed after examining a wide range of data from multiple sources and studies, including the Canadian Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the French journal Prescrire International.
Light’s study proceeds to outline how drug research and approval processes are corrupted and lead to the mistaken belief in drug benefits and false claims of drug safety. Deaths resulting from taking pharmaceutical drugs as prescribed have risen to being one of the top 3 causes of deaths in the USA. This suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the drug approval process. The reality is that pharmaceuticals are a huge business sector of the U.S. and global economy. If it were revealed that to a great extent they are dangerous and ineffective and that inexpensive natural therapy alternatives or home remedies are often much more effective and generally safer, the collapse of the pharmaceutical industry would have a massive impact on society and economic systems. Thus, deception has become a part of the foundation of the pharmaceutical business and has become well-embedded within the medical establishment and government agencies which interact with the pharmaceutical companies.
In South Florida there have been many cases in the news recently of Medicare billing fraud, where health care providers have billed government insurance programs for hoaxed treatment. Ironically, much of what is done in the health care field is a hoax which gets billed to insurance companies, who are happy to allow this since it allows them to continue to raise insurance rates. Insurance companies maintain a percentage profit on their policies, so as claims (medical costs) and premiums rise so does the net profit of insurance companies. Neither drug companies nor insurance companies are truly interested in healing. A healthy population would make these industries and their products unnecessary. Healing has much more to do with innate intelligence and the body’s self-healing capacity, which is supported by the release of stress and tension and the providing of natural nourishment to the body. While synthetic medicines can have significant value in some circumstances, the overuse and deceptive promotion of these types of treatments has left the public increasingly unhealthy, drug-dependent, and unaware of the many alternatives that can support their health. Dr. Light’s new research sheds much light on how the health care industry and many citizens have been conned by the promise of better living through chemistry.