Pharmaceutical Industry Ethics

Everyone who needs to buy prescription medicines on a regular basis knows that the pharmaceutical industry is robustly healthy when it comes to profits. Pharmaceutical companies often tout the years of research required to bring a product to market as the reason your 10-day supply of antibiotics sets you back a staggering $200. However, common sense says that a million prescriptions per year at $200 … well, do the math. This is not to say that these medicines have no value. Indeed, they can save your life in some cases.

Pharmaceutical Industry Ethics

The problem arises when you consider that the pharmaceutical industry has a pill for every condition, no matter how minor. There is now a pill for ailments we’d never heard of until the pharmaceutical industry created a remedy for it. In yet other cases, the stated possible side effects of some of these drugs are worse than the condition they are supposed to remedy.

Although it cannot be argued that the pharmaceutical industry has created any of these previously unknown ailments, it does make you wonder about the role of genetically and chemically altered substances that are so common place today.

Who ever heard of ADD 25 years ago? How about Restless Leg Syndrome? Why is it that today, 1 in 150 children are diagnosed as autistic? Fibromyalgia is apparently quite widespread, although unknown just twenty years ago.

As for possible side effects with some of the pharmaceutical industry’s wonder drugs, it’s hard to justify relieving allergies with a medication that, I’m told in hushed tones during the commercial, may cause migraines, vomiting, heart palpitations and even death – in rare cases, of course. Why would I want to rid myself of heartburn and end up with kidney damage? Perhaps we’re all taking too many medicines for our own good.

Within the pharmaceutical industry, the key to profits is patentability. This is why so few of the current magic bullet drugs employ any natural substances as remedies. No patent, no profits – at least not on the scale these corporations are accustomed to enjoying.

Numerous credible exposes have revealed that the pharmaceutical industry employs sales techniques which are less than ethical. Pharmaceutical sales personnel are chosen for salesmanship, not medical knowledge. They are instructed to leave samples of a new drug with doctor’s offices, to be given to patients to try before the doctor issues a prescription. Doctors do not have the time to investigate the merits of every drug that comes into their office. Ultimately, patients request a prescription and a new customer is born, with hefty profits flowing into the coffers.

Although researchers in the pharmaceutical industry have developed some truly life saving drugs, it would be foolish to accept every medication recommended without a fair amount of inquiry regarding its safety. As with all of life, moderation and common sense deserve our consideration.