We have often highlighted the dangers of viewing Big Pharma as our savour from every illness, infection and disease out there.
In the USA for example, it's a sad fact that the leading cause of death and injury is Conventional Medicine. Similar concerns are likely to apply in other countries too. Warren also wrote about this subject over nine years ago!
So our curiosity was aroused when we read an article describing how patient deaths have been caused by "drug shortages....an escalating problem that has endangered patients and raised the possibility of price gouging..."
Drug Shortage Deaths... 'An Escalating Problem'?
Last year, the FDA reported 178 drug shortages, and the agency says it continues to see an increase in shortages this year. These scarcities tend to affect cancer drugs, anesthetics, drugs used in emergency medicine, and electrolytes needed for intravenous feeding.
Major causes of drug shortages are said to be quality or manufacturing problems, or delays in receiving components from suppliers. Drug makers also discontinue certain drugs in favor of newer medications that are more profitable.
The result, according to a White House official is that President Obama is expected to sign an executive order instructing the FDA to reduce the drug shortages, and requiring drug makers to notify the FDA six months ahead of a potential shortages.
We would be very interested in your views about this. Consider, for example:
1. Is making pharmaceutical drugs more easily available in the best long term interests of the general public? Or does it just encourage the ‘over-medication’ of society? I would exempt emergency drugs which serve a real purpose from this comment!
2. How do you feel if you are dependent on such drugs? Relieved by Obama’s initiative? Will it work in practice? Consider how exactly does this "executive order" change the rules and regulations under which the FDA currently operates?
3. How do you feel if you need natural medications like Medical Cannabis just to get through each day, but it is banned where you live? No new ‘initiatives’ for you!
4. What is the real agenda? Is this ‘executive order’ a PR stunt? As the article points out, Obama, is facing re-election. Clearly legislation to support what he deems are popular initiatives, will enhance his ‘re-electability’. As we know, anything to promote Big Pharma’s profits enhances the fund raising efforts of politicians.
Interestingly Obama in his pre-election campaigns:
- Swore: "I will allow Americans to buy their medicines from other developed countries if the drugs are safe and prices are lower outside the U.S."
- Lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. His team even ran a television ad targeting the industry's chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.
Since the election, Tauzin has morphed into the President's partner. He even secured an agreement that the administration wouldn't try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail."The White House blessed it," Tauzin said.
5. Are ‘Drug makers discontinue(ing) certain drugs in favor of newer medications that are more profitable” as stated in the article. Or are they deliberately withholding critical medications to run up the prices?
We welcome your comments.