Published on March 5th, 2015 | by Andrea Bertoli
Big Pharma: The Business of Pharmaceuticals [video]
Check out this video (it’s about 17 minutes long) and learn about how Big Pharma is not your friend.
This video popped into my inbox from our friends at Food Revolution, and I though our readers would be interested in it too. John Oliver looks at how Big Pharma (activist lingo for the massively profitable pharmaceutical industry) makes billions of dollars each year.
Even though we’re big fans of traditional Chinese medicine and natural healing here at VWJ, that doesn’t mean that we’re opposed to pharmaceuticals on principle. There are certainly some benefits to having access to both allopathic (Western) medicine and some benefits to acupuncture or naturopathic medicine. However, as this video shows, it’s the marketing tactics and just downright sleazeball methods of pharmaceutical companies that frustrate me.
Medicine’s purpose should be to help people, not to make obscenely huge profits based on pseudo-science or invented ailments. Four billion prescriptions were written last year – how many of them were actually medically necessary?
I am not a raging hippie that refuses everything Western medicine has to offer. There are countless examples of how medicine has made our lives better: an IV filled with morphine for excruciating pain, birthing interventions for complicated deliveries, antidepressants that help people live more functional lives, antibiotics to treat common infections (although these are being abused in the animal agriculture industry, leading to negative consequences for our resistance), or the heady mix of cocktails that helps prolong the lives of those living with HIV.
But a point of criticism is the over-medication of our society and the focus on pharmaceuticals as the only cure. There are plenty of lifestyle diseases– diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and even erectile dysfunction– that can be prevented, treated and often cured with changes to our diet and our lifestyle. The fact that most doctors don’t get more than a few hours of nutrition training while in medical school is an often-touted reason as to why we’re facing our current pharma boom. But I think that just as the food movement is moving towards cleaner, healthier foods, our over-dependence upon big pharmaceutical companies will wane too.
Evidence of this already exists in the doctors prescribing food as medicine in clinics across the country, and the fact that previous ‘alternative’ therapies like acupuncture and massage are available at big clinics like Kaiser, and workplace wellness programs are found at thousands of corporate offices. The times are changing, and I think evidence like this video will encourage people to question their focus on prescriptions and look more towards plants. So what’s your prescription for better health..?