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Letter: Drug companies make millions off our poor health

Published on January 9, 2018 4:07PM

Most everyone knows we have an opioid crisis. Big city hospitals are snowed under by overdose patients now on a daily basis. Overprescription of painkillers is one of the big causes.

However, you would be surprised to find out who is the biggest drug pusher in your community. No, it isn’t the suspicious character in the hoodie and sunglasses lurking in the park. No, the worst drug dealer by far is your local TV provider.

The corrupt drug companies have used their wealth, power and expensive lobbying to force the FDA to allow TV advertising, which means we now get about 80 drug ads per hour every day of the week. This seemed impossible to me, so I started keeping track of the drug ads on TV, and I was astounded to find how bad it really is.

In just a couple days I had a very long list of TV drug ads, seen while the kids are watching cartoons and people are watching football, evening news and “The Price is Right.” There was $6 billion spent in 2016 on drug ads, with Lyrica spending $313 million, Humira spending $303 million and Eliquis $186 million.

So think about that — drug companies are not happy with the obscene amount of money they make just allowing doctors to prescribe them normally. Drug companies now want to get to the customer — before they even see the doctor — to try and condition them to need this drug before they have their first appointment.

As a cancer survivor, I am thankful for good doctors and good medicine, but then I would probably also be dead if the Veteran’s Administration didn’t step up and help pay the more than $200,000 in chemo treatments to beat this horrible disease. And think of the thousands of good people who die anyway after having to pay this huge amount for medications, hospital stays, scans and surgeries anyway.

Also consider the billions and billions of dollars spent on cancer research, and we are still not much closer to finding a cure. The sad truth is thousands of clinics, research centers, doctors and drug companies might go out of business if a cure was found.

David Burns



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