Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
December 27, 2003

Drug firms 'make unhealthy profits'

The flurry of these articles such as this one and Drugs Do Not Work On Most Patients posted earlier showing concerns about main stream medicine simply serve as pacifiers, that give the illusions that someone is looking after our interests, when in reality these well known facts are just ignored for business as usual. It is like those popular "Smoke Free" days that are a great diversionary public relations tactic to keep us plebs pacified.... Until we realize this - these studies will have no effect whatsoever but only serve to maintain the status quo

Chris Gupta

December 15, 2003

Drug firms 'make unhealthy profits'

By Oliver Wright, Health Correspondent

THE Government has allowed pharmaceutical manufacturers to put financial gain before the health of consumers when deciding where to spend billions of pounds of research money, a report has found.

The study, from the influential King¹s Fund think-tank, said that many treatments and therapies went untested because it was not in the interests of the drugs industry to fund clinical research.

It called for a task force to be created to consider how to compel drug companies to do trials that were in the interests of the wider community. It also recommended that the amount of public money spent on clinical trials be increased.

Getting the Right Medicines? was published after Allen Roses, a senior executive of the drugs company GlaxoSmithKline, last week said that more than 90 per cent of drugs work effectively in just 30 to 50 per cent of patients.

Anthony Harrison, the report¹s author, said the Government¹s focus on the pharmaceutical industry had created a situation where research to protect and promote health attracted far fewer resources than research to find new, profitable drugs.

This meant that millions of pounds were pumped into researching statins, the drugs used to lower cholesterol, while simple measures to improve health, such as exercise and diet, were given less attention.

³We want to see a relationship develop between government and the pharmaceutical industry that is geared towards the promotion of health, not just the promotion of wealth,² Mr Harrison said.

The King¹s Fund said it was particularly concerned that drugs companies were not made to test their products against other forms of available treatment.

While the NHS spent £380 million a year on anti-depressants, almost no research was done into whether they were more effective than counselling. Little research had been done into cheap drugs such as aspirin, widely believed to have beneficial effects on a number of serious diseases such as bowel cancer and senile dementia.

The King¹s Fund was also concerned that some groups, including women and the elderly, were deliberately excluded from clinical trials.

The Sunday Times


posted by Chris Gupta on Saturday December 27 2003
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

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