What’s Bankrupting Our Healthcare System?

By Michael A. Smith, MD

Healthcare corruption is bankrupting our country. In this post, we’ll expose three forms of corruption that, if addressed immediately, could actually save us billions of dollars a year. We know how to fix the problem.

The question is will we fix the problem?

Healthcare Corruption #1: Skyrocketing Drug Prices

Prescription drugs cost too much. Now there’s many reasons for this, but our founder William Faloon believes one major reason is Big Pharma’s attack on generic drugs. These billion dollar companies use disgusting methods to inflate drug prices by filing frivolous lawsuits against generic drug makers.

What this ultimately accomplishes is the delay of cheaper, yet safe and effective generic versions of drugs from reaching the market. Each day a court delays the approval of a lower-cost generic, which can enable a pharmaceutical company to earn millions of dollars in illicit revenue.

Mr. Faloon writes, “It becomes cost-efficient for pharmaceutical companies to initiate limitless made-up claims against generic makers knowing that legal fees are far less than the profits earned each extra day that its expired-patent drug retains market exclusivity.”1

Once the generic maker defeats the imaginary claims, it then has to charge more to the consumer because of the millions of dollars it was forced to squander on legal fees. This is just one reason why generic drugs cost far more than they should.

Healthcare Corruption #2: Reactive Medicine

Allopathic medical schools produce reactive doctors. This means that your medical doctor is trained to identify a problem and correct it only after you present with symptoms. Basically, your doctor is reacting to your problem.

This philosophical approach to medicine is founded in an old, archaic tradition established long ago that human physiology and disease is dictated by a linear cause-effect relationship. Now in some cases this is true. Take for instance a wet, sputum-filled cough that an older woman develops in a nursing home. The cause is pneumococcus bacteria; the effect is a pus-filled lung, called pneumonia.

In this specific case, there is a simpler “cause and effect” relationship that requires a quick thinking, reactionary doctor to successfully solve her problem. However, so many of our health issues fail to follow this cause-effect relationship. As a matter of fact, most age-related diseases are multifactorial, meaning there are many factors involved in the development of the disease.

Reactive medicine fails to appropriately address the diseases we face today. What we need is a complete paradigm shift in thinking. We need to be way more proactive. How do we do this? By focusing on disease prevention.

We firmly believe that healthier lifestyles, improved diets, adequate exercise and supplementation could save our country billions of dollars a year. But do we have the courage to admit that we need to change? Do we have the wherewithal to completely change our medical education curriculum? We certainly hope so.

Healthcare Corruption #3: FDA Failed Modes of Operation

The way the FDA operates on a daily basis is so flawed that it’s actually driving up healthcare costs. First off, FDA panel members are part-time employees and do not have the time to fully research and analyze new drug applications. This means that bad drugs and broken devices are often approved when there’s clear evidence that they should have been denied.

How does this drive healthcare costs? The numerous lawsuits filed against the companies owning the “bad drugs” increase their cost of doing business. This increased cost of “doing business” is simply passed on to you and me.

The financial ties between FDA panel members, their educational institutions, and the drug companies is another reason that we’re experiencing rising healthcare costs. These questionable relationships create a flagrant conflict of interest as drug approvals or rejections are based on financial bias. Once again, bad drugs get approved.

And lastly, FDA panel members are paid by big pharma to make presentations at conferences and at national society meetings. Once again, we see a huge influence on the approval of bad drugs that end up costing the consumer in the long-run.

We’d love to start an honest debate on the issues listed above. Any takers?

References

  1. Life Extension Magazine. 2012 Mar;18(3):7.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the only reason for the lack of low cost generic drugs is that they are detrimental to big pharmas profits. Big Pharma has deep pockets and has figured out that it's cheaper to pay people to dream up strategies and endless court claims to keep generics off the market and maximize their profits. Getting rid of the competition is an age old method of success. It's just in the past, people kicked their opponent in the knee. Now the stakes are higher, people are dying or going broke and then dying because they can't get what they need. Meanwhile big pharma is getting richer on the average Joe's dying back. If the tried and true drugs are gone, this paves the way for for their high cost new and hardly tested drugs to enter the market unobstructed. The doctor has no choice but to prescribe something rediculously expensive because there are no alternatives. Bodabing...competition gone. Patient gone.

Keith Townsend said...

I really enjoyed this article , opened my eyes to some new thoughts! Very informative - -I really thing the reactive medicine is hurting us as a people, waiting until things have gotten so bad until we make a move to change our lifetsyle and diet.

Anonymous said...

Drug companies are in a hurry to get drugs to market and start making profits. In many cases, claims of a drug's benefits are over exaggerated, and side effects are omitted or understated. Several drug companies have been sued many times over such false claims. The result is the companies have to shell out tens of millions of dollars in fines (if they are caught). The problem is these companies earn tens of billions of dollars as a result of false claims and public deception. Billions over millions - you do the math. There is no incentive to prevent drug companies from deceiving the public. Plus, having the FDA in their pocket only makes matters worse.

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