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Medical Industrial Complex (The Underground Knowledge Series, #3)
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MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX > Overprescribing blood pressure pills and antidepressants

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message 1: by Lance, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2766 comments Excerpt from MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures:

Is it our imagination or are the goalposts for high blood pressure (BP) ever changing?

It doesn’t seem that long ago the “safe” systolic blood pressure (SBP) reading was your age + 100. So, for a 60-year-old, your SBP could be 160 over, say, 90 DBP (diastolic blood pressure) without your doctor suddenly becoming flustered and informing you a heart attack or stroke is imminent and immediately prescribing a lifetime course of BP medication.

Then the BP safety guideline dropped to 140 over 90. Imagine how many additional patients that little adjustment resulted in for doctors and medical centers. And perhaps more to the point, imagine how much in additional profits that yielded for the pharmaceutical companies.

Now all of a sudden – or since 2014 at least – the American Medical Association recommends drugs should be used to treat anyone aged 60 or over whose BP is 150/90 or higher.

That tidbit was gleaned from a February 5, 2014 article in JAMA, the Journal of the AMA. In that article, JAMA states the BP recommendation “is based on evidence statements…in which there is moderate- to high-quality evidence…that in the general population aged 60 years or older, treating high BP to a goal of lower than 150/90 mm Hg reduces stroke, heart failure, and coronary heart disease”.

Okay, so that’s a reversal of the downward trend we referred to, but it certainly fits the ‘moving goalposts’ analogy.

That said, we note the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that BP for an adult aged 20 years or over “should normally be less than 120/80” and if your reading is 140/90 or higher “your doctor will likely want you to begin a treatment program”. That’s according to AHA’s heart.org website.

By its reckoning, about one in three American adults has high blood pressure. Little wonder given its BP parameters.

Here in New Zealand, our homeland, the Heart Foundation’s BP guideline for healthy adults, according to its website at heartfoundation.org.nz, should be below 140/85.

Back to the American Medical Association’s take on blood pressure – commenting on AMA’s new guidelines, WebMD, which promotes itself as “America’s healthy living magazine,” confirms on its website the AMA guideline sets a higher bar for treatment than the current guideline of 140/90.

WebMD quotes guidelines author Dr. Paul James as saying the recommendations are based on clinical evidence showing that stricter guidelines provided no additional benefit to patients. “We really couldn't see additional health benefits by driving blood pressure lower than 150 in people over 60 (years of age)…It was very clear that 150 was the best number”.
We wonder how that went down with the drug companies? Not too well, we suspect. The 10-point upward adjustment of the SBP reading is no doubt costing them millions. Or should that read billions?

Certainly, the revised BP guidelines didn’t go down too well, according to WebMD, which reports the AHA expressed reservations. It quotes AHA president-elect Dr. Elliott Antman as saying the AHA is concerned that relaxing the recommendations may expose more persons to the problem of inadequately controlled BP.

Apparently, the AHA’s concerns aren’t shared by American local government and social issues reporter Aaron Kase who is highly critical of what he describes as the over-prescription of blood pressure meds.

Kase came to our attention courtesy of the American law site Lawyers.com, which ran an article first posted in Medical Malpractice on August 27, 2012. In that article, Kase (the author) states that, according to a new study, tens of millions of people taking BP medication prescribed by their doctors may be consuming the drugs for no reason.

“The report, which was conducted independently from any drug company money or influence, found the vast majority of people who take meds for hypertension see no benefit from them, and do not show reduced levels of heart attack or stroke”.

The article continues, “According to the Center for Disease Control, some 1 in 3 adults in America, or 68 million people, have high blood pressure. However, for most of them the condition is considered mild. Historically, even those mild cases are prescribed medication; but the study says the drugs do no good for mild hypertension and could cause harm to patients through side effects”.

Kase reports there are dozens of different medications prescribed for high BP, spread across a number of categories – each with its own side effects, ranging from constipation, excessive hair growth, erection problems, rashes and fever to heart palpitations and other adverse reactions.

“A tall price to pay, if the drugs aren’t actually helping people live longer,” he says.

The writer concludes that, unfortunately, big drugs are big business, and wherever money is involved, motivations can come into question when medications are prescribed to people who might not need them.
Such claims aren’t new of course. On January 8, 2012, the UK’s The Observer reported the BP bar was set at 140/90 whereas 15 years earlier the threshold was 160/100.

And way back in June 2005, The Seattle Times reported that, in recent years, expert panels from prestigious medical-research organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) have called for lower thresholds for blood pressure – and, the report points out, “Behind each of those panels were the giant pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the new and expensive hypertension drugs”.

That report concludes, “The drug industry welcomed the new treatment guidelines and marketed them vigorously. Not surprisingly, as doctors followed the new guidelines and treated hypertension at lower readings, sales of the newer drugs increased”.

High BP is unquestionably a bigger problem in the West, and many experts attribute that to our higher consumption of salt.

This is touched on in The Observer article referred to earlier. It reports that Brazil’s Yanomami tribe, whose members eat a diet low in salt and saturated fat and high in fruit, have the lowest mean blood pressure of any population on earth – 95/61.

Nor, apparently, does their blood pressure increase with age. “By contrast, in the west, where people eat an average of 10-12 grams of salt per day, blood pressure rises with age by an average of 0.5mm Hg a year. That may not sound a lot, but over the average lifespan that is a difference of between 35 and 44mm Hg systolic”.

The article concludes that the most recent meta-analysis of trials involving more than 6000 people from around the world, found that a reduction in salt intake of just 2mm a day reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 20%.

That may well be the case although we suspect that applies to everyday table salt and not to pure, unadulterated, unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt.


message 2: by Lance, Group Founder (last edited May 01, 2015 01:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2766 comments Excerpt cont'd:

Even more depressing than our ever-increasing reliance on drugs to combat high blood pressure is the overprescribing and over-use of antidepressants – especially where children are concerned.

“Suicide rates have not slumped under the onslaught of antidepressants, mood-stabilizers, anxiolytic and anti-psychotic drugs; the jump in suicide rates suggests that the opposite is true. In some cases, suicide risk skyrockets once treatment begins (the patient may feel not only penalized for a justifiable reaction, but permanently stigmatized as malfunctioning). Studies show that self-loathing sharply decreases only in the course of cognitive-behavioral treatment.” – Antonella Gambotto-Burke, The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide

Statistically, there’s a very good chance you know someone who is taking Prozac or some other antidepressant right now. It may be a neighbor, or colleague, or a friend or family member, or, it may be you.

This no doubt has something to do with the readiness of people to talk about their depression or even their mental illness – conditions which, thankfully, are no longer burdened by stigma. It no doubt also has something to do with the widespread consumer acceptance of antidepressants as a solution for their depression.

According to some estimates, depression, that most common of mental illnesses, affects one quarter of all Americans.

A March 24, 2014 report in The Atlantic claims Americans are awash in pills. “The use of antidepressants has increased 400 percent between 1988 and 2008. They’re now one of the three most-prescribed categories of drugs, coming in right after painkillers and cholesterol medications”.

The situation, it seems, is little better elsewhere in the Western world. In the UK, for example, more than 50 million prescriptions for antidepressants are written every year if latest estimates are correct.

This figure is “staggeringly high,” according to an article in The Guardian dated April 13, 2014. It quotes Dr Matthijs Muijen, head of mental health at the World Health Organization Europe, as saying prescription levels have gone through the roof, claiming “There's a degree of fashion about antidepressants”.

Dr Muijen admits his worry is “We are medicalising all forms of sadness in the belief that antidepressants are a safe drug that you just prescribe”.

In a report dated August 3, 2013, BBC News asks the question: “Is England a nation on anti-depressants?” It also asks why we are seeing “such huge and rising numbers of people” regularly taking anti-depressants when GPs are advised to prescribe them only for more seriously ill patients.

The report continues, “In some places the number of patients prescribed anti-depressants exceeds the number of people in that area estimated to suffer from depression and anxiety by the NHS England's Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (PMS)”.

On June 21, 2013, Healthline News reported that a Mayo Clinic study found that nearly 70% of Americans are prescribed at least one medication, with antidepressants (along with antibiotics and opioids) topping the list.

The article quotes the National Alliance on Mental Illness as estimating one in four Americans experience a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, in a given year. “Typical first-line treatments for mental health issues are medication and some type of psychotherapy…Critics who say antidepressant medications are overused often claim there is a chicken-and-egg phenomenon, saying that antidepressants are prescribed for normal human reactions to life events, leading to a lasting diagnosis of mental illness”.

The article concludes, “However, as the public mindset continues to change, there’s now less stigma attached to getting help for mental disorders, which may help explain the rise in antidepressant use”.

Predictably, the Psychiatric Times, whose audience is American psychiatrists and mental health professionals, doesn’t agree that antidepressants are overprescribed in the US. In an article dated September 1, 2014, that publication’s editor-in-chief Ronald W. Pies, MD, reports that, “by and large”, he doesn’t agree with the allegation that America has become a kind of Prozac Nation – a none-too-subtle reference to the title of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 1994 memoirs perhaps.

“In many respects, the claim that ‘too many Americans are taking antidepressants’ is a myth,” according to Dr. Pies. “…To be sure: in some primary care settings, antidepressants are prescribed too casually; after too little evaluation time; and for instances of normal stress or everyday sadness, rather than for MDD,” he says.

“And, in my experience, antidepressants are vastly over-prescribed for patients with bipolar disorder, where these drugs often do more harm than good: mood stabilizers, such as lithium, are safer and more effective in bipolar disorder. But these kernels of truth are concealed within a very large pile of chaff”.

Dr. Pies continues, “For example, the media often report that antidepressant use in the United States has ‘gone up by 400%’ in recent years—and that’s probably true…But the actual percentage of Americans 12 years or older taking antidepressants is about 11%—a large proportion of the population, for sure, but not exactly Prozac Nation”.

So, though Dr. Pies – and by default Psychiatric Times and no doubt the majority of psychiatric professionals in the US – disputes the allegation that America has become a kind of Prozac Nation, there seems to be a reluctant acknowledgement that antidepressants are vastly over-prescribed for patients suffering one type of mental illness at least, and that it’s probably true that antidepressant use has risen 400% in the US.

If that doesn’t constitute a Prozac Nation, not sure what does…


message 3: by Lance, Group Founder (last edited Aug 23, 2016 03:47PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2766 comments excerpt cont'd:

Washington D.C. writer Brendan L. Smith, reporting on the American Psychological Association’s website in June 2012, reports that research shows that all too often, Americans are taking medications that may not work or that may be inappropriate for their mental health problems.

Smith observes that writing a prescription to treat a mental health disorder is easy, but it may not always be the safest or most effective route for patients, according to some recent studies and a growing chorus of voices concerned about the rapid rise in the prescription of psychotropic drugs.

“Today, patients often receive psychotropic medications without being evaluated by a mental health professional, according to…the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many Americans visit their primary-care physicians and may walk away with a prescription for an antidepressant or other drugs without being aware of other evidence-based treatments…that might work better for them without the risk of side effects”.

Smith quotes Steven Hollon, PhD, a psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, as saying at least half the folks who are being treated with antidepressants aren't benefiting from the active pharmacological effects of the drugs themselves but from a placebo effect. “If people knew more,” Hollon says, “I think they would be a little less likely to go down the medication path than the psychosocial treatment path”.

Smith claims Prozac opened the floodgates. “Since the launch of Prozac, antidepressant use has quadrupled in the United States…Antidepressants are the second most commonly prescribed drug in the United States, just after cholesterol-lowering drugs”.

Smith also quotes Daniel Carlat, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University, as saying health insurance reimbursements are higher and easier to obtain for drug treatment than therapy, which has contributed to the increase in psychotropic drug sales.

“There is a huge financial incentive for psychiatrists to prescribe instead of doing psychotherapy,” Dr. Carlat says. “You can make two, three, four times as much money being a prescriber than a therapist”.


“As James Surowiecki noted in a New Yorker article, given a choice between developing antibiotics that people will take every day for two weeks and antidepressants that people will take every day forever, drug companies not surprisingly opt for the latter. Although a few antibiotics have been toughened up a bit, the pharmaceutical industry hasn’t given us an entirely new antibiotic since the 1970s.” –Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything


The prescribing of antidepressants to children is a real hot potato – and rightly so.

On MedicineNet.com, medical author Barbara K. Hecht, PhD, and medical editor Frederick Hecht, M.D., advise subscribers that the British Government has warned that the antidepression drug Effexor should not be taken by children.

Furthermore, they report that “Now the UK is advising against the prescription of all antidepressant drugs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs) for children, with the exception of Prozac, because these drugs increase the risk of suicide”.

Their report includes a statement by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It reads as follows:
“Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) - only fluoxetine (Prozac) shown to have a favourable balance of risks and benefits for the treatment of MDD in the under 18s.
“On the basis of a review of the safety and efficacy of the SSRI class in the treatment of paediatric major depressive disorder undertaken by the Expert Working Group of the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM), the CSM has advised that the balance of risks and benefits for the treatment of major depressive disorder in under 18s is judged to be unfavourable for sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro) and unassessable for fluvoxamine (Luvox)”.

Overmedication of children diagnosed – and often misdiagnosed or even not diagnosed – with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has also, it seems, reached alarming levels, and the public debate has been as vocal as that surrounding the issue of overprescribing antidepressants.

By some estimates, around four million children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD and more than half of them have been prescribed drugs. This despite the fact there are very real concerns about the impact the drugs have on growth and brain development – especially in preschoolers.

One who has had something to say on this matter of late is Dr. Nancy Rappaport, a certified child and adolescent psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In a Washington Post article dated June 4, 2014, and headed ‘We are overmedicating America’s poorest kids,’ she claims that thousands of children between the ages of two and three are being prescribed stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall for ADHD even though the medicine’s safety and effectiveness has barely been explored in that age group.

Dr. Rappaport says she finds it even more troubling that a disproportionate number of those children were on Medicaid, which to her is an indicator of poverty. “That,” she says, “is the huge red flag”.
Referring to her experience as a child psychiatrist, working with at-risk children for more than 20 years, she points out the simple fact is that underprivileged children often grow up in home environments that lead to troubling behavior.

“To the untrained observer, it looks as if these children suffer from ADHD. But they don’t need medicine. They need stability and support”.
This raises the obvious question: Why are physicians prescribing potentially harmful drugs instead of recommending family-based support services for toddlers who display ADHD symptoms and disruptive behavior?

Dr. Rappaport asks this very question. She says, “Medication may be judiciously used to help ADHD when a biological illness is truly present, but true ADHD cannot be differentiated from other problems at such young ages. We owe it to our children to give the consistent message that we will do whatever it takes to foster their development. And that doesn’t always mean prescribing a pill”.

Amen to that.

It’s a fact that in this modern era most of us look for a quick fix for whatever ails us or for whatever ails our children. Our willingness to pop a pill in order to get a good night’s sleep or to ease a queasy tummy or to clear a foggy head or to…(the list goes on) is frightening. Even more so when we pass such quick fix ideas onto our children.

We seem very willing to overlook the fact that all drugs – prescribed or otherwise – have side-effects. Sometimes deadly side-effects, often unhealthy or otherwise undesirable side-effects.

We also overlook the fact that oftentimes there’s a simple, readily available, natural remedy available for those day-to-day ailments we encounter.
For example, physical exercise has long been recognized as an effective way to combat depression. Not for all, granted, but, we suspect, for many.

The Atlantic article referred to earlier reports that a growing body of research suggests that exercise is one of its best cures for depression. It claims a randomized controlled trial showed that depressed adults who took part in aerobic exercise improved as much as those treated with Zoloft, and a recommendation was made that physicians counsel their depressed patients to try it.

A later study looked at 127 depressed people who hadn’t experienced relief from a commonly used antidepressant and found that exercise led 30 percent of them into remission – a result described “as good as, or better than” drugs alone.

The article continues, “Though we don’t know exactly how any antidepressant works, we think exercise combats depression by enhancing endorphins: natural chemicals that act like morphine and other painkillers. There’s also a theory that aerobic activity boosts norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood. And like antidepressants, exercise helps the brain grow new neurons”.

The article concludes that “this powerful, non-drug treatment” hasn’t yet become a mainstream remedy. Why not? And why are so many people still popping pills?
We suspect the conclusion speaks volumes about the state of our mental health services and infrastructure, the physician reimbursement system (more about doctors’ kickbacks coming up) and the alacrity with which doctors dispense prescription drugs ahead of advising on diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

Regrettably, it also speaks volumes about our unwillingness to take responsibility for, and control of, our own health, preferring, instead, to entrust that to our family doctor.

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series, #3) by James Morcan


message 4: by Laureen (new)

Laureen (laureenandersonswfcomau) | 478 comments That's a lot of reading Lance but I will get to it. I have read half of the first post and it is a subject I am very interested in.


message 5: by Lance, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2766 comments Laureen wrote: "That's a lot of reading Lance but I will get to it. I have read half of the first post and it is a subject I am very interested in."

Looking forward to your comments Laureen...as always.


message 6: by James, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

James Morcan | 11189 comments Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

In this astonishing and startling book, award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades? Every day, 1,100 adults and children are added to the government disability rolls because they have become newly disabled by mental illness, with this epidemic spreading most rapidly among our nation’s children. What is going on?

Anatomy of an Epidemic challenges readers to think through that question themselves. First, Whitaker investigates what is known today about the biological causes of mental disorders. Do psychiatric medications fix “chemical imbalances” in the brain, or do they, in fact, create them? Researchers spent decades studying that question, and by the late 1980s, they had their answer. Readers will be startled—and dismayed—to discover what was reported in the scientific journals.

Then comes the scientific query at the heart of this book: During the past fifty years, when investigators looked at how psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, what did they find? Did they discover that the drugs help people stay well? Function better? Enjoy good physical health? Or did they find that these medications, for some paradoxical reason, increase the likelihood that people will become chronically ill, less able to function well, more prone to physical illness?

This is the first book to look at the merits of psychiatric medications through the prism of long-term results. Are long-term recovery rates higher for medicated or unmedicated schizophrenia patients? Does taking an antidepressant decrease or increase the risk that a depressed person will become disabled by the disorder? Do bipolar patients fare better today than they did forty years ago, or much worse? When the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) studied the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD, did they determine that stimulants provide any benefit?

By the end of this review of the outcomes literature, readers are certain to have a haunting question of their own: Why have the results from these long-term studies—all of which point to the same startling conclusion—been kept from the public?

In this compelling history, Whitaker also tells the personal stories of children and adults swept up in this epidemic. Finally, he reports on innovative programs of psychiatric care in Europe and the United States that are producing good long-term outcomes. Our nation has been hit by an epidemic of disabling mental illness, and yet, as Anatomy of an Epidemic reveals, the medical blueprints for curbing that epidemic have already been drawn up.

Anatomy of an Epidemic Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker


message 7: by Lance, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars


message 9: by Lance, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2766 comments Are Antidepressants Overprescribed? http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healt...

The Violent Side Effects of Antidepressants that Many Ignore http://articles.mercola.com/sites/art...

Why Doctors Are Fighting Over Blood Pressure Guidelines http://healthland.time.com/2014/01/13...

Don’t Let Them Drug You for Mild High Blood Pressure http://bottomlineinc.com/health/high-...


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 1361 comments Mildly high blood pressure can arise for a number of harmless reasons. One is, you have a doctor's appointment, you leave at the time you expect to get there, but then find there's no nearby park. So you have to run some distance, wondering whether you'll make it. Big surprise - your blood pressure goes up.


message 11: by James, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

James Morcan | 11189 comments Ian wrote: "Mildly high blood pressure can arise for a number of harmless reasons. One is, you have a doctor's appointment, you leave at the time you expect to get there, but then find there's no nearby park. So you have to run some distance, wondering whether you'll make it. Big surprise - your blood pressure goes up. ..."

Very good point. Maybe in an ideal world doctors should ask patients if they are stressed on the day of testing or else nervous about coming in for the appointment?


message 12: by Lance, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2766 comments Ian wrote: "Mildly high blood pressure can arise for a number of harmless reasons. One is, you have a doctor's appointment, you leave at the time you expect to get there, but then find there's no nearby park. ..."

Yep... (According to Google) "white coat hypertension, more commonly known as white coat syndrome, is a phenomenon in which patients exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range, in a clinical setting, though they don't exhibit it in other settings."

Doctors should allow for that, but I suspect they don't. I suspect Big Pharma's happy about that, too.

Have you noticed how the goal posts for high BP keep changing? It doesn't seem that long ago when your age + 100 used to be an acceptable reading. Nowadays a reading like that is enough to make your doctor panic.


message 13: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 1361 comments Yeah, and its probably not the only thing. Cholesterol is another. I one remember seeing an account in Nature where someone had higher levels of cholesterol so he took statins. The next time the desired numbers came down, so they gave him higher doses. The higher doses made no difference to the cholesterol, but they did give far more side effects, and his level would have been unexceptional a decade earlier. The problem is, when they have a test that gives a number, soon someone wants to lower the desired number to sell more drugs.


message 14: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 98 comments I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to pharmaceutical drugs - I haven't taken a pill for 30 years now due to an abhorrence for vivisection. But is there any evidence that pharmaceutical drugs today are designed to be permanent? i.e., that once taken a patient will need to keep taking that drug?


message 15: by Laureen (new)

Laureen (laureenandersonswfcomau) | 478 comments I have come to the conclusion that we just have to buy a blood pressure monitor and keep a check on our own blood pressure and change our lifestyle to moderate High blood pressure if we need to.

I am going to take my own blood pressure mid morning and mid afternoon for a couple of weeks to see what it is really doing. I only go to the doctor about every 3 months and get a different reading everybtime. Sometimes 160 over 90 and other times 140 or lower over 80. and yes, I am on blood pressure pills. Not good enough evidence for me.


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 1361 comments Tim, there are good reasons why some drugs have to be taken until you die. The best example is insulin. If your islets of the Langerhans are gone, the day you stop taking insulin is the day you start dying. Similarly, with hypertension, if it is serious, you are heading towards a stroke. If you have an infection and start a course of antibiotics, it is imperative you finish them, otherwise you start to generate superbugs. There is no doubt that when you get old, you start supporting the pharmaceutical industry if you want to extend your life. The big problem lies in over-enthusiastic prescribing.


message 17: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Alan McGill I have never seen a physician so relieved as when he found my cholesterol level was "higher than they like it" and he could prescribe me a life-long medication that would eventually destroy my muscle functioning. Every other test was coming back negative.

Needless to say, I am taking my chances. I recognize that, apparently unlike other humans, I am going to die at some point.

And I don't get the flu, so I am not getting a flu shot.


message 18: by Tim (last edited Jun 11, 2017 12:15PM) (new)

Tim Rees | 98 comments Thanks, Ian. After only a little research I read about stuff like benzodiazepines that seem very addictive... I'm working on a storyline and this is interesting. I read another article (can't find it now) where pharmaceutical companies are using toxic and poisonous chemicals.

My (characters) concern is that, like the tobacco manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies are deliberately addicting patients. For me, after looking into it only a short while, that the intent to deliberately addict patients seems all too plausible...


message 19: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 98 comments Kevin wrote: Needless to say, I am taking my chances. I recognize that, apparently unlike other humans, I am going to die at some point.

Hear, hear, Kevin!


message 20: by Lance, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2766 comments Here we go again… New guidelines lower the threshold for high blood pressure, adding 30 million Americans to those who have the condition, which now plagues nearly half of U.S. adults.

This was announced earlier this week.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that your age plus 100 equalled the safe BP threshold. Since then the ‘goalposts’ have been moved. Not once, but several times.

Now the American Heart Association announces the upper threshold for high blood pressure has been changed from 140 over 90 to 130 over 80.

According to ABC News, the new guidelines add 30 million Americans to those who are at risk. See full report at: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStor...

This makes me very suspicious. Suspicious that Big Pharma – the medical establishment in general and pharmaceutical companies in particular – are still chasing ever-higher profits. Every 'point' that the high BP threshold is lowered translates to many millions of dollars to the aforementioned companies. (Johnson & Johnson’s 2016 revenues reportedly topped US$71 billion… That’s billion, folks)!

We address this problem of ever-changing goalposts in MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures In fact, we devote a whole chapter to it.

Here’s an excerpt: https://morcanbooksandfilms.com/categ...


message 21: by Iridescent (new)

Iridescent (im_depressed) | 15 comments I agree, I have heard about there being a large amount of overprescribed medications, and it always leads to wonder, 'Am I part of that percentage?' And in truth, there should be a mixed amount of both medication and therapy, it leads to more effectively reached treatment goal.


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