Nov 17, 2017

Drug companies may seem that they are doing the best for your welfare, but often they are keeping things from you. It is important to understand that drug companies are part of a multibillion dollar industry and they are always looking to make huge profits. We often find these companies in hot water with government and private agencies picking up on their bad practices.

There are many secrets that remain hidden in this industry. Here are three important things that drug companies don’t want you to know.

1.    Bribing Doctors

Many drug companies have been found to bribe doctors in order for the doctors to prescribe their products as compared to those of their competitors. This bribing is usually carried out in a complex manner with doctors and other important healthcare professionals helped by the drug companies. They also give expensive gifts to physicians and clinics in order to influence the prescription and stocking decisions.

Companies such as AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly have been exposed for paying doctors to speak positively about their drugs as well as for giving them good publicity. In China, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is under a serious investigation for bribing key people in the healthcare industry with around five hundred million dollars. The effort was supposed to increase the market share of the company in the Chinese Pharma market.

2.    Price Fixing

Another thing that drug companies want to remain secret, is that they often make a cartel and fix the prices of commonly used medications. The price fixing ensures that these companies can sell medications expensively even when not holding a specific patent for a drug. The cartel is in the interest of all the companies because all of them profit from selling at an elevated price.

They often take multiple patents for a single compound. It allows them to keep using their patents and sell expensive medicines. They ensure that their clients cannot procure inexpensive medicines from anywhere. The real cost of these medicines is often just a small fraction of their selling prices.

3.    Renaming Medicines

Drug companies often rename their drugs as separate medicines. It allows them to market their products for diseases in which the actual drug produces a very small improvement. They do so to ensure that they can completely sell the drugs off their production line and restart a failing product as a new one.

An example can be cited of Prozac, which was an antidepressant. The medicine was complexly named in order to look like a highly scientific formula. When the drug patent was about to go out, the same company, Eli Lilly rebranded it as Sarafem. It was marketed to help treat menstruation disorders and especially prepared in the pink color.

The active chemical is fluoxetine hydrochloride in both of these products. The drug may have been capable of treating or helping the reduction of menstrual problems, but the new branding was aimed at ensuring that the patent on the formulation can carry on for an increased number of years.

These are the top three secrets of Big Pharma. There are many more secrets that these companies keep from us. So next time you are about to use a particular medicine always be sure to look up its active ingredients.

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