Episode 39

full
Published on:

6th Nov 2021

E039: Is Big Pharma Hurting You Or Helping You?

In this episode I dive into the problem with our sick care medical system today –appointment times that are too short for a doctor to truly diagnose you fully and a pharmaceutical industry hungry for profits, pushing drugs as the only option for healing –and yet they don’t heal in many cases, they simply mask one symptom, which drives another symptom, and they encourage another drug. I dive into the history as it wasn’t always this way, and when we started to this drive for billion-dollar sales and how this all came to be. If you are starting to question our current sick care system or have been questioning it for some time, you’ll want to listen to this episode to learn more about the issues and some book recommendations to continue your learning. I also round out the episode with suggestions as to changes that need to be made, as well as things you can do starting today to take responsibility for your health and invest in it as you would any other asset. After all, your health is your greatest asset!

Link to register for Boost Your Immune System Workshop

https://yourguidedhealthjourney.com/workshops/

Discover Your Toxic Load Quiz: https://welcome.yourguidedhealthjourney.com/yourtoxicload

Wisdom of Trauma Series Part 2, Day 5, Part 5:

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=vsQEYmlZbHs&t=1700s&ab_channel=scienceandnonduality

Complimentary 30-minute consult: 

https://YGHJappointments.as.me/30-minute-consult

About the Host:

Melissa is an Integrative Health Practitioner helping people get to the root cause of their health issues. Melissa neither diagnoses nor cures but helps bring your body back into balance by helping discover your “toxic load” and then removing the toxins. Melissa offers functional medicine lab testing that helps you “see inside” to know exactly what is going on, and then provides a personalized wellness protocol using natural herbs and supplements. Melissa’s business is 100% virtual –the lab tests are mailed directly to your home and she specializes in holding your hand and guiding the way to healing so that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Melissa has been featured at a number of Health & Wellness Summits, such as the Health, Wealth & Wisdom Summit, The Power To Profit Summit, The Feel Fan-freaking-tas-tic Summit, and the Aim Higher Summit, and has guested on over 30 different podcasts teaching people about the importance of prioritizing our health and how to get get started. 

www.yourguidedhealthjourney.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissadeally/

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Transcript
Melissa Deally:

Imagine getting up every day full of energy is if you were in your 20s. Again, what would that be? Like? What would that be worth to you? What is your health worth to you? Think about it. Your health isn't everything. But without it, everything else is nothing. And yet too many of us are taking it for granted. until something goes wrong. No one wakes up hoping to be diagnosed with a disease or chronic illness. And yet, we've never been taught how to be proactive in our health through our school system, or public health. As a registered health coach and integrative health practitioner, I believe it is time this information is made available to everyone. Combining new knowledge around your health and the ability to do my functional medicine lab tests in the comfort of your own home will allow you to optimize your health for today and all your tomorrow's don't wait for your wake up call. Welcome back to the don't wait for your wake up call podcast. I'm your host, Melissa dealey. And today I want to talk to you about is it time to do health differently? And so with that, I want to ask you, what is your attitude towards your health? Is it something you never really think about? You simply go about your busy life doing the best that you can, and you have your health? And so you take it for granted. But what happens when you don't have your health? Do you then go to the doctor and get given a pill? And do you think that seven or 10 or 15 minute appointment is enough time for your doctor to truly understand what is going on with you to not only listened to your symptoms, but to also be able to ask you questions about the lifestyle factors that might be influencing those symptoms, such as your stress levels, your diet, your sleep, your exercise, your mindset, your relationships, and more. No, they could never get to all of that in just those short appointments, can they. So they simply have to take the quickest action, make that quick decision about what pharmaceutical drug might help make your symptoms go away. And the problem with that is, is that it's overriding how the body works. You see, our body is sending us symptoms, to alert us to the fact that something is wrong and ask us to do something differently. And if we just take a pill to make the symptoms go away, we aren't changing anything. we've ignored the fact that our body is talking to us. And it will then send us another symptom to try and get our attention. You see, our body first talks to us gently like a feather. But if we ignore it, it will then thump us with a brick. And if we still ignore it, then it's going to walk us with a wrecking ball. And nobody wants that. So if you have been to the doctor, and they've given you that pill, then when the next symptom shows up, we typically go back to the doctor as a result of that symptom. And then we come away with another drug. Is it any wonder that many North Americans are on multiple drugs at any given time. In fact, the sad news is that the average number of prescriptions filled every year for adults in the US is nine. But if you have diabetes, it's 34. If you have heart disease, it's 30. If you have hypertension, it's 25. And that doesn't mention how many prescription drugs you would be on if you actually had two or three of those chronic illnesses at the same time. And six in 10 Americans have one chronic illness, while four and 10 have more than one. These stats are provided by research done by Georgetown University. I have some friends in Canada who tell me that their parents are on 20 plus different prescriptions between them. And the problem is is that Big Pharma is prioritizing shareholder profit over human health. And so their focus is making money. They need you to take their pill every day for the rest of your life. And then you'll need another due to the side effects and enough they have no motivation to help you heal. And this is where I struggle with our medical industry being a for profit industry is there is so much conflict here. Don't get me wrong. I believe that our acute care system is excellent and our doctors are doing their best. But the system is broken with these seven minute or 10 minute appointments and big Pharma is burning desire for more profit.

Melissa Deally:

Not only that, Big Pharma has developed a lot of control over the years, because they invest in medical schools, pay medical professors. In some cases, they even own the buildings of medical schools at universities. And so they get a lot of say in what the medical school curriculums are. And as a result, our doctors do not get to focus on nutrition and lifestyle factors of people's health. They learn about pharmaceutical drugs. And big pharma doesn't just focus on medical schools, though. They invest heavily in election campaigns in the media, as we'll talk about later. So, in addition to all of this, does it make sense to you that we burn out our doctors as they go through medical school and residency? Why do we have them constantly working 20 hour shifts in residency? The whole process is so stressful on the students that is negatively impacting their health. And when working 20 hour shifts, is that the doctor that you want to see you about your health? I don't think so. If we know that the for optimal health people need seven to nine hours of sleep every night, why aren't we allowing our next generation of doctors the time to get good sleep. I recently watched a panel discussion on the wisdom of trauma series. And I'll drop the link into the show notes. Because this was a group of doctors discussing the trauma that doctors and nurses go through in the medical system the way it functions today. And how one doctor has actually started clinics that are actually designed around what patients want. After doing nine townhall meetings in her community. Patients want to be heard, they want to be believed. I actually have so many clients that tell me that their doctor tells them there's nothing wrong with them, that it's all in their head. And this is the worst because we all need to get back to listening to our bodies listening to those symptoms. And if you are listening to your symptoms and going to the doctor and indicating that something's wrong, and then getting told nothing is wrong, that simply isn't helpful to you in resolving why you have those symptoms. Sometimes patients just want to have a conversation, even to be held and supported. And none of this can happen in our system today with these short, short appointments. If you stop and think about it, what would you like from your doctor? Back in ancient China in India, the doctors didn't get paid if the villagers got sick. This motivated these doctors to teach the villagers to be proactive in their health. But today there is no education around being proactive. As if we were proactive, Big Pharma wouldn't make any money. A woman with breast cancer is worth 800,000 to 1.2 million to the American medical system. But a woman with healthy breasts makes no one any money. So this is why they don't actually want you to heal. And in fact, they discredited the early detection of thermography and instead promote mammograms. Because by the time a mammogram detects a lump, you likely need their treatments, whereas thermography detects lumps at a much earlier stage when they're much smaller, and natural treatments can be used in many cases to get rid of it. But most people have probably never heard of thermography as an early detection tool when it comes to breast health. The shift in our pharmaceutical industry away from being patient centered to $1 centered industry that it is today started in the late 70s, early 80s. That was when they created their first billion dollar drug campaign. And this happened when Glaxo created Zantac for heartburn. The drug itself wasn't even new. It was a repurposed drug formulated by Dr. James black in 1977. That helped stop stomach acid. And this initially became the drug Tagamet made by SmithKline. But Glaxo wanted a share of the market. They wanted to go up against them. And so they took this copycat drug and marked it up 50% and then use those extra revenues to fund the largest ever drug marketing campaign to date

Melissa Deally:

and created the first billion dollar drug sales in the process. This then drove investors hungry for profits to demand all the drug companies generate those kinds of sales. And this industry soon realized the only way to keep achieving results like these was to cater to their chronic illnesses, and have people take drugs every day for the rest of their lives. They no longer focused on research to help people heal, they needed people to keep popping pills. Between 1995 and 2000, the number of marketing personnel at the large pharmaceutical companies in the US increased by 59% to almost 88,000 people. Meanwhile, the number of personnel in research and development dropped by 2% to under 49,000 people. Scientists were losing their power in these industries. While the sales and marketing teams were gaining it, it was no longer about focusing on developing new drugs for rare diseases. But instead, how much of this product do we need to sell in order to make it a billion dollar blockbuster drug. And if we can't do that, we're not going to focus on if the companies invested in research for drugs that would cure diseases, they would steadily eliminate their sales. And that of course doesn't make good business sense to them. Big Pharma marketing now cause vast sums of people's healthcare dollars to be wasted on unnecessary medicines while keeping other patients from potential cures. With all these new sales and marketing teams, Big Pharma launched comprehensive campaigns, targeting doctors and the general public across every medium. They also started using celebrities to get more people to pay attention. And while drugs were going through the slow process of FDA approval, they would quietly introduce the new drugs to doctors through all expensive paid conferences, to have them writing prescriptions. This is a loophole with the FDA doctors are allowed to start writing prescriptions for drugs not yet approved if they feel there is a need for that drug. But Big Pharma can't start advertising the drug until they get approval. So they create early sales by going straight to the doctors. Even worse, what is happening now is that over inflating the price of the drug to grow profits. As an example, the drug TRH, which is used for ALS, it was sold at $10,000 a dose because it was very expensive to make because it was made a tad a lot of manual labor involvement in making that drug. But then scientists figured out it cheaper way to make that drug. And Mr. Jones, a former former executive at Abbott Labs, quit in disgust after his research team went to the sales and marketing team so excited that they could now make this drug for only $2,000. A dose. And so they could bring that price down from $10,000 a dose quite significantly. He was shocked to get shut down by the sales and marketing team who said we're not putting the price down. We want to make more profit. And when he asked, but what about the people that need this drug and need it to be more affordable, he was told, don't worry about them, their neighbors will run garage sales to help them raise the funds. The sales and marketing teams were had so much power they were making all the decisions on the pricing, how much to sell which drugs were going to become those blockbuster drugs and who was going to get the support and it wasn't the people that needed the drugs. Meanwhile, in the year 2000, when Bill steer the mastermind behind Pfizer's rise to power decided to retire after 40 years with a company. He received a pension that would pay him $6 million per year for the rest of his life. Plus stock options worth over 100 million and company perks such as a car and driver, plus the use of the company aircraft whenever he desired. All of that for one man, while people were struggling financially to be able to pay for the drugs that could be life saving for them.

Melissa Deally:

Did you know that between 1990 to 2004 the FDA approved 1100 new drugs except that only 400 were really new, the other 700 were Simply copycats of other drugs already raking in big bucks. And of the 400 that were new, only 183 could be considered both new and significant. So that's roughly 16% of all of the drugs the FDA approved during those 14 years. And if we narrow it down even more, between 1989 to 1993 127, new drugs were considered new and significant. So that means that between 1993 and four, less than 60, new drugs were introduced to the market that were both new and significant in advancing our health care and ability to help people in life saving situations. Big Pharma stopped focusing on research and started focusing on sales and marketing. between 1980 to 2003, Americans went from spending $12 billion a year on drugs to $197 billion a year. That's a massive increase in that 23 year period. Their marketing worked, as by 2004, Americans spent twice as much on prescription drugs as they did on higher education or new cars. I don't know about you, but that seems crazy. To me, that is so much money being spent on prescription drugs. And here's the scary thing. It is estimated that more than 100,000 Americans die each year from prescription drugs taken as prescribed by their doctor often administered in hospitals, which makes prescription drugs one of the leading causes of death in America alongside heart disease, cancer and strokes. That's something we don't hear talked about very often. We so often continue to hear you get sick, you go to the doctor, they give you a pill and it makes you better. But is it really working? Is it making you better? So what caused this shift away from research and into marketing? You might be asking, well, the departure of Dr. David Kessler in February 1997, from being the top doctor at the FDA triggered all of this because under his reign, after the thalidomide debacle, the FDA was very limited in how it could market drugs and how it allowed Big Pharma to market drugs, I should say they could only use print advertising. However, six months after Dr. Kessler left, his successor, Dr. Michael Friedman lifted those restrictions and allowed pharmaceutical drugs to be advertised on TV. In the US. This is still not allowed in Canada, however, we have access to both US and Canadian channels. And so I still see the drug ads on TV, even though I live in Canada. Just stop for a minute and think about the last time you were watching TV in the evening. How many drug ads Did you see during one show? They're all pretty much the same, right? going something like this. They always show happy, active people in the ads and something say something like, If you suffer from this, ask your doctor for this drug. And if you continue to listen, they will say this drug could cause this, this, this, this and this and this side effect. And do not take it if you are taking this, this and this and this drug. So I always wonder why people would accept these drugs with so many side effects. But we've been so programmed to believe that this is the solution to being sick, get sick, take a drug get better. But we can truly see that people are actually getting sicker. Our rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, liver diseases, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer's and more are skyrocketing. Right now one in three people have cancer and by 2030 it's estimated to be one in two.

Melissa Deally:

Most of these are lifestyle diseases and drugs are not going to help people heal. But they do help line the pockets of big pharma companies. As doctors tell people to take the drugs for the rest of their life and people do because they trust their doctor and they want to be better and they aren't they aren't provided any other options. You might be wondering where all of this information is coming from that I'm sharing with you today. Well, there are a number of excellent investigative journalism books digging into what is going on inside Big Pharma. One of them that I have here for those that are watching watching on video. This is called our daily meds by Melody Peterson. And she used to write for the New York Times about the big pharma industry until she saw what was going on on the inside and decided to quit her job and write this book to expose the truth behind the industry. Another book that I have here as well is called bottles of Lies by Katherine Eban. This book digs into what is going on in our generic drug industry. That's our low cost industry that is needed because Big Pharma is selling the drugs made locally in North America at such high prices that people can't afford them. Governments can't afford them. And so that has created this generic low cost drug industry. The problem is, is that these drugs are made offshore, because labor is cheaper. But what do you think happens when you create an industry that is low cost? And then the Oversight Committee, ie the FDA is offshore? Do you think there might be some cost cutting happening, these companies learn to make a profit too. So think about that before you buy a generic drug in the future? Read the book to learn even more about this industry. And I know that many insurance companies insist that you they will only cover the generic drug, unless the doctor specifically says you have to have the branded drug. And honestly, I would recommend that you ask your doctor if you need a drug, you ask your doctor for the branded drug because there's definitely more safety protocols in place when it's the branded drug versus the generic drug. And read the book to find out for yourself. There's plenty of other books you can find as well, such as blockbuster drugs, kill shot the truth about drug companies, ADHD, nation, and pharma. The sad thing is, is that the pharmaceutical industry has transformed itself from one that had the capacity to do great good into one that is causing too much needless harm. So I want to ask you right now, is it time to do something differently? Yes, I believe it is. Some things that I believe need to change are. First of all, we need to stop allowing doctors to take drug money. They shouldn't be allowed to accept incentives from big pharma in the form of fully funded holidays for them and their families under the guise of learning. With the pewte, with a few seminars promoting the next billion dollar drug included in the weekend. If a disc jockey cannot receive money from an artist to play their song, why are doctors allowed to be funded by big pharma to we need to spend less money marketing pills, and spend more money on helping prevent people from getting sick in the first place. Remember, back to ancient China and India, it was all about prevention. We need to stop covert advertising stop celebrities being paid to promote drugs, we need to go back to the days of stopping TV advertising. These drugs do not have to be in people's faces, morning, noon and night. And stop allowing Big Pharma to be able to buy their way into medical journals, promoting new drugs with highly selective drug trial results that they've picked and choose the ones that they want to use. And then they pay doctors to sign their name at the bottom of the article that they've written. And then other doctors trust these sources and can't tell the real science from the doctor of science. When this happens. And they start promoting drugs thinking other doctors have had these good experiences with them. But it's really an article written by big pharma and paid a doctor to put his name on it.

Melissa Deally:

But what can you start doing today, you can shift your mindset and recognize that your health is your greatest asset and take responsibility for your health and step into proactive action to stay healthy. Rather than ignoring your health until you get sick. It's time to learn how to take proactive action to work with proactive with practitioners that genuinely want to see you get healthy and stay healthy and aren't limited by a system that gives them only seven minutes of time with you. So they can do a full intake they can understand all that's going on your all your lifestyle factors. And if you do have to go to a doctor and they prescribe a drug, ask them about the side effects. Asked to see the product information sheet that comes with every drug and read it first before you accept this as your only solution. And remember that you can always get second opinions. So you might see your doctor, perhaps you also go and see a holistic practitioner to find out how they would be able to help you. And then you can make an informed choice as to what is best for you. As with many things, the only way we can change things is by getting educated and voting with our dollars. Using tools such as this podcast, my YouTube channel, and those of many other holistic practitioners helping people today and spending proactively on your health now, thinking of your health as an investment, as in reality you're going to pay now, or you're going to pay later, and the cost of paying for full time care, or recovery from a disease. Plus the last time in work is significantly higher than choosing to run a few functional medicine lab tests on an annual basis to have a baseline and then be able to catch early warning signs. These labs show you where your body is out of balance, so that we can easily bring it back into balance, at which point it will heal itself just as it's designed to do, it is easier to blow out a small candle flame than a raging inferno. And you can get started today. And the best place to start is to simply understand your toxic load by completing my quiz. The link to this is in my show notes. And I'm hoping this will give you an AHA that your symptoms really are talking to you and asking you to do something different. The great news is that the guided functional medicine detox will help you alleviate these symptoms so that you can get back to feeling energized and living fully. Rather than simply tolerating your symptoms day in and day out. We're so quick to write off those symptoms as signs of aging, seasonal allergies, genetics, and accept them and keep going versus getting curious. Why do I have this symptom right now? And what can I do about it? That's what we need to be doing so that that gentle feather doesn't turn into a brick for a wrecking ball. So please check out the quiz. Find out where you're at today. And once I get your quiz results, I'll send you an email inviting you to book a complimentary call with me so we can discuss those results. As to the podcast. I have three interviews for you this month. I know I normally do two interviews in two solo shows. But I have three fabulous interviews that I wanted to share with you from three very different people. In episode 40 Next week,

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About the Podcast

Don't Wait For Your Wake Up Call!
with Melissa Deally, Integrative Health Practitioner
As an Integrative Health Practitioner I have come to realize that we simply haven't been taught how to optimize our health, and that the average person has habits that are negatively impacting their health, due to this lack of knowledge, through no fault of their own. Public health and our school system simply don't teach us enough about nutrition, sleep, stress, gut health or how interconnected our bodies are! Modern life has us more sleep deprived, stressed out and the sickest ever, and I believe it is time to bring this education to you, so that you CAN be empowered in your health and you can then make the right choices for you and your family. The choices you make today impact your future 1 year, 5 years, 10 years + from now. It is never too early to start looking after your health, as Health is your TRUE wealth....without it what do you have?

About your host

Profile picture for Melissa Deally

Melissa Deally

Melissa is an Integrative Health Practitioner helping people get to the root cause of their health issue. Melissa neither diagnoses nor cures, but helps bring your body back into balance by helping discover your “toxic load” and then removing the toxins. Melissa offers functional medicine lab testing that helps you “see inside” to know exactly what is going on, and then provides a personalized wellness protocol using natural herbs and supplements. Melissa’s business is 100% virtual – the lab tests are mailed directly to your home and she specializes in holding your hand and guiding the way to healing, so that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.