The last 40 years prove conclusively that interdiction can't possibly win the war against the cartels. Illegal drugs are more available, stronger, and cheaper than ever. We have encouraged lawlessness and civil strife in every drug-producing nation.
For all the buzz and activity, there was much more selling than educating going on. Sure, the drug reps suggested alternatives and mentioned side effects, but underneath and unacknowledged was their fundamental mission: to convince me to prescribe their product.
The news media showed without a shadow of a doubt that they have not learned from their coverage in the run-up to the Iraq war, as pretty much everyone who got Iraq fundamentally wrong before we invaded was invited to share their views.
For people who were blown away to learn recently that the 11 largest global pharmaceutical companies made an astonishing $711 billion in profits over the last decade, here's another measure of the industry's greed.
Patients come into doctors' offices asking for something they've seen on TV. Big pharma's advertising blitz, coupled with its aggressive marketing to physicians (who all too often are readily seduced to prescribe), results in the ever-increasing number of prescriptions offered to patients.
I asked more than a dozen expert psychiatric colleagues, and myself, the questions they most frequently receive about psychiatric medications from people who take them or their families. Here are a dozen of those many questions; the responses are mine.
If you watched the SOTU, you might have missed the scheme that Obama unveiled that will ruin the Medicare prescription drug program, destroy pharmaceutical companies' incentive to develop new life-saving medicines and even imperil our country's economic growth. I know I missed it.
A recent blog of mine described how unethical and illegal drug company activities have driven the prescription of antipsychotic drugs to children. Now the "success" of this campaign has been documented in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
The capacity of government and its citizens to sue entities such as pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline for fraudulent practices is a necessary part of the checks and balances needed to restrain personal and corporate greed.