Is “Big Pharma” the “Big, Bad Devil?” Maybe. Maybe Not.

by Magnolia on May 13, 2013

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Over the weekend, I was reminded once again that I’m not one who fits in well with “group think.”  I am a member of a holistic health group on LinkedIn.  It is an interesting group with plenty of equally interesting conversations on health.

A recent discussion was centered on the question “Is Big Pharma Standing in the Way of Good Health?” There were plenty of answers to the question which were reasoned and insightful.  But, there were even more which attacked the pharmaceutical industry as heartless, capitalist pigs, whose only mission is to make money and stand in the way of health.

The frothing venom even extended into the medical research field, accusing medical researchers of actually having answers to disease – such as cancer – but who are willingly and maliciously holding back “cures” in the name of capitalism and profit.

I found it all extreme, and at times, downright offensive. Especially when one of the members had the gall to send me a private message to tell me how “naïve” I was because I wasn’t on the same bandwagon he was on, and that I didn’t hold the same opinion he held on the topic at hand.

I should have asked him if he had ever taken a Tylenol®, or a Motrin®, or perhaps even a Bayer® aspirin.  I wonder if he uses soap, or shampoo, or if he brushes his teeth with Crest® or Colgate®, and rinses his mouth out with Listerine®.  I suspect he probably does.  And if that is the case, then he is supporting that big, bad, evil industry called “Big Pharma.”

And by the way, I hate that stupid term.  Who the hell came up with it anyway?

Listen, there is not a bigger rebel than me.  In fact, I’m so rebellious and stubborn at times, that I will deliberately do the opposite of what someone is expecting me to do just so that they get the message……”I’m not a blind follower….”

Ridiculous and childish, I know.  But, it’s the truth.

I am also very aware we have a problem in the medical field, and that pharmaceutical companies are part of it. A HUGE part of it.  And never is it more manifest than in the area of women’s health.  You want to talk about a profit motive?  Just take a trip around the Internet and check out women’s health websites.  Women are big business indeed.

But, I also realize that some drugs are actually helpful.  Some drugs actually do good things for people in the right doses, and in the right context.  I am currently using the Vivelle Dot, a transdermal, bioidentical estradiol for that very reason.

So as much as I would like to live off the grid, grow my own food and livestock, milk my own cows, sew my own clothes from the cotton and silk that I grow myself, and become one, completely and totally, with nature and the universe, it’s just not very feasible.

I suspect the “The Unabomber” and Kurt Cobain would call me a total sell-out.  Whatever.

I do happen to believe that the pharmaceutical industry (along with insurance companies) are THE biggest problem we have in our healthcare system.  I also happen to believe that the lust for money and profits blind good judgment, and drive our healthcare system in ways that are harmful and hurtful to the American public.  It’s a huge problem.  A very huge problem, which I just don’t have an easy answer for.

But, I’m here, at this blog and several other sites where I do my best to advocate on behalf of women and their health.  I’m doing my best to be a positive force and encouraging voice in what sometimes feels like a losing battle.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, and I’m not a bandwagon kind of girl.  I don’t believe extreme, adversarial, or conspiratorial positions are the answer to anything. In fact, they only make the problems worse and sabotage any hope for change, in my not so humble opinion.

Not to mention, they also make you look like an irrational idiot.  Yeah, I’m talking to you – LinkedIn Cancer Survivor Guy.

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