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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:39 AM

6 Kinds of Pills Big Pharma Tries to Get You Hooked on for Life

AlterNet / By Martha Rosenberg 37 COMMENTS
6 Kinds of Pills Big Pharma Tries to Get You Hooked on for Life
Since direct-to-consumer drug advertising debuted in the late 1990s, the number of people on prescription drugs for life has ballooned.
April 26, 2012

http://www.alternet.org/health/155170/6_kinds_of_pills_big_pharma_tries_to_get_you_hooked_on_for_life/

Excerpt:
Since direct-to-consumer drug advertising debuted in the late 1990s, the number of people on prescription drugs -- especially prescription drugs for life -- has ballooned. Between 2001 to 2007 the percentage of adults and children on one or more prescriptions for chronic conditions rose by more than 12 million, reports the Associated Press and 25 percent of US children now take a medication for a chronic condition. Seven percent of kids take two or more daily drugs. Who says advertising doesn't work?

Of the top-selling drugs in 2011, led by Lipitor, Nexium, Plavix, Advair Diskus, Abilify, Seroquel, Singulair and Crestor, none is taken occasionally, or "as needed" and the treatment goal is never to get off the drug, like an antibiotic. Why would Pharma deal itself out of the game?

There are two ways Pharma hooks the US public on prescriptions for life. First, prescriptions that used to be taken as needed for pain, anxiety, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), asthma, mood problems, migraines and even erectile dysfunction, gout and retroviruses (in some cases) are now full-time medicines. Instead of having a bad day or heartburn, you have a disease like anxiety or GERD which calls for full pharmaceutical artillery. Instead of having body pain to be treated transiently, you are put on an antidepressant like Cymbalta or seizure drug like Lyrica or Neurontin indefinitely.

Secondly, many of the top-selling drugs today are to prevent chronic conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and osteoporosis that people are said to be "at risk" for. Needless to say, in both cases, people never know if the drugs are working or whether they would have had symptoms without them. This creates a loyal customer who is afraid to quit a prescription because it might be working. And why should they quit anyway when a third party is probably paying?


While I absolutely see the need for many of these drugs for pain and chronic conditions, and realize many people do depend on them just to maintain a functional existence, I've also seen the results of mind-altering drugs meant for short-term only, being given month after month, for decades ... with horrifying results. There is very little support when it comes to stopping them, especially for older people who often end up strapped in wheelchairs unable to even form words. 'Dementia' is much easier to write down on a pt. report than a decade old addiction to mind-altering drugs originally meant to get many of these people through a devastating loss in their lives. Too many physicians find it easier to keep prescribing, and that does severely affect quality of life for many. I've seen it over and over, and it's beyond sad.

Big Pharma needs to tell the truth about some of these meds and stop hurting / and killing the most vulnerable with years of their use.

http://www.alternet.org/health/155001/How_Psychiatric_Drugs_Made_America_Mad_/

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Reply 6 Kinds of Pills Big Pharma Tries to Get You Hooked on for Life (Original post)
polly7 Apr 2012 OP
CoffeeCat Apr 2012 #1
polly7 Apr 2012 #2

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 12:36 AM

1. Don't forget about sleep aids...

I feel for people who have a tough time sleeping. It's very difficult. However, big pharma is taking advantage of the anxiety and mood disorders and getting people hooked on Ambien, Lunesta and other sleeping pills. These are habit-forming and very psychologically addictive.

It is very hard to quit these drugs and people often take them long term. We're a very depressed, upset society and we have trouble sleeping. However, we don't need to be drugged further. This only masks the true problem. There are so many other alternatives. We need to get back to basics--talking to each other and relying on friend and neighbors for support. We are becoming more isolated and closed down--almost pulled inward. We need to reach out more.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:41 AM

2. Very well said CoffeeCat. n/t.

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