Behind the Prescription

The Damaging Reality of Big Pharma Practices

What Is

Big Pharma?

Big Pharma” is a shorthand reference to the U.S. Pharmaceutical industry. The term has also become synonymous with excess, price gouging, political lobbying, and suppression of holistic, natural herbs and medicines. 

There is significant evidence supporting the proposition that Big Pharma is about profit, not public health. For example, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ( PhRMA), a trade group of pharmaceutical and medical device companies, is estimated to have gross revenue of more than $1 trillion. 

There are multiple examples indicating Big Pharma is rife with corruption and a disinterest in the wellbeing of the general public. For example, Big Pharma companies are routinely involved in major federal lawsuits that show a pattern and practice of Big Pharma promoting “off-label use” of opioid drugs and pressuring doctors to prescribe more opioids to patients. For example, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was ordered to pay $3 billion due to “deceptive marketing,” and promoting opioids for off-label usage

Why is Big Pharma Hated in the United States?

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The Difference between Cannabis & Alcohol

According to a 2019 Gallup poll, close to 60 percent of Americans thought negatively about Big Pharma. Why? Well, there are an array of reasons why many U.S. citizens have a hatred towards Big Pharma. Here is a sampling of common reasons:

  • Frequent and steep price hikes on prescription medications many people depend on to survive
  • Suppressing negative studies done on certain prescription medications
  • Routine lobbying of state and federal lawmakers to receive favorable treatment
  • Over-promising on the positive aspects of a prescription drug while attempting to hide or obfuscate from serious, potentially-deadly side effects.


Big Pharma's Claims Against Marijuana

There have been numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding marijuana and its health effects for various medical conditions. Here are some of the most common ones.

You can overdose on marijuana

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a federal government research institute, there’s never been an adult death attributed to marijuana use alone. Reports of deaths related to marijuana use may surface from time to time, but there is no evidence of marijuana having lethal toxicity. 

Cannabis is harmful and offers no health benefits

While cannabis may have potential therapeutic benefits for certain chronic conditions, it is not a panacea. Its effectiveness varies depending on the disease and individual. Scientific research is still ongoing to determine its full range of medical applications. In reality, marijuana provides the following benefits:

  • Reduction in anxiety
  • Pain relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Cessation of chemotherapy-related nausea

Marijuana use can negatively impact your long-term memory

Multiple studies have debunked this memory myth. There is, in fact, little to no evidence supporting the notion that marijuana usage leads to permanent or significant long-term memory loss.

Marijuana is a gateway drug

The notion that marijuana use inevitably leads to using narcotics has been debunked. In reality, multiple factors, such as individual vulnerabilities and social influences, contribute to drug use patterns. There is nothing inherent in marijuana that would trigger someone to pursue or desire harder drugs.

The History of Marijuana

As A Healing Herb

There is a long, well-documented history of marijuana being used as a healing herb to help people with serious medical conditions. For example, in 2015, an analysis was done of three medical studies involving cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. These studies indicated that, after using marijuana, both nausea and vomiting subsided in 47 percent of patients, while the symptoms stopped in only about 20 percent of those who took a placebo. 

In addition to helping cancer patients, marijuana has been shown to help people struggling with epilepsy. For example, a 2015 study analyzed whether a daily dose of marijuana could help people with severe epilepsy who had not been helped by previous treatments. The study found that the number of seizures that participants experienced declined by 54 percent over a 12-week period after daily usage of marijuana. 

The Economics of Medicine:
Profit vs. Wellness

Big Pharma epitomizes a pervasive and damaging view of medicine – as a profit center. The focus of Big Pharma is not wellness or healing. Rather, Big Pharma’s primary objective is to push prescription medications – like opioids – on people so they make money.