Chas Gant MD PhD
I recently read that about 50% of the pharmaceutical industry’s profits are channeled into marketing and advertising, which explains the bombardment of utterly offensive and misleading media drug ads I am forced to experience when I fail to click the mute button fast enough. But I confess to having cashed in on some of Big Pharma’s, physician-focused marketing efforts, by accepting coffee mugs and other trinkets from drug sales people, and even getting paid to have a free dinner now and then and listen to the latest pharmaceutical pitches. I have even been offered a few six figure research “bribes” in my 35 year career, to “test” the latest drugs on my patients and make sure the outcome data supports the efficacy of the drug. Through the years these research grants were hard to reject when you are struggling to give your kids the best, but I decided my soul would have been forsaken forever if I went down that route, so I have always politely declined such lucrative offers.
I don’t mean to suggest that drugs are not useful. I prescribe them for most of my patients. Drug treatments, like all therapies, should be based on 3 main criteria – safety, efficacy and expense (in that order) – and sometimes drug therapies rise to top of the decision tree. However, drugs are toxins, and since toxicity from plastics, heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives, antibiotic-laced food and many other modern era poisons are common causes of chronic medical and psychiatric problems, one might wonder why the prescribing of potentially toxic pharmaceuticals, which could worsen ones total toxic load, is not done with far more discretion.