Breaking Bad

At the end, Walter White had a remaining stash of close to 10 million dollars. That would be chump change in the world of pharmaceutical drugs. Although the meth industry in the U.S., is worth billions, an estimated 1.2 million people use meth in a given year.

In contrast, 70% of everyone living in the U.S. are taking at least one prescription drug every day. 50% take at least two a day and doctors write over 4 billion prescriptions. The pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. generates $330 billion a year. The troubling part is that the pharmaceutical companies spend more money on marketing and sales than they do research. In fact, they spend $4 billion a year in direct marketing to consumers and $24 billion a year in marketing directly to doctors which include financial incentives.

Add to that, doctors obtain their information about the drugs they prescribe from pharmaceutical sales reps who mostly have no background in biology or chemistry and who are merely eager to make a lot of money.

So, the next time you watch a commercial pitching drugs and it instructs you to ask your doctor if the drug is right for you, the reality is, they probably do not know. Be a mindful consumer. Ask questions and be curious, because anyone who sells drugs knows it is big business.

by Tony Bevacqua

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