Katherine Heigl in Side Effects
When memory lane is paved with pills...
Yes, I worked for pharma as a legal drug pusher for ten years—not something I'm proud of, but a necessary part of this story. And it's because of the BS I saw happen behind the scenes, that I finally got the courage to walk away and make three films on this topic including Side Effects starring Katherine Heigl.
The films were my personal effort (or penance?) to show the public that at best, they and their physicians are only getting partial information about the drugs they see on TV and pop each morning. This is an industry where good marketing trumps good science and that puts patients' lives at risk.
Most of us don’t want to believe that because we think the FDA has our back. Right? But as uncovered in Money Talks, that assumption is dead wrong (no pun intended, however, the Vioxx example does add special meaning to this phrase).
This has nothing to do with any kind of conspiracy theory—yes, I can read your mind—just the plain and simple fact that the FDA is financially dependent on payments from the pharmaceutical industry. And when money changes hands, the decision making (i.e. drug approval) process gets...complicated. It raises the question of exactly who the FDA is working for. (See David Graham M.D.
But enough about them, darn it.
OK, so all of the above is part of the ugly, must-know underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry. But in spite of my work on this subject, something kept nagging at me...
It started as a whisper, but soon began to thunder in my ears, heart, and mind. An undeniable and uncomfortable realization that this is less about them and more about us (i.e. me). Us and our desire to live, eat and drink any way we gosh darn please and then turn to a pill for a quick fix. Us and our habit of handing our health and our healthcare over to others (doctors, health insurers, pharma). Us and our utter lack of curiosity—blindly accepting anything our physicians tell us (or hand us) or impulsively succumbing to the rosy ads on our television screens.
The pharmaceutical industry isn't creating our problems, it's just capitalizing on them.
And that is a heady and inspiring notion. Because it puts a big part of our health where it should be—back in our hands, where we get to own it. It's a concept that led me full circle...from pills to prevention and the launch of 'Prevention not Prescriptions' Tuesdays.
We need to get rid of prevention's bad rap as boring. Hell no! Prevention is bold, empowering and even sexy. It looks good, it feels good...it even tastes good.
The best way to take on Big Pharma is to take better care of ourselves. Aspiring to a time when pills play a lesser and more appropriate role in our lives. A time when you get to rely on the very best and only person that has your best interest in mind. You.
Please join us every Tuesday as writers, readers, and as advocates for 'Prevention not Prescriptions'.
Related Posts:The drugs I need.Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety