Home > anti-psychotics, bipolar, meds, pharmacists, side-effects > The Evils of Big Pharma?

The Evils of Big Pharma?

Today is Modecate[1] day and I’m going to be interested in what changes it causes in my brain. I brought this up in another forum and someone there went on a riff about the evils of Big Pharma and mind-altering drugs. I thought I’d address the issue here.

I’m going to be honest up front that I am an ethusiastic consumer of mental health medication. I don’t trust alternative medication at all. As long as I see positive results from my meds I will put up with quite a lot in terms of side-effects.

There are meds I’ve refused to take: Propranolol made me feel too weird; Lamictal had a potentially fatal side-effect (plus I lost my insurance and couldn’t afford it); Olanzapine was so sedating I had to hide out at work and sleep during the day. The point is I’m not a zombie pill muncher who pops whatever the doctors presecribe. Still, I guess I’ll try anything and give it up if it doesn’t work out. Kind of contradictory, eh?

I do know that big pharma is in business to make money above all else. Any CEO of any company who acts or says otherwise is going to be out of a job. I know how big pharma cooks the books with their trials, and I know all about the scam of contually coming out with new drugs when the patents expire on the old ones. In Canada, at least, you can get generic versions of the old drugs (I don’t know how it works elsewhere).

I also know how big pharma encourages doctors to prescribe meds off label, and how many fashionable diagnoses (for example, bipolar children) are driven by big pharma, too[2]. I think there are probably many millions taking mental health drugs who don’t need them. All in the name of bigger and bigger profits because every quarter has to be bigger than the last quarter, or else the Board of Directors will find a different CEO who will deliver what they want.

Having said all that, I am legitimately sick and these meds work for me. Like many reading this blog. In fact, these meds have saved my life. Despite their well-known sins, big pharma does make life saving medicine that some of us depend on for our existence. It is impossible to take the good without the bad. At least I get my meds in generic form.

[1]I get a Modecate injection every three weeks because it’s the only anti-psychotic in my price-range that is lactose free.
[2]On the other hand, I was definitely a bipolar child. I probably could have been diagnosed as early as nine or ten if anyone knew what to look for (but at the time no one thought bipolar surfaced until the mid-teens).

  1. clownonfire
    March 5, 2012 at 10:52 am

    It’s seems to be a common thread when it comes to meds and people living with a “disorder”. Have you read this: http://lamentsandlullabies.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/persistent-patienthood-and-the-big-bad-pharma/ ?

  2. March 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Meds have their place, for certain. But I hate that the industry behind them is so dishonest, greedy, and just plain sketchy. If these meds are indeed lifesavers (which I agree, they can be) then they are a basic need, like food and shelter. But like industrial food, a basic need is getting messed with. It’s not effing fair, and we have few alternatives. That’s what makes me mad.

  3. March 9, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Big Pharma is bad. I despise it. It pushes diagnoses so that the consumption of medications goes up. If you don’t have insurance, forget about affording medications that someone actually needs. I’ve been there, on 75mg of Lamictal and a pharmacy holding their hand out for $400. And exactly where am I going to come up with that money?

    I’m in a lower income bracket. Over the last three years, since my son was born, my husband and I have been clawing our way out of poverty. We’re poor, because I am medically needy. And I’m medically needier, because we are poor. It doesn’t make sense that they wouldn’t want to take care of their “at-risk” population a little better.

    The whole thing upsets me. I know you’re not in the US, but the medical system is awful. I have gotten myself into the awful habit of hoarding medication, in the instance that I lose my insurance again, or we simply can’t afford a copay in an off-week between pays. (Which is the case right now). Sometimes, it makes me want to throw all of my medication in the garbage and say, “Screw it.”

    Unfortunately, Big Pharma does have me by the short and curlies. These medications do work, and they have given me a better quality of life. I can be a good mother, and raise my son up right. I am a better wife, because I can contribute to my marriage. I can work, and be a productive member of society. Without them, I would be in a bad way, probably back to the bottle.

    What to do?

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