Drug Companies: Marketing Machines Gone Awry

Prescription pillsNew York Times reporter Melody Petersen, who covered the pharmaceutical industry for four years, has now published a book titled Our Daily Meds: How the pharmaceutical companies transformed themselves into slick marketing machines and hooked the nation on prescription drugs. In her book, Petersen refutes the commonly-held notion that drug companies plow their profits back into research to develop life-saving drugs, and concludes instead that drug companies primarily put their profits into influencing medical science and marketing drugs. Petersen writes, "With their hoards of cash, the companies have readily handed money to patient groups, hospitals, universities, physician societies, government agencies and just about any organization they want on their side. ... The industry's cash-filled coffers have given it a stranglehold on medical science." Petersen also exposes the problems with direct-to-consumer advertising and the drug industry's portrayal of common conditions, like anxiety and urinary frequency, as illnesses, as a way to convince people they need medication.



The perfect economic storm that melted the economy:
A trader's comments on what caused it, why he supports Obama to fix it, and why he supports higher taxes as part of the cure.

When he saw conflicting economic data in the media, he KNEW something was amiss:

"If one paid close attention to the GDP and other economic metrics during the past eight years it was very obvious that the increases (as reported) in GDP were not on the up and up. The six most incredulous facts were:

1. Ever increasing worker productivity
2. The incredible mountain of debt Americans took on
3. There was not a sustained decrease in the unemployment figures (out of the last 32 quarters, only a handful showed a decrease)
4. No appreciable increase in wages above and beyond inflation
5. The housing bubble
6. When you delete home equity from the equation, 80 to 85% of Americans are broke and in debt over their heads."