By Kalee Brown
June 13, 2017
It’s no secret that Big Pharma is fuelled by profit, often putting business interests ahead of patients’ lives and well-being. And North American culture practically worships the pharmaceutical industry, failing to recognize many of the issues within it.
Many Americans are completely unaware that new prescription drugs have a 1 in 5 chance of causing serious reactions, even after being approved, or that Harvard University stated that prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death. We’re not talking overdosing or misprescribing; these are drugs that are deemed safe and properly prescribed to patients who simply have an adverse reaction to them.
Despite these facts, people take the risks of pharmaceuticals very lightly, turning to them when they’re sick only to provide a “band-aid” effect, covering up the symptoms rather than treating and preventing the root cause. The public isn’t entirely to blame for their ignorance; Big Pharma paints a perfect image of themselves, making false claims and highlighting the “benefits” of drugs while minimizing the potential risks associated with them (or printing them in extremely small font sizes).
Here Are 10 False Health Claims Big Pharma and the Mainstream Media Make:
1. “Cancer cannot be cured without chemotherapy/radiation and the associated drugs.”
The cancer industry is a money making a machine, one that will suppress real treatments in order to profit off of the “treatments” they so heavily market. Both chemotherapy and radiation negatively impact the body’s natural ability to heal itself, as they harm healthy tissues, too. This isn’t surprising given that the origin of chemo itself came from mustard gases used in war. One study even proved that chemotherapy is ineffective more than 97% of the time (watch Dr. Peter Glidden discuss these findings here).
One of the most suppressed cancer treatments is cannabis, especially since Big Pharma has spent a lot of money to keep it illegal. Numerous organizations and universities, including Harvard Medical School, have been studying the effects cannabis has on cancer cells, proving its success and recommending it to be used as a cancer treatment.
You can read more about treating cancer with cannabis below:
Aside from cannabis, there are a number of other all-natural treatments for cancer that are being studied and used by cancer patients all over the world. Some of these alternative methods include vitamin C injections, turmeric, plant-based diets, frankincense, alkaline diets, and more.
Diet can both treat cancer and prevent it, something that many conventional doctors don’t focus on enough. Sugar also feeds cancer cells, which mainstream media has blatantly denied numerous times. Read more about that here:
2. “Mentally ill individuals have a chemical imbalance in their brains.”
Joseph Coyle, a neuroscientist from Harvard Medical School, sums it up best, writing that “Chemical imbalance is sort of last-century thinking. It’s much more complicated than that.”
As Scientific American reports, “much of the general public seems to have accepted the chemical imbalance hypothesis uncritically,” and “it is very likely that depression stems from influences other than neurotransmitter abnormalities.” (source)
Harvard Medical School put out a press release a few years ago stating that it’s “often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn’t capture how complex the disease is.” (source)
Not only is there no solid scientific proof to back up the chemical imbalance theory, many depressed people are not even helped by taking antidepressants like SSRIs. For example, a review done by the University of California in 2009 found that one-third of people treated with antidepressants do not improve, and a significant portion of these people remain depressed. Scientific American points out that “if antidepressants correct a chemical imbalance that underlies depression, all or most depressed people should get better after taking them.” (source)
Irving Kirsch, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies, and Lecturer in Medicine at Harvard Medical School explained in a publication obtained from the US National Library of Medicine:
Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain. Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory. But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect. Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin. Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit. Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind. The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.
3. “ADHD medication is ‘safer than aspirin’ and can ‘increase kids’ test scores.’ “
ADHD drug marketing has gotten out of control in America, as commercials run on TV and in magazines all the time, targeting parents by suggesting their children are too excitable.
As with many other diseases and disorders, when it comes to A.D.H.D., pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors and researchers to overstate the dangers of A.D.H.D. and the benefits of taking their drugs and understate the negative side effects. It’s easy for people to believe this misguided information when it’s affiliated with well-known universities like Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Many people don’t even realize that these studies are funded by the very companies that profit from the drugs’ sale because that relationship is hidden in small print (source).
Even though many of the advertisements Big Pharma has released state that A.D.H.D. medication is “safer than aspirin,” these drugs can have significant side effects and are actually considered to be within the same class as morphine and oxycodone due to their high risk of abuse and addiction. You can’t just blame all doctors, either; many of them genuinely believe they’re helping these children because of the information they’ve been given in these studies and by Big Pharma.
Big Pharma creates advertisements for A.D.H.D. drugs that are specifically targeted at parents, describing how these drugs can improve test scores and behavior at home, among other false claims. One of the most controversial ones was a 2009 ad for Intuniv, Shire’s A.D.H.D. treatment, which included a child in a monster costume taking off his terrifying mask to reveal his calm, smiling self with a text reading, “There’s a great kid in there.” The FDA has stepped in multiple times, sending pharmaceutical companies warning letters or even forcing them to take down their ads because they are false, misleading, and/or exaggerate the effects of their drugs (source).