I have occasionally looked into those dodgy, shady operations that used to lurk on the fringes of authentic medicine, that sold nostrums and snake-oils on the sly, to get out from under the glare of the FDA.
The Pure Food and Drug Act was set up to protect the public from people vending rubbish disguised as genuine products, and to sell claims for ineffective treatments.
Corporate Pharm has not had a sterling reputation already. How many patients do you see who have exhausted the palette of junk offered in the over-the-counter market, and now ask for the hi-power drugs (antibiotics) for their sniffles? Is it just coincidence that they are all stubborn and argumentative, and of the 70% of antibiotics used inappropriately, many of them come for the viral illnesses that constitute the common cold?
Ask Your Doctor if This Ad Is Right for You, by ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, appeared on FEB. 27, 2016 in the New York Times.
The health care industry spent $14 billion on advertising in 2014, according to Kantar Media, a jump of nearly 20 percent since 2011. That includes over-the-counter medications, but not sponsorships (the Super Bowl had two health care systems as partners). While magazine advertising has dropped off somewhat with the withering of the publishing industry, television advertising has risen 55 percent for hospitals and 30 percent for prescription drugs in that period…
None of these are selling your local doctor and her/his judgment – they are attempts to reverse the autonomy and independence of the local doctor, as it impedes profit. Biologicals have captured the attention of so many in immune diseases, the traditional treatments are largely discarded, often improperly.
It’s gotten so blatant, even the corrupt American Board of Internal Medicine raises an impotent question – What Are Cancer Centers Advertising To The Public? That might turn out to become a legitimate question, if a public authority such as Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie were to pick up the theme from the ABMS house-servants of the medical establishment.
There is a clever undergraduate thesis online here, by L. Borgenheimer. She offers:
Facilities that provide cancer care are increasingly promoting their services directly to the public through advertisements. In the past few years, cancer center advertising has received criticism for making unsupported claims about survival, omitting risk information, and using emotional language. Although there is a large body of evidence regarding the content, impact, and regulation of pharmaceutical advertising, there is little known about that of cancer centers.
Laetrile is a traditional quack medication for cancer that “makes unsupported claims about survival, omitting risk information, and using emotional language.”
How are the Cancer Centers that do so, NOT practicing shady medicine?
Fortunately, the Owners of the Medical Industry have nothing to fear. A bombast in the Annals of Internal Medicine reaches – dozens of concerned people. The advertising budget for marketing one biological far exceeds the entire budget of the ABIM, likely even the ABMS. If dozens are up in arms, and millions watch the Super Bowl and are romanced by the drug companies, it only serves to put the blame for failure back on the greedy doctors, not the marvelous miracles of the future.
This mechanism is clever, like the Reichstag Bombing. Do something outrageous and disruptive – and then blame it on “the insidious enemy,” e.g. selfish doctors. This ride is self-accelerating; the longer it runs, the faster it goes. What happens when it makes a sudden stop?