The Big Pharma conspiracy is a collection of numerous conspiracy theories that claim that big pharmaceutical companies, and the medical profession in general, particularly large pharmaceutical firms, work behind the scenes to manipulate the health of the public in order to line their pockets. These claims have been investigated many times but remain uncorrupted, and in fact, have even been used to promote some legislation (e.g. compulsory drug trials) that are designed to tighten regulation and increase the control of pharmaceuticals within the medical profession. These conspiracy theories have also been used to justify why big pharmaceutical firms change their products more often than smaller competitors, and why they spend exorbitant amounts on advertising and marketing, often at the expense of the consumer.
One of the most common schemes explained involves how a pharmaceutical company might “cook the books” to make it appear that a new medication is more effective than it actually is. How this works is that a smaller competitor might have a new medication that is slightly less effective than the company’s existing drugs. To make this seem as though its product is better, the big pharmaceutical company will tend to increase the R&D spending accordingly. Alternatively, if they find any ways of reducing the cost of R&D, they will cut back on clinical trials and cut the number of people that will be involved in them.
Big Pharma Scheme
There is also the so-called “pay for peak experience” scheme. This is where a company spends a lot of money on advertising, then uses part of this advertising budget to pay a number of top scientists for their research. What is meant by this scheme is that drug companies are able to manipulate the results of major scientific studies in order to improve the strength and/or duration of their patent protection. The impact of this is that while the public might believe a new drug is effective, major pharmaceutical companies are not required to compensate the scientists for their work. Consequently, this system benefits both sides: the big pharmaceutical industry gets to protect its intellectual property and the scientists get to do meaningful research.
Big Pharma Volcker Rule
Another scheme that has recently come into being is that of the so-called Volcker rule. This principle is meant to regulate the behavior of the big pharmaceutical industry when negotiating the prices of their drugs with the suppliers of generic competitors. If a company has a successful negotiation F95zone, it might increase the price of the patented product, but if it loses the case, it will have to reduce the price of its generic product. As a result, this law was meant to control the excessive power that the pharmaceutical industry has over drug pricing: it is meant to put an end to what has been called pharma-opoly.
But this law could have severe consequences for the American public. There are three groups of drugs: analgesics (which include the highly popular opioids), systemic stimulants (the commonly prescribed painkillers like OxyContin and Ritalin), and antibiotics. Each of these groups constitutes approximately 15% of the U.S. pharmaceutical market. The opioid crisis, which has resulted in an enormous spike in opioid overdose deaths across the country, is concentrated in the group of pharmaceuticals specializing in pain management, including both doctors and hospitals.
Big Pharma Afoul of U.S Authorities
The present crisis is not the first time that Big Pharma has run afoul of U.S. authorities. In fact, the last several years have been marked by numerous attempts by government authorities to rein in the power of the pharmaceutical industry. In the past, these efforts have had limited success. The result is that the pharmaceutical industry continues to rake in billions of dollars annually in profits, while ordinary citizens are left with no other option but to suffer the rising cost of prescription drugs. One of the reasons why drug prices continue to be so high is that pharmaceutical companies are able to keep them artificially high by using aggressive marketing techniques. This often includes the use of highly effective advertising campaigns that exaggerate the benefits of patented drugs.
Recently, some U.S. Representatives proposed a bill that would limit the ability of pharmaceutical companies to use these types of tactics. If passed, this bill would likely have a significant impact on the profitability of many pharmaceutical companies. The big Pharma lobby was widely condemned by both sides of the aisle in Congress, as well as by a number of physicians, who claimed that patients’ health was not the best priority. Ultimately, the bill was rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives, although it was garnering support from some members of the Senate.
There is no question that excessive profits are driving the increase in drug prices across the board. However, there is also no question that authorities such as the FDA and FTC are responsible for preventing companies from exploiting this profit potential. If these authorities do not do something to rein in the power of big Pharma, the public will eventually get the message. As it stands currently, the FDA and FTC are too ham-handed to protect the interests of everyday people. Hopefully, the focus will soon shift back to those individuals who need help from affordable prescription drug prices.