Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hawking Poison to People in Prime Time and Lying About It

Remember Big Tobacco of the 1960’s and 1970’s?  Big Pharma is the new Big Tobacco.

In 1981 C. Everett Koop became Surgeon General.  A brave and honest man, he took on Big Tobacco.  Tobacco companies lied about the danger of lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease from cigarettes to preserve their obscene profits even though their greed was killing people.

They spent ungodly amounts on misleading marketing extolling the virtues of their poisons.  It took many years and lawsuits until Big Tobacco was kicked off television and forced to pay huge restitution payments to its victims.  Those victories were possible because the only legislators in the pocket of Big Tobacco in those days were perhaps representatives of Big Tobacco states.

Now we have the curse of Big Pharma.  They are worse.  Tobacco always was a voluntary decision.  I was a smoker and beat the addiction with only will power.  Many others did as well.  Big Pharma colludes with the medical business and business oriented doctors to make people believe that they need Pharma designed and marketed drugs for their health or even life.  They bribe, promise, and cajole FDA officials for ”fast track” approval which allows them to claim these drugs are safe when they are not.  Like Big Tobacco, their business model is based on greed and the maximization of profit, chiefly to the benefit of their corporate executives. 

It is not enough that they spend huge marketing sums bribing and schmoozing Doctors with free food, entertainment, and obscene speaking fees.   Lately, as you cannot help to have noticed, they blanket prime time (and non-prime time) TV with their gross and repugnant advertising.  This is highly inappropriate on TV.  Only the United States and New Zealand in the civilized world allow this disgraceful TV Pharma shilling.

Now, so many of our elected representatives have taken the gifts of Pharma lobbyists and Pharma campaign contributions that action seems impossible.  Even Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton  slops at the Big Pharma trough.

Here is the only answer I have to combat this atrocity.  Elect Bernie Sanders President.  Elect honest progressive candidates to Congress, Senate, and local office.  The Progressive revolution is energized and wide ranging.  There is plenty of room in the revolution for us to, like C. Everett Coop, take on Big Pharma.