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From Mercola at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/04/19/shocking-facts-about-the-pharmaceutical-industry.aspx

Shocking Facts About the Pharmaceutical Industry

Big drug companies have been accused of putting profits above patients, spinning false PR campaigns and more. Here are some of the most shocking facts about the pharmaceutical industry.

The price of drugs is increasing faster than anything else a patient pays for: The prices of the most heavily prescribed drugs are routinely jacked up, sometimes several times a year. Some medications have a mark-up of 1,000 percent over the cost of their ingredients.

Your doctor may have an ulterior motive behind your prescription: Drug reps often give gifts to convince doctors to prescribe the medications that they represent. These drug reps usually have no medical or science education.

Pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing than research: Almost twice as much!

Guilty of Medicare fraud: Pharmaceutical companies are being tried in federal courts as a result of their exploitation of Medicare. AstraZeneca had to pay more than $340 million in penalties for coaching doctors to cheat Medicare.

The combined wealth of the top 5 pharmaceutical companies outweigh GNP of sub-Saharan Africa: In fact, the combined worth of the world’s top five drug companies is twice the combined GNP of that entire region.

Americans pay more for prescription meds than anyone else in the world: $200 billion in 2002 alone.

"New" Drugs aren't really new: Two-thirds of “new” prescription drugs are identical to existing drugs or modified versions of them.

Drug companies are taking advantage of underdeveloped countries to perform clinical trials: In developing countries, government oversight is more lax.

Sources:
Nursing Online Education Database March 27, 2008

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