Is Big Pharma Misleading You? Two MDs Share Surprising Insights

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If you or anyone you know is taking prescription drugs, this post is for you!

Recently, I listened to a podcast in which two MDs—Dr. Bret Scher and Dr. Jason Fung—discussed the very real and very concerning ties among top pharmaceutical companies (commonly known as “Big Pharma”), medical doctors, and researchers.

The episode was so illuminating that I just had to share my newfound knowledge with you! But first, a bit about each doctor…

After years of treating his heart disease patients using invasive procedures and medications, board-certified cardiologist Bret Scher realized that many of their conditions could have been prevented in the first place. Now, he’s on a mission to inspire individuals to dictate their own wellness and avoid disease altogether by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. In his podcast The Low Carb Cardiologist, he aims to educate the general population about topics like cholesterol myths, ketosis, nutrition, and exercise.

You may have heard nephrologist (kidney specialist) Jason Fung’s name connected to the ever-growing research on intermittent fasting and type 2 diabetes; currently, he’s recognized as “The King of Fasting.”

Aside from this important research, Dr. Fung has positioned himself as a whistleblower in the medical community; he shamelessly speaks out against Big Pharma’s connections to doctors/researchers. (Hence his presence on Dr. Scher’s podcast for this important conversation!) I strongly recommend that you read this article of his (or this one!) before you willingly accept any prescription from your doctor or believe published medical research findings.

If you want to listen to Dr. Sher and Dr. Fung’s entire conversation on The Low Carb Cardiologist, click here. Their discussion about the unethical connections between Big Pharma and doctors/researchers begins at minute 49:43.

If you’d prefer to read my bullet-pointed takeaways, here they are!

The Unethical Connection Between Big Pharma + Doctors/Researchers

  • While laws and codes of ethics exist for restricting gifts to almost everybody—policemen, journalists, and judges-—doctors can legally accept hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Pharma.
  • As long as doctors disclose any conflict of interest, these payments are perfectly acceptable.
  • Research suggests that gifts from Big Pharma influence doctors’ prescribing behaviors, but doctors deny this influence.
  • Big Pharma literally pays doctors off, but it’s never explicitly called a “payoff.” Instead, payments are disguised as “research grants,” “education grants,” “consulting fees,” “speaker fees,” and “free meals.”
  • This is essentially how it works for physicians: Big Pharma pays them thousands of dollars, they prescribe lots of pharmaceuticals, Big Pharma makes crazy amounts of money…and then pays physicians even more money.
  • The same payoffs exist for medical researchers. Sometimes their research is paid for by Big Pharma, other times it is paid for by food corporations, and frequently their funding is a mix of both. For example, Coca-Cola has funded research ascertaining that sugar is a health food; further, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo sponsor 95 national health organizations.
  • Medical doctors are not at fault! Dr. Fung used to accept money from Big Pharma before he realized the implications these payments had on his practice.
  • Bottom line: The rules need to change! Until they do, we need to be more vigilant patients.

Knowing all of this, what can you do?

  1. Before accepting any prescription drug from your doctor, inquire about his or her ties to Big Pharma.
  2. Also, engage your physician in a discussion about alternatives to pharmaceuticals, like diet and lifestyle modifications. If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or heart disease, for example, overwhelming research suggests that diet and lifestyle changes may improve your condition better than any prescription could.
  3. If your doctor is unwilling or unable to discuss possibilities outside of prescription drugs, find a new doctor. It’s that simple. Countless doctors are hopping on the make-healthier-choices-to-prevent-and-cure-disease train, like Dr. Scher. Find one of them!
  4. When reading any new “health improvement” headline, maintain skepticism. Consider this title of a nutrition/diabetes journal article released July 4, 2016: “Pasta is not fattening, quite the opposite.” Before you sprint to bring a pot of pasta to a boil, notice the funder of the research: Barilla. Yep, that’s right! One of the top pasta companies in the world funded research in favor of people eating more pasta. Imagine that!
  5. Ultimately, realize that YOU are the CEO of your health. Get second opinions; don’t let any one doctor or research finding sway you!

⇒ To optimize every aspect of your health, visit My Favorite Things! There, you’ll find links to healthy packaged foods, toxin-free products, and overall wellness boosters.

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