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Blind trust in Big Pharma will lead to blind compliance

By Mecca Fowler 

The pharmaceutical business, or “Big Pharma,” generates billions of dollars every year. This includes pharmaceutical and medical device corporations and companies that profit from global illness every day. 

More specifically, the American pharmaceutical industry is the largest in the world, garnering approximately $484.8 billion as of 2018. The top ten pharmaceutical companies are valued at no less than $1 billion each, according to ProClinical. 

However, the price tag for the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t match its efforts to keep Americans healthy. The United States pays the greatest proportion of its GDP on health care than any developed nation

It spends 17% of its GDP on healthcare. Yet, we rank the lowest in health care among the richest countries in the world. This is for many different reasons. 

Fortunately, this pandemic has offered us a chance to slow down and reflect on our obedience to the industry. In fact, an Axios-Ipsos poll showed only 42% of Americans trust the pharmaceutical industry as of November 2020. 

Some may see that number during a global pandemic and gasp in disbelief or feel disheartened. While understandable, this revelation isn’t unwarranted. Especially because of the back and forth and confusion we’ve experienced this past year. 

From politicians flip-flopping on vaccines to Dr. Fauci moving the goalposts of science, Americans are skeptical of Big Pharma. Now is as good a time as ever to dive into why. 

Highlighting these issues isn’t meant to discourage or erode anyone’s faith in these institutions but to point out a painful truth. We must approach this industry for what it truly is with sober eyes. We’re seeing up close and in real time how science is promoted and/or suppressed based on certain facts and motives. 

Below are several reasons why big pharma corporations deserve to be under a microscope. 

Medical malpractice 

Medical malpractice is the third largest killer in the United States

“Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management,” according to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. 

Unfortunately, because of our blind trust in Big Pharma, we rarely see substantial change after malpractice in the industry.  

Too often, pharmaceutical companies purposely mislead the public about their products. They often have to pay a fine but get to stay in business and create other products down the line. 

“Fraudulent and illegal conduct by pharmaceutical companies poses a great risk to public health and maligns the decisions of healthcare providers, costing billions of dollars to the government,” according to Pharmaceutical Technology

For example, Pfizer Inc. which had the largest health care fraud settlement in American history, is now currently distributing vaccines to the public. In that particular settlement, “Pfizer promoted the sale of Bextra for several uses and dosages that the FDA specifically declined to approve due to safety concerns,” according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

They paid a fine of $1.195 billion dollars, the most sizable amount ever imposed on a criminal fine in the U.S.  

The powers that be are, like the FDA, are supposed to shield the public from harm. That often doesn’t happen. In fact, the FDA receives money from the drug companies they’re supposed to regulate. They’ve been chastised  before for accepting money from pharmaceutical firms following drug approvals, raising ethical concerns. 

In Risky Drugs: Why The FDA Cannot Be Trusted, damning comments about the agency highlight even more ethical concerns about the FDA. “…Since the industry started making large contributions to the FDA for reviewing its drugs, as it makes large contributions to Congressmen who have promoted this substitution for publicly funded regulation, the FDA has sped up the review process with the result that drugs approved are significantly more likely to cause serious harm, hospitalizations, and deaths. New FDA policies are likely to increase the epidemic of harms. This will increase costs for insurers but increase revenues for providers.” 

Somehow it doesn’t register to everyday Americans that there can be a lot of politics that go into what is FDA-approved. Despite these facts, people forget that American healthcare is a business. It functions in the same way other businesses and corporations function. 

Healthcare is still the “capitalism” the Left claims to hate 

Across the political aisles, Big Pharma’s donations are accepted in droves. Of course, Americans don’t question these donations. This is ironic, because of all the discourse about “hating capitalism and corporations” (mostly within the left political sphere). After all that discourse, more than two thirds of United States Congressmen have pocketed money from Big Pharma corporations, according to Stat News.  

“The top recipient of drug industry cash was Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican from North Carolina. Major drug industry groups donated $139,500 to his most recent campaign, a sum remarkable in large part because Hudson is not a particularly powerful lawmaker, nor a known fundraiser. He does hold a seat on the Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee, an influential panel that oversees a large share of health care legislation before Congress,” the article says. 

In some instances, left leaning politicians have taken in more donations from the pharma industry than they let on. Even the most left-leaning politicians touting Medicare for All, like Bernie Sanders, pocketed money from health care companies. 

This is an issue because they’re the same people who campaign to “eat the rich” and promote hating capitalism. This is not a consistent message. 


No matter how well intended in theory, the American healthcare system is capitalist, and driven by profits first. Every entity from hospitals to doctors stand to benefit from the blind obedience and compliance that the public gives them. 

We’re seeing it in real time as well. Even as the coronavirus is still making impacts in the U.S., Big Pharma is profiting immensely. 

Americans should demand more insight and transparency on the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and politicians. Without it, we are doomed to blindly give up our medical freedoms and liberties, while pharmaceutical companies get even richer.

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Mecca Fowler


Mecca Fowler is a passionate writer with a background in journalism and social media management. She is a free-speech advocate who hones in on her ability to reach across political spectrums to have engaging and transformative conversations to push the conscious of American culture forward.

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