working for the enemy?

I still have to write about my trip to Topeka. Believe me, you'd love to hear about it. It will have to wait, however, because I read something today that really bothered me. Apparently in a poll last year, people said that basically the most hated industries were big oil, tobacco, and pharmaceuticals.

Since I work in the pharmaceutical industry that makes me a little sad. I realize that meds cost a lot. I've experienced it when I've been in-between insurances. And I know that there are many people out there who have it worse off everyday than I do during those times. I wish drugs cost less for everyone. I definitely see places where some fat could be trimmed. Two jobs ago I would eat lunches brought in by drug reps (sometimes I'd stretch it out for 3 meals). I felt some guilt about this. They spent way too much money feeding people who had no decision-making powers whatsoever when it came to writing prescriptions. And why should companies educate doctors on these drugs over lunch? Why shouldn't the doctors want to keep up with new medication breakthroughs even without the perks? Our doctors then would have, I believe. I have met some doctors since who would probably kick a rep out the door if he didn't have so much as a doughnut to offer. Ok, so that's just one example of where money could be saved.

On the other hand, the price we pay for drugs on the market is also helping fund new research. Research is expensive. A company will get one marketable drug for about every 10,000 compounds created in a lab. And to get from point A to point B it takes about 15 years and nearly $2 billion. It's a crazy process. Couldn't we streamline that? Maybe. All I know is that I wouldn't want to take a drug that someone created in a lab somewhere that had never been tested. Or make the process easier to save a few dollars and end up having horrible consequences down the line.

I guess my point is this...the pharmaceutical industry also makes huge contributions to our society. Think of all the drugs we have out there. Think of all the vaccines and treatments available. Think about diseases that can be cured that were debilitating or fatal in years past. I don't think it's an industry that deserves to be lumped into the same category as big oil and tobacco.

What do you think? New poll question...


Bubba's Sis said…
I have always had insurance to cover my Rx's, so I can't really comment on the price of pharmaceuticals (altho I know it can be quite high!). However, I agree with you that the pharmaceutical industry has given us such amazing advances in modern medicine. I, for one, am all for drugs, er, pharmaceuticals. There are a couple of medicines I take that I could not get by without, so thank you, Pharmaceutical Companies, for that. And shame on you, Tobacco Companies, for continuing to make products that kill people. Nope, these two should NOT be lumped into the same category.

P.S. I also used to work in a doctor's office and used to love those free lunches the Drug Reps would bring us! I also liked the free samples....heh heh....

No, I am NOT a druggie!! :P

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