By drug manufacturers – It’s a conspiracy worthy of Jim Marrs: The pharmaceutical industry is a market in which the seller knows much more than the buyer about the product and can profit from selling products less effective and less safe than consumers are led to believe. The advent of ads for prescription drugs is one example of this.
Researcher Donald Light says, “Sometimes drug companies hide or downplay information about serious side effects of new drugs and overstate the drugs’ benefits. Then, they spend two to three times more on marketing than on research to persuade doctors to prescribe these new drugs. Doctors may get misleading information and then misinform patients about the risks of a new drug. It’s really a two-tier market for lemons.”
Three reasons why the pharmaceutical market produces “lemons” are: Having companies in charge of testing new drugs, providing firewalls of legal protection behind which information about harms or effectiveness can be hidden, and the relatively low bar set for drug efficacy in order for a new drug to be approved.
According to Light’s study, independent reviewers found that about 85% of new drugs offer few if any new benefits. Yet, toxic side effects or misuse of prescription drugs now make prescription drugs a significant cause of death in the United States. He says,
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