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Recently, after we watched a semi-scary movie about being suckered, a friend brought up my blog post of last July where I described a terrifyingly-real horror movie.
The plot: stunningly convince hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide that what is obvious, isn’t. i.e. it’s all in your head, you are adequately treated on Synthroid, Levoxyl, Eltroxin, Norton, et al, and not only that, we’ll bandaid your continuing problems with more medications.
A second plot: also completely hoodwink those with top notch higher medical educations and experience by churning out the the exact same poppycock, and reward their stupidity with gifts.
The central villian: Big Pharma, followed by the doctors who bought the lie
Exactly a year ago this month, Science Daily came out with an article, citing two York University researchers who estimated that the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spends almost twice as much on promotion as it does on research and development, contrary to the industry’s claim. In other words, the researchers estimated that $57.5 billion in US dollars was spent on pharmaceutical promotion in 2004–the year they were studying. Yes, I said BILLION.
Breaking that down, Big Pharma spent approximately $61,000 per physician in promotion of their products. And they concluded that both figures were UNDERestimates. In other words, they concluded that the US pharmaceutical industry is marketing-driven rather than “life-saving”.
And adding fuel to the fire: most doctors believe every thrust of that marketing. I recently participated in comments with other wonderful patients in response to a DO/Endocrinologist, Dr. Thomas Repas, who has clearly bought the Big Pharma marketing when it comes to levothyroxine. You can read his posts and our comments here, here, and here. Dr. Repas is exactly the kind of doctor who has starred in our horror movie, and the kind of doctor that patients have lamented about for years. Read the Give Me a Break list of comments made by doctors, as well as further comments on the January 1st blog.
But Dr. Repas is in good company. Doctors have believed the Big Pharma lie about T4-only medications, and against desiccated thyroid like Armour, Naturethroid, etc. for 50 years. In the patient-to-patient Stop the Thyroid Madness book, you can read about the first tableting of Synthroid in 1955 and the strategic and successful promotion of T4-only, in spite of the fact that T4 was known to be unstable for decades.
And today, more than 50 years later, very few of us have been untouched by the Big Pharma push for levothyroxine T4-only treatment. My own mother was suckered, and I was suckered. And until patients started to make a huge push for desiccated thyroid treatment the last few years, nearly every single doctor around the world had been suckered.
We still have a way to go. But we’ll get there, bit by bit.