I remember when I was a kid, I really looked up to the healthcare industry and saw the pharmaceutical companies as modern day heroes. It was admirable that they were coming up with these cures and caring for all of us, wanting us to stay disease-free & healthy.
Oh boy were I wrong..
I would like to share a though or two about why having a private healthcare system is a rotten idea, and how cannabis gets mixed into the business.
Don't Forget to Take Your Pills
In the recent years, the opioid-crisis in the United States has gotten much attention in the media, forcing the government to finally step in. Each and every day, over 130 people die in the U.S from opioid overdoses. These include pills that patients got prescribed by a medical expert to help against pain, and to get them hooked.
The spotlight has been on Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family for heavily marketing & intentionally getting people addicted to OxyContin, a strong narcotic that gives the user a similar high as heroin, to increase their profits and wealth. Not too long ago in the U.S, medical experts & doctors would have happily prescribed you OxyContin, as they would receive generous commission from Purdue Pharma. So what's basically going on here is that doctors has turned into salesmen, wanting to selling you 'legal heroin' as getting you addicted would benefit their wallet, and the Purdue Pharma.
While this is going on, what's the governments take on this? Should they not have stopped OxyContin a long time ago, or at least heavily restrict it on the market?
To be fair, while Purdue Pharma and many other pharmaceutical corporations are certainly rotten to the core, what they did was still legal, sort of and it's called lobbying.
A good way of describing lobbying would be that if you as a person, or as a company, reach a certain point where you have a lot of money you basically have a 'get out of jail free card', allowing you to break rules without major consequences from the government. But the worst of all, you get to decide which laws that will, or won't pass. So it works like this:
Lobbyists will approach politicians when a bill has been proposed that could hurt their industry, and they will try to convince the politician to oppose the bill. On the other hand, if there’s a bill that could benefit their industry, they’ll try to convince the politician to support it. Favours, threats and campaign contributions all come into play when they’re trying to convince a politician to support or oppose something.
A Piece of the Cake
Purdue Pharma is just one of many corporations taking advantage of a broken system. There are far worse companies, such as Bayer, which recently merged with Monstanto to create one of the most horrifying companies out there. With no government control or restrictions, Bayer, a pharmaceutical company now has entered the food market and it's scary to think what they will do with it.
The problem with the industry is that human lives should not be for profit. Having healthcare and pharmaceutical companies privatised & having a highly monopolised market is killing the healthcare system, and it's very visible in the U.S. Unfortunately, as corruption is legal the government won't mind if things go bad, as long as the politicians get their pockets filled.
Waiting for the government to put down a foot and tell the corporations NO is a far fetch. The government won't lift a finger as long as people are unaware. The best action in any case is to spread the word as much as possible and get people to understand what is going on behind the curtains.
Now before ending my rant, I want to bring up cannabis while we're discussing the pharmaceutical industry. Because a fully legalised cannabis would be devastating. Imagine being able to grow your own painkiller, that is non-chemically addictive. It's a lose-lose situation to an industry that are supposed to care about your health and wellbeing, isn't that ironic?
A little bit of good news though. As people are becoming more aware, the government's are forced to change, as the majority of everyday people beats the minority of the wealthy lobbying parties. We can see the efforts in the U.S, with big pharma & alcohol lobbying against cannabis legalisation, but failing. In August 2016, the largest donor to Arizona's anti-legalization drive was a pharmaceutical company called Insys Therapeutics, contributing $500,000 for the cause and stating that they are concerned for child safety. Meanwhile, Insys manufactures a prescription drug called Subsys which is a powerful painkiller derived from fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.
Oh the hypocrisy.