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The Evil Marketing Tricks Drug Companies Use to Fool You

From time to time, it's worthwhile to point out some of the devious schemes drug companies use to buy influence for their often harmful potions, like yesterday's announcement from UK drugmaker AstraZeneca about its pledge of $10 million to the American Cancer Society to provide one-on-one support for cancer patients.

Certainly, this grant isn't chump change to almost all of us, but it is to drug companies that shell out close to $15 billion annually just to market their toxic products to doctors and an additional $4 billion on patients.

Nevertheless, it's those large infusions of cash by drug companies that can take your discriminating eyes off the ball, sometimes when you really need to be paying closer attention. Believe me, you don't have to look very hard to find cases in which those evil marketing genuises use cash to blur the distance between fact and fiction.

Take, for example, the day before AstraZeneca's "big announcement," a new study found women with breast cancer live longer when they switch from tamoxifen to aromatase inhibitors, drugs that prey on the fear of women with a history of the disease in their families. No surprise, AstraZeneca makes one of those very same aromatase inhibitors, Arimidex (anastrozole).

Or, perhaps, you'll pass over a story about the 10,000 American patients now suing AstroZeneca based on the untold side effects -- among them the risks of diabetes and severe weight gains -- associated with its anti-psychotic drug Seroquel.

The path to reforming the current state of medicine is a long one indeed. Please don't be fooled by drug companies and their corporate giveaways that blind you from reality of their useless and often toxic products. If you're wondering how easy one can be deceived, I urge you to watch this mind-blowing video I posted here last month.

Yahoo News February 14, 2007

CNN February 13, 2007

Philadelphia Inquirer February 14, 2007

PR Newswire February 14, 2007