In recent years there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the large pharmaceutical companies and their push to get consumers to take the medications they manufacture and sell for, oftentimes, exorbitant prices. However, in recent news, this issue was brought into the spotlight when Turing Pharmaceuticals AG bought the rights in the United States to an anti-parasitic drug called Daraprim. According to news sources, it isn’t actually the buying of the rights that has doctors, pharmacists, an assortment of medical professionals and consumers up in arms, but rather the excessive price hike that has everyone ready to do battle. In a recent article posted in the New York Times, outrage is widespread over price gouging at a scale hitherto unheard of. Because of this, the war is once again on between pharma stock and holistic solutions that can often provide relief at much lower prices than pharmaceuticals.
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We reached out to Per Wickstrom, Founder of 7 rehab centers including the popular Best Drug Rehab in Battle Creek Michigan. Wickstrom, a former addict who made it his life purpose to help solve drug addiction across the USA works with lobbyists and local government to bring non-intrusive solutions to the Drug Rehab industry and expose corruption in Big Pharma.
Q: Do You Feel Unethical Rises in Off-The-Shelf Drug Prices are a Common Practice?
WICKSTROM: For Sure, you see this all the time. As an example, after buying the rights to Daraprim, Turing immediately hiked the price from $13.50 per tablet to an unheard of $750 per pill, a 5,000 percent hike in price. This price hike was unheard of even in the medical community that is used to seeing huge rises in cost, but for a medication that is the only means of saving a life when a parasitic infection is involved, the rise was seen as purely mercenary. This particular medication may (and often did) mean the difference between life and death which meant that Turing was virtually extorting money from patients and their insurance companies. “Pay the price or you die,” was implied if not said.
Q: How do you see Big Pharma retain control of these markets and their consumers?
WICKSTROM: Not only is Big Pharma often responsible for keeping medications cost prohibitive for the average consumer, but they are working towards policing patients to track those who don’t take their medications on time or at all. It is estimated that prescriptions not being filled or not being taken once they are filled is costing the industry billions each year because refills are not being filled. This, in turn, is causing some amount of concern over whether or not doctors are tied to Big Pharma and prescribing and monitoring the use of certain high cost drugs. Even so, there is another whole side to this picture in that there is often a fine line between medically necessary medications and those that can be substituted by a healthier lifestyle. It is often this prescription push that leads to drug abuse – especially where opiates and benzodiazepines are involved. We have seen this time and time again in our centers.
Q: How Would Holistic Drug Solutions Solve This Problem?
WICKSTROM: There are 2 problems it solves. When medications being pushed on patients are not truly needed, there could be alternatives that solve two very real issues. Not only is it possible to reduce the cost of treatment by eliminating certain medications, but it is also possible to reduce instances of drug reliance and abuse. In our Best Drug Rehab program, for example, patients to learn new ways of living and coping and at times medicating with prescription drugs is not an option. Yes, there are simply times when a patient must take an antibiotic or antiviral or anti-parasite medication but that is up to the local doctor, but many times there are holistic solutions that can provide the very same, if not better, solutions at much less the cost.
For the time being, the war is still waging between Pharma Stock that soars to new levels with high cost prescription medications and holistic solutions, but it is hoped that one day soon the battle will fade away and a healthy solution can be found. Currently Big Pharma is cashing in on these necessary but extremely high cost drugs, but holistic practitioners are coming closer to winning the war. In this case, money truly is the root of all evil and Big Pharma is in control of the coffers. It’s time to turn the keys over so until a new key holder is found, the battle will continue to rage.
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[Image Courtesy of Wikipedia]