Americans spent $329.2 Billion dollars on prescription drugs in 2013 and this works out to be roughly $1,000 dollars per person in the United States.
If that is not shocking enough the Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson spent $17.5 billion on sales and marketing, while only spending $8.2 billion on research and development. Within their top ten best selling products were several psychiatric drugs such as Invega and resperdal. Both of these drugs acquired ranking in the top ten most profitable sales.
9 out of 10 Big pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing than on research and the amount spent on marketing is increasing. Surprisingly, the drug companies are not marketing to the American public; Well, it is true they spend roughly $3 billion dollars a year advertising to Americans but they spend over $24 billion dollars advertising directly towards doctors. Now, if you have not read my books, I will fill you on exactly what doctors get from the pharmaceutical company reps.
Drug companies send pharmaceutical representatives to doctors offices. They come equipped with free samples and good looks. In fact, on N.P.R., it was stated that pharmaceutical companies hire college cheerleaders, not for their brains, but for their attraction. In fact, pharmaceutical companies generally hire good looking people in order to influence the individual doctors. Drug representatives treat doctors to expensive dinners, give gifts, samples of medications that they want the doctor to prescribe, and offer the doctor the exclusive knowledge on the drug(s) they are pedaling. Drug representatives spend an average of $12,000- $13,000 thousand dollars per doctor.
There are about 100,000 drug representatives which is equally to one for every eight doctors. Yes, the pharmaceutical industry knows exactly what its doing. It is a business, just like any other company, and should we fault them for taking advantage of our medical needs?
For a long-time, I stood by a large majority that thought pharmaceutical companies had poor ethics, were cruel, and were a sign of complete chaos in America. (Although this is true) However, over the years, as I have researched and come across facts about pharmaceutical companies- even more troubled facts than mentioned- we need to put the blame where it belongs. The United States Government. Over 1/3 of the contributions to campaigns in the 2016 election came from the pharmaceutical industry. Perhaps they are realizing what more and more people are noticing- the government needs to put some constraints on them.
Yes, pharmaceutical companies maybe cute like bunnies, but hunting season is just around the corner.