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How would you compare the ethics of alt med purveyors to conventional pharma companies, generally?
Alt med are much worse 10
Alt med are slightly worse 2
Alt med and conventional pharma are about equal 2
Conventional pharma are slightly worse 1
Conventional pharma are much worse 2
Total Votes: 17
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Ethics: Pharma vs. Alt Med
Posted: 06 August 2009 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Let’s try a poll on this topic we discussed before. I’ll be interested to see the spread.

I’ll wait awhile to vote on this.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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While I chose Alts are much worse, that doesn’t mean big pharma’s ethics are anything to write home about.  The problem with this survey is that it is linear, while the situations are quite complex.  For example, we all recognize vitamins are necessary for health, and we also recognize that under some conditions people don’t get enough of some of them from their food.  While it would be nice if we all had diets which supplied adequate amounts of all the vitamins, this isn’t the case and often is very hard to accomplish.  Should we damn all vitamin supplements as Alternative Medicine as some demand, accept the vitamin store gurus who recommend megavitamins for everything, or recognize that neither extreme position fits all cases? 

I certainly agree that the alt medicine people have been responsible for fatalities that could have been prevented had the person been properly treated by a knowledgeable M.D.  However, there were quite a few suicides by people, espcially young people, who were depressed then given “very safe” drugs “thoroughly tested” by large pharmaceutical companies. 

i don’t like alt meds, and I don’t bother with them, but we have to be responsible for our own health and find out everything we can rather than blindly accepting whatever is given to us.

Occam

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Posted: 07 August 2009 03:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I voted “Conventional pharma are slightly worse”, the reason being that pharmas should know better. A lot of alt meds are honest in thinking that their crab works. A lot of them are really concerned by the inhumane aspects of trad med. When big pharmas sell medicaments they know that do not work, or have serious side effects, then they are very unethical.

I choose “slightly”, because of course there are a lot of alt med that also just want to earn money, and surely there are even such among them that do know their crab really does not work.

GdB

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Posted: 07 August 2009 04:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I voted they are about equal.
For one thing it is a neutral response.
For the other, even industry experts couldn’t answer this poll with any authority!

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Posted: 07 August 2009 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I voted equal.  My contention is always, and will continue to be that pharma, just like alt med, just like oil, just like insurance, just like nearly any cash cow industry out there are equally corrupt.  I don’t think pharma or alt med or oil wants to kill, mame, harm, or destroy people and their lives.  However, their eternal quest for money and their greed filled decisions hurt many, and will continue to do so, mostly because they own our politicians, and those are the guys responsible for reigning in their destructive behavior.  I don’t think any industry is EVIL, but I don’t think they balance profits with ethics as much as they should.  I do think alt med has some, even if they are uneducated, people who are interested in bettering people’s lives, just like pharma, just like oil, just like insurance, etc.

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Posted: 07 August 2009 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Wow. Until now I am the most radical in this poll… grin

GdB

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Posted: 07 August 2009 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Chicken, I think you spelled out the difference nicely.  The alt med stuff essentially never works, the pharma stuff usually works, both sides have quite a few greedy people, but the problem is that the pharma people who cheat to increase their profits almost always have good research data (unpublished) while about half of the alt med people sell junk that they know won’t work because they’ve read the research or have plenty anecdotal data, but half of the alt med people are well-meaning and just don’t know how do any kind of research, literature or laboratory.

Occam

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Posted: 07 August 2009 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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So there you have it folks, the ethics behind Multi-vitamins, chiropractors, and Aloe Vera, are far worse than the ethics behind Penicillin, Viagra, and Prozac( for dogs and cats(and children too))
The ethics behind magnetic jewelry, herbal teas, and accupuncture- The Ethics mind you! are far worse than the ethics behind Properfol(the doctor administred drug for M. Jackson, and the preferred knock-out drug for doctors catching a mid-shift nap at the hospital LOL ) Cholesterol lowering drugs, and Insulin.

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Posted: 07 August 2009 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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New York Times
By GERRY SHIH
Published: August 5, 2009

Merck and Schering-Plough agreed Wednesday to pay $41.5 million to settle class-action lawsuits that accused them of withholding unfavorable results of a clinical trial of the cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia.
The companies came under intense scrutiny in January 2008 after they released a study — completed nearly two years earlier — that showed that the medicines, the work of a joint venture, were no more effective in unclogging arteries than a pre-existing and less expensive cholesterol treatment.
Sales of Vytorin slumped 23 percent in 2008 after the data was released. Its makers suffered further damage when a second study linked the drugs to potentially harmful side effects, including cancer.
The settlement resolves more than 140 claims filed by consumers and insurers who bought, used or paid money toward the purchase of Vytorin and Zetia. The consumer settlements require court approval.
In July, the companies agreed to a separate $5.4 million payment to the attorneys general of 35 states and the District of Columbia for costs incurred in investigating consumer-protection cases involving the drugs.

We see these articles fairly common. I don’t see articles like these concerning alt-meds nearly as much.
Of course the dollar AND the human damage are almost always greater with Pharma too.

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Posted: 07 August 2009 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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VYAZMA - 07 August 2009 05:41 PM

We see these articles fairly common. I don’t see articles like these concerning alt-meds nearly as much.

No, of course not. alt med pharmas do no research at all, so this could not happen at all.

I must make a small amendment to my position, because I was comparing apples and oranges: trad pharm with alt med. (Look again a your poll, Doug!) The fair comparisons would be trad pharm and alt pharm (selling expensive C100 solution of whatever, magnetic mattresses, and healing stones) on one side, and trad practitioners and alt practitioners, on the other side. Then I would vote equal, in both cases.

It all boils down to big industries that like to earn money on one side, and people who would like to help other people because of very different motives, good and bad.

GdB

Edit: typo

[ Edited: 08 August 2009 12:23 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 08 August 2009 04:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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GdB - 07 August 2009 09:42 PM
VYAZMA - 07 August 2009 05:41 PM

We see these articles fairly common. I don’t see articles like these concerning alt-meds nearly as much.

No, of course not. alt med pharmas do no research at all, so this could not happen at all.

I must make a small amendment to my position, because I was comparing apples and oranges: trad pharm with alt med. (Look again a your poll, Doug!) The fair comparisons would be trad pharm and alt pharm (selling expensive C100 solution of whatever, magnetic mattresses, and healing stones) on one side, and trad practitioners and alt practitioners, on the other side. Then I would vote equal, in both cases.

It all boils down to big industries that like to earn money on one side, and people who would like to help other people because of very different motives, good and bad.

GdB

Edit: typo

GdB- Surely you and the others who keep saying this know you are mistaken. Obviously some research is done in most Alt-meds.
Maybe they don’t conduct strict efficacy tests, or double blind placebo tests etc…however most companies do some form of research into their products, whether their products are sewing machines or multi-vitamins. You think chiropractory hasn’t been engaged in research? Obviously an herbal company isn’t just taking any old roots, or leaves they find and mixing them into teas.
Besides I have posted 2 examples of the kinds of research Big Pharma is doing. They have done this since the Golden ages too. That magical time when they began to fall under strict laws, and regulations.

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Posted: 08 August 2009 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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For those of us who are arguing for the “equally ethical” position, it would be ludicrous if I weren’t to bring up one final example of ethics in Modern Medicine.
That of Human experimentation. The kind not just exclusively limited to involuntary. But mostly so!
Folks, I’m not going to cite all the examples because there are waaay too many. Govt. Entities, in conjunction with Universities, and/or Medical Companies(Pharma too) have conducted thousands of studies on unwitting Orphans, Federal and State Prisoners, Illegal Immigrants, University Students, Military Personnel, etc..
Be it Syphilis, Plutonium, Gonorrhea, mental illness, LSD, Chemical weapons, cancer, organ manipulation(such as trying to implant goat testicles into adult men). I’ll stop there.
Since the turn of the 1900’s up until now for all we know, but at least until the 70’s these “studies” have been conducted.
Read ” The Plutonium Files”( Can’t remember the author, it was a woman and she was a Pulitzer winner).
Look into the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments.
Look into the Fernald Boys.(orphans who were experimented on with all kinds of stuff, including radioactive oatmeal)
Remember when Clinton Officially apologized to the surviving families or survivors of the Federal Prisoners who were studied for their syphilis.
There are hundreds more examples. Alot probably mundane- but unethical nonetheless. It is important to point out that many of these “studies” had wide ranging uses. So for example if a university was engaged with the govt to study effects of Anthrax on human guinea pigs primarily for military reasons you can bet that all pertinent information was supplied to pharmaceutical cos., if they weren’t directly involved anyways.
In this same way, medical industries were granted access to the works of Medical Nazis like Mengele, and The Japanese after WWII.
Indeed, during Nuremberg, many Nazi Scientists and doctors cited many American tests and studies in their own defense.
No, we can see that along with good research, the history of University-Govt.-Pharma “research” has a long and colored past. Some of the Ethics involved in these stories would surpass anything even the best horror writer could come up with.
This is a brief summary of the history of Pharma ethics. It doesn’t constitute all of it. There is good I’m sure, but it does constitute a significant amount. And it goes back from now, until recorded history essentially.
This is to say nothing of experiments on animals.
And everything above is directly related to Big Pharma, or research used in conjunction with pharma, or Trad. Meds.
I’m just 50 miles down the road from Strong Memorial Hospital. World renowned!! Look into their works with plutonium, and rooms with gamma ray emitters.

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Posted: 08 August 2009 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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And to continue on in our ethics debate: If any of you pay 1/2 attention to the news, you can see how a privatized, for-profit industry, is having all but a direct, and immediate legislative impact on our nations attempt to reform Healthcare. It is as simple as that folks!!

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Posted: 08 August 2009 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I voted “alt med are much worse.” Since alternative medicine doesn’t work I don’t see anything ethical about their approach. I have done work for GSK and even though I knew I was lying to the potential patient (“client”  smirk ) when I showed super healthy models in my design I felt very little guilt. Their medicine works and they need to sell it. I would never help to promote selling snake oil. Never!

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Posted: 08 August 2009 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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George - 08 August 2009 12:06 PM

I voted “alt med are much worse.” Since alternative medicine doesn’t work I don’t see anything ethical about their approach. I have done work for GSK and even though I knew I was lying to the potential patient (“client”  smirk ) when I showed super healthy models in my design I felt very little guilt. Their medicine works and they need to sell it. I would never help to promote selling snake oil. Never!

George nobody sells snake-oil.
I see GSK sells Nicotene patches, and over the counter sleeping pills, and Caffeine Tablets. Also if your amongst the fringe group who considers Multi-vitamins Alt-meds, GSK makes Geritol too.
Clinical studies have shown that Nicotine patches are as effective as a placebo in helping smoking cessation. The TV ads claim they double ones chances of quitting.
Everyone knows a glass of orange juice is just as effective in causing alertness. And using caffeine for extended periods to stay awake can be hazardous, for health and alertness.
Who knows what’s in those sleep-aids? Sominex and Nytol.
But anyways…I’m glad you help to promote health and well-being. Peace.

[ Edited: 08 August 2009 05:09 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 08 August 2009 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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VYAZMA - 08 August 2009 03:57 PM

I see GSK sells Nicotene patches, and over the counter sleeping pills, and Caffeine Tablets. Also if your amongst the fringe group who considers Multi-vitamins Alt-meds, GSK makes Geritol too. Clinical studies have shown that Nicotine patches are as effective as a placebo in helping smoking cessation.

If true, I may be wrong. I should probably stay away from this topic as I know very little about it.

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