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Monday, September 27, 2010

Pills, Patients and Profits - W5 Investigates [CANADA]

© Photographer: Markgab


Before I started writing about and researching pharma, I actually believed pretty much everything they said. As a victim of a pharmaceutical drug, Seroxat, I have researched and written about the industry and the way it is regulated for almost 5 years.

Nothing shocks me anymore.

On Saturday 25 September, "Pills, Patients and Profits" was aired on Canadian television, an hour long documentary about patients who are left vulnerable because they cannot afford life saving drugs.

One striking moment, for me at least, in this hour long programme, was the claims of Dr Marcia Angel of a professor at Harvard University.

According to drug companies, finding "miracles" costs around a billion dollars per drug. However, Marcia Angel disputes this:

"It's entirely ficticious.

What they are trying to do, they are trying to convince people that they have to pay high prices for prescription drugs to cover astronomical R & D costs, that simply isn't true."

Angel goes on to say that the cost of creating a new drug is in the region of $100 million, still a lot of money but quite a way off the figure the industry would have us believe.

According to Angel, the drug companies have inflated their costs by 1000%.

Dr Marcia Angel isn't the only critic, as the video shows.

To watch the hour long programme for yourselves - visit the CTV News page.

The documentary has been uploaded in four parts.

Part One:

Are drugs companies profiting from the sick? Every year, thousands of Canadians are denied drugs that could save their lives because the government says they can't afford it. Drug companies say it's the price paid for producing miracles.

Part Two:

Drug companies say the cost of producing one 'miracle' drug is over $1 billion but critics say the costs are exaggerated and the number is actually around $100 million for a new drug. What is the correct number?

Part Three:

W5's Victor Malarek examines one multiple myeloma patient's struggle to receive his needed medication and how old drugs that provide new results are still costly.

Part Four:

Some patients in need of life saving drugs are denied simply because they are not available in their province. One Maritimer discovered that not all Canadians get the same drug treatments.

VIDEO & SUMMARY


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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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