2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

On Their Knees: Doctors and Med Schools before Big Pharma

Big Pharma–the multi-national companies that make up the pharmaceutical industry– gives staggering amounts of money to medical schools for research that virtually always manages to come out favorably for the company. With this much power, physicians-in-training simply don’t learn any means of treating most illnesses short of pulling out their prescription pads. And as a result, the American public is seriously overmedicated for conditions that are often completely avoidable or treatable without prescription drugs.

In the meantime, the pharmaceutical industry spends $25,000 a year on every single physician in the US for advertising. Ever wonder what happens to cheerleaders after they graduate college? Many become drug reps, recruited in their senior year by Big Pharma to join the sales force. Read more here. Like all of the 90,000 drug reps, they’re brainwashed about the benefits of the particular pharmaceutical they’re pushing. The words “side effects” or “long term dangers” are mostly unknown to them.

There is no way for physicians to adequately describe how much drug advertising we’re subjected to. “Information,” much of it spurious, literally pours into my mailbox, over my fax machine, onto my phone, into my e-mail, over my satellite radio, onto my doctor’s cable channel, and in person in the form of well-groomed, articulate (mostly) young women sitting in my lobby with handfuls of pens, calendars, and “important new drug information” for me and coffee and doughnuts for my staff.

The industry spent $5.4 billion on consumer-directed advertising in 2007, according to Nielsen Media Research. I recently had to abandon watching the Tony Awards in the wake of the virtual lies I was hearing about the “latest” drugs. Most physicians detest these ads and the amount of time they have to spend as a result explaining to patients why a drug seen on TV might not be a good choice for them.

Physicians–and many patients–bristle at the pharmaceutical industry creating diseases to fit its latest drug. Social anxiety syndrome, restless legs syndrome, and fibromyalgia really aren’t diseases. They’re symptoms, treatable by means other than prescription drugs. But the TV ad assures us the new drug will “cure the disease.” The truth, never told, is that it may help the symptom slightly, but brace yourself for some serious side effects.

The US and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. Everywhere else, drug advertising directly to the patient is illegal.

Posted in Blog, D, Knowledge Base, P Tagged with: ,
2 comments on “On Their Knees: Doctors and Med Schools before Big Pharma
  1. Chris Moses says:

    I am trying to find the article that referenced websites where you could get pharmaceuticals cheaper from Canada.
    Please help anyone!

  2. Dr. R says:

    Chris. This is one of many websites for medications from Canada. http://www.universaldrugstore.com

Leave a Comment

In Archive

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our


The Knowledge Base


Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!


Upcoming Workshops

The Next Lyme Academy Begins
Tuesday, October 4, 5:30-7 pm
Here’s a special invitation for patients of Dr. Kelley who are currently being treated for Lyme disease. Dr. Kelley’s new, four-week Lyme Academy starts on October 4, continuing over the following three Tuesdays.


Awakened Body, Quiet Mind
An innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress and tapping into your true power and natural health.
4 Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD
Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditation and mental inquiry for deep healing.
Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm; beginning October 20th

Recent Health Tips

  • Tired All The Time? Useful Info and Two Supplements

    Tired All The Time? Useful Info and Two Supplements

    As you might expect, fatigue is a fairly common reason people visit doctors. Feeling tired is vague symptom and can be linked to dozens of possible diagnoses, plus there’s a need to differentiate between physical fatigue and mental fatigue (brain fog) or consider both. When …Read More »
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

    I’d been reading Ally Hilfiger’s new autobiography Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me, preferring the Lyme parts to those devoted to fashion and her MTV “Rich Girl” series. Her symptoms were typical of chronic Lyme and …Read More »

October Sale: 20% Off Urban Moonshine Products


All Urban Moonshine products are 20% off for the entire month of October!

Urban Moonshine creates beautiful herbal formulas that focus on prevention, improving quality of life, and empowering people to create home herbal apothecaries.  More>>