Would you swallow a data-tracking Big Pharma “smart” pill?

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Big Pharma is spending like never before to make sure patients take their drugs. Investors recently committed $172 million for “smart pills” being developed jointly by Proteus Digital Health and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. After a pill is swallowed, a microscopic device within the pill relays ‘health data’ to a patch worn by the patient, then to a smartphone, and then (if the patient wishes) to doctors and/or pharmaceutical companies.

Likewise, an inhaler for patients with lung diseases to record the date and time of every use is being developed by mobile chip giant Qualcomm with heavy investment from Novartis, which runs research and development in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Drug makers lose billions annually when patients don’t fill, refill, or take their prescriptions. So, besides developing smart pills and smart inhalers that tell whether meds have or haven’t been taken, Big Pharma is also finding other ways to ‘nag’ patients into taking every pill their doctors prescribe.

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk works with HealthPrize to reward ‘drug-adherent’ patients with gift cards or charitable donations to their favorite 501(c)3. There are also smart phone apps that remind people to take their pills, talking engagements to teach people how to take their meds properly, and even payment programs to patients willing to tout drugs personally. Biogen, e.g., pays patients to talk about positive experiences with the company’s MS drug Tecfidera.

Big Pharma is lobbying the Feds for permission to pay pharmacists to encourage patients to take their pills – no conflict of interest there! Joel White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, an advocacy group that works with the industry, says that “we’re not pushing pills here, we’re pushing adherence.” But Matt Lamkin, Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law who has studied the issue, recognizes a financial motive.

Lamkin says that Big Pharma is using medication adherence programs as marketing tools – but instead of saying they’re boosting drug sales, they reframe that goal as “drug adherence.”

Although failure to take prescribed drugs can cause worse health conditions and drive up medical spending in the US by nearly $300 billion each year, drug taking is a complex issue, with many drugs needlessly prescribed to begin with.

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Some patients don’t have the money to fill their prescriptions. Others are finding other, better alternatives to prescribed drugs. Sometimes, prescriptions simply don’t work, are painful to take, or have side effects that are worse than the condition being treated. The doctors prescribing the drugs don’t know that the drugs are failing their purpose, nor do the patients.

The manufacturers know full well, but they’re not telling. It’s part of a modern medical scandal. In some cases, the placebo effect has been found to be more efficacious than a prescription. Eli Lilly recently spent $30 million to ‘re-brand’ a drug that wasn’t working as well as a placebo!

Tom Hubbard, vice president of policy research at the pharma-oriented Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, says that drug companies in the past weren’t as likely to have strong views about telling doctors which drugs to prescribe their patients. But these days, he says, the consideration is considerably greater. Well of course, with so many billions on the line.

Consider GlaxoSmithKline’s recent tactics. The London-based drug maker has enrolled 3,000 of its employees, retirees, and their relatives in North Carolina in a pilot program to “better coordinate their health care” (i.e., take their meds). GSK’s program uses sophisticated analytics to determine who’s not taking their medication. Those individuals can get one-on-one health counseling with a pharmacist or case manager, according to Matt Rousculp, a senior director of health outcomes research for GSK.

Industry giants like Merck, Pfizer, and Sanofi, along with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, are backing a lobbying campaign to allow all manner of programs that would help push drugs on patients, from calling them directly, to using pharmacists as go-betweens.

Big Pharma will stop at nothing to make sure it keeps its power hold on the global economy. The worldwide market for pharmaceuticals topped $1 trillion in sales in 2014. The world’s 10 largest drug companies generated $429.4 billion of that revenue.

Five of the top 10 companies are headquartered in the US: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Abbot Laboratories, Merck and Eli Lilly. Over 1,100 paid lobbyists make sure your government is doing this industry’s bidding as well.

Source:

https://www.intellihub.com/would-you-swallow-data-tracking-smart-pill/

StatNews

Via Natural Society

2 thoughts on “Would you swallow a data-tracking Big Pharma “smart” pill?

  1. BIG PHARMA is spending ……
    WHAT …
    What is big pharma spending …………. ?
    MONEY … are we talking about MONEY
    Big Pharma is spending money ….. THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE ….. like never before … they do not have money.
    WHAT MONEY ……………………………………… are they using therefore – to schakle the population of planet earth ?
    GlaxoSmithKline – have had ……………. TEN YEARS OF FAILURE
    Ten Years Of Failed attemptes to – PUT ON THE MARKET a product …. ANY PRODUCT … that actually works.
    For GlaxoSmithKline IT HAS BEEN ONE EXPENSIVE FAILED VENTURE AFTER ANOTHER.
    GlaxoSmithKline have HEMORRAGED to death …
    I put it to you that GlaxoSmithKline is not the only BIG PHARMA that is totally bankrupt & in debt to the tune of MEGA-BILLIONS …
    ONLY THAT IT IS TOP SECRET – still….so shhhhhh !

    I do not believe that there is a lending institution ON PLANET EARTH that will lend them anything – NO ONE IS THAT STUPID.
    Money is money & DEBT is catastrophic & to be avoided at all costs – especially in todays world.
    Did anyone read the article in the Australian news yesterday – Australia is BROKE – Australia – the whole of Australia is broke – we owe … & very soon Australian Banks –
    THE TOO BIG TO FAIL hotshot BANKS OF AUSTRALIA
    WILL BE OWNED BY FOREIGH BANKING INTERESTS.
    The establishment is trying to figure out how to put the blame on the Australian people – household debt – SO THAT THE POPULATION OF AUSTRALIA PAY OFF THEIR DEBTS – when in fact it is THE ESTABLISHMENT that has the key to the till & not us – we the people.
    MISS – SPENT BILLIONS :-
    1 example: TOLL ROADS … land that belongs to Australians is given over to private hands – mega monies are borrowed from overseas – a road is built – and comuters pay – only that a toll road never makes profit – it costs more to RUN, SERVICE, MAINTAIN and SERVICE THE LOAN than any monies the venture ever makes.
    A toll road can never be paid off
    The debt is just constantly re-negotiated
    IN REAL LIFE
    YOU CAN ONLY JUGGLE THE BOOK FOR SO LONG
    AT SOME POINT THE MONEY LENDER WANTS THEIR MONEY BACK-
    Australia has reached the point where the INTERNATIONAL money lenders want their money back – THE HAVE LEARNED that it is no good inflicting austerity on the population the EUROPEAN UNION FIASCO proved this – so they will have to TAKE the banks instead
    It sounds scary BUT infact this is a good thing for Australia – borrowers will have to justify a loan or they will not get it.
    Today in Australia everyone – AT THE TOP OF THE HILL – has their fingers in the till & there is no accountability – this FILTHY PRACTICE WILL STOP.
    I am not afraid of these pussies.

  2. In an article last week
    The Govenor of The Reserve Bank of Australia GLEN STEVENS
    ….. explained that the reason why there are – NO/so few – $100 BILLS in circulation in Australia – is because …… AUSTRALIANS ARE HORDING THEM.

    QUESTION:-
    Do you have a wad of $100 bills hidden in your sock draw.
    * Personally I cannot afford the extravigance of putting aside the few $100 bills that cross my path occasionally.
    This is the image that they have of us – the Australian population – that we are hiding & hording Tens of Thousands & maybe – they imagine that we the Australian people – have EVEN stashed away MILLIONS of $100 BILLS
    Enough to pay off the gazillions that they, the establishment have borrowed AND MAYBE IN THE NAME THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE instead of themselves & the dodgy businesses they have thrown the money away on.
    These people have taken the global currency to INFINITY…. intoxicated with their Magic Pudding – the endless credit card.
    Believing that – ultimately – they will stick us with the bill… in the form of Austerity = no money no healthcare, no education, no housing, and the list goes on – if they have their way we will be pitching a tent in the park, or at the side of railway lines while the real estate that we can’t afford to pay rent on ROTS.

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