One of the real (unsung) gifts that computers and the Internet give us is the opportunity to watch and listen to important shows and presentations we might otherwise not be able to see and hear.
Following are just a few examples of some of my favorite online audio and video presentations that provide us with important information about the health care and pharmaceutical industries. Except for the two NPR “On Point” radio programs, it is highly doubtful that these audios and videos would have ever been aired by mainstream media. Thank goodness for the Internet!
(1) David Healy, MD’s Video Presentation: “How Pharmaceutical Companies Mold Our Perceptions of Mental Illness." An excellent, thought-provoking video of psychiatrist David Healy, MD, author of the controversial book, “Let Them Eat Prozac,” speaking about “How Pharmaceutical Companies Mold our Perceptions of Mental Illness." In this presentation, held at UCLA before a group of psychiatric professionals, Dr. Healy discusses how the pharmaceutical industry has influenced the prescribing habits of doctors, through their advertising and highly successful promotional efforts. This video shows Healy’s wit as its best: For instance, he talks about how, as a result of the industry's promotional efforts, “people see the problems that they have in terms that are ‘Upjohn friendly.’” A must-see.
(2) "On Point," the Boston PBS Show's segment, "The Price is Right?" A radio interview on university/industry financial ties. "On Point," the wonderful Boston public radio show, is fast becoming one of my favorites-- via the internet, of course. In this episode, from June 2003, host Tom Ashbrook includes among his guests former Harvard President Derek Bok, whose book, “Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education,” warned that financial ties between universities and industry undermine core academic values. This excellent program provides an in-depth look at this continuing problem, and certainly foreshadows the recent controversies of a similar nature.
(3) “Drug Industry Under the Microscope” -- NPR's “On Point” interview with Marcia Angell, MD. First aired in September, 2004, this excellent interview with Marcia Angell, MD (former editor of the “New England Journal of Medicine”) blows the cover of the pharmaceutical industry. Interviewer Tom Ashbrook, of Boston's PBS station, WBUR, asks incisive questions, and Dr. Angell's answers dispel several myths, including the oft-quoted myth that the pharmaceutical industry must charge high prices for its drugs in order to make up for the cost of doing research. Another topic: the way the pharmaceutical companies distort medical research by burying the negative trial results. Pharmaceutical representatives -- both pro and con -- are also interviewed on this show. A fascinating interview. (Dr. Angell's interview starts approximately 5 minutes into the show.)
(4) Autism One 2006 Conference on audio. Go to this site and scroll down to listen to the audios of many of the talks given at this Autism One Conference, featuring a variety of alternative treatments for AUTISM. Speakers include: Dr. Mayer Eisenstein -- “the Absence of Autism”; Dr. Phillip DeMio -- “The Use of Transdermal DMSA Chelation for the Spectrum”; Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath –-"Intestinal Insights and Etiologic Challenges in Autism: Replication and Confirmation”; Dr. Dan Rossignol -–“Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Autism”; and others. (NOTE: Dr. Eisenstein's talk is "awesome"!)
(5) Harvard University’s Dr. John Abramson Talks to City Center. In this video, Dr. Abramson, author of the best-selling book, “Overdosed America,” delivers a stunning indictment of the pharmaceutical industry, and of the American Health System.
(6) A special “extra” to the film, “Big Bucks, Big Pharma,” this short video exposes the fact that pharmaceutical marketing campaigns are designed to “frighten the public and divert us from realizing that high drug prices are more about feeding multi-billion dollar industry profits, and supporting massive advertising and lobbying efforts, than they are about securing the invention of effective new drugs.” Among those on this short film: Marcia Angell, MD, former editor of the "New England Journal of Medicine"; Gene Carbona, former Merck sales representative; and Katharine Greider, journalist and author of “The Big Fix.”
(7) Cancer Conquest – DVD/video by Burton Goldberg - This short video promo describes a 2-hour information-dense documentary was produced by Burton Goldberg, well-known speaker and author of 18 books on alternative medicine. The video itself highlights the newest medical techniques being used in both the US and Germany (but mostly in Germany), that provide real hope for cancer patients -- even those in late stages of the disease. Among the innovative treatments profiled: (1) a blood test only done in Germany that will tell you which chemo or natural substance will work on your tumor (chemo only works 20% of the time); (2) a hospital in Germany that uses iron oxide put directly into the tumor to burn out only the cancer; and (3) a surgeon in Frankfort who places a catheter into the cancerous organ, in order to put chemo right into the organ. Much more. Fascinating.
(8) Former pharmaceutical sales representative Gwen Olsen speaks out about pharmaceutical marketing, and why she felt compelled to leave the field and turn to exposing its evils. After Ms. Olsen had a terrible reaction to taking Zoloft, her doctor insisted that it was impossible that she was having the reaction she WAS having because that reaction “was not in the package insert.” She was shocked. Then, he told her to double the dose! That made matters worse, but instead of helping her to get the drug out of her system, he immediately put her on Prozac, to which she had horrible reactions, as well. Her situation went from very bad to even worse until, in 2000, Olsen went into the natural healing industry, which she says led to her own personal healing. Now she is committed to exposing Big Pharma and what she feels is their mission to label as many people as possible as needing drugs. Her book: “Confessions of an RX Drug Pusher.”