5 Drugs That Will Never Cure You

If you want to make a lot of money, invent a drug that treats chronic conditions without ridding patients of symptoms entirely. Your customers will be on the hook for your product for the rest of their lives, boosting your bottom line all the while.

A Village Voice blog post lists the five highest revenue-generating drugs, noting that the one thing they have in common is that none cure illnesses:

Making the list are cholesterol-lowering Lipitor ($7.5 billion gross revenue in 2009), stomach acid-neutralizing Nexium ($6.3 billion), blood-thinning Plavix ($5.6 billion), asthma-soothing Advair Diskus ($4.7 billion) and anti-psychotic Seroquel ($4.2 billion).

If you pop any of these deliciously profitable pills, how are they working out for you?

The 5 Most Profitable Drugs: They Never Cure You [Village Voice]
(Thanks, Chester!)

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  1. Angus99 says:

    Advair and Prilosec (over the counter now, I know) absolutely have changed my life for the better. I couldn’t imagine going without them now, and am more than willing to keep buying them. I find the price acceptable for the benefits of being able to breathe, and eat.

    • thewritejerry says:

      That proves the point – you need the medicines to feel better, but why not invest in an actual cure.

      • Quake 'n' Shake says:

        Are these even curable diseases for which the drugs are developed?
        It’s easy to say “Let’s invest in a cure.” But is one even available?

        • slappysquirrel says:

          Or possible. Particularly in the case of the antipsychotic. I don’t think psychiatric problems can be solved by surgery ever and non-pharmaceutical methods like the talking cure only work sometimes on some conditions. (E.g. Depression, maybe, schizophrenia, likely not at all.)

          • shepd says:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilder_Penfield

            Epilepsy was once considered in the same category of diseases as psychosis. Anything can happen!

          • kennedar says:

            The 2 drugs I am on right now both fall into this category. I am on an anti-depressant. I have worked with various therapists over the years, and found huge help from them, however the anti-depressant is still necessery if I want to stay alive. The fertility drug does not really cure anything either, it simply forces my body to work the way it should. If this eventually works and we get pregnant, I will still have to take the same drugs again to get pregnant with any future children. The only “cure” for infertility is to stop trying!

      • ThomFabian says:

        “why not invest in an actual cure?”

        This statement seems to suggest that there is no investigation into a cure going on right now. I’d be interested to know how you come to know this.

        • brianary says:

          Obviously, you can’t prove a negative. But you could easily disprove this notion with a single instance of proof of the existence of a cure being pursued. So…?

      • Weighted Companion Cube says:

        Companies will always make more money treating a disease/symptom than curing the disease/symptom. Sad but true to quote Metallica.

      • _UsUrPeR_ says:

        I’m not sure that there is a cure for asthma. Prilosec, on the other hand, can be supplanted by changing your diet, the amount you eat, and your weight. There is also a surgery that can be performed to reform the muscle at the top of your stomach, which can be deformed by over-eating as well as various injuries. Coincidentally, GERD (which can be treated with prilosec) and asthmatic symptoms tend to run hand-in-hand. Fix acid reflux, and you have fixed your hydrochloric aspiration during sleep periods.

        • schiff says:

          Not true, I could eat nothing more than moderate quantities of the blandest foods (boiled chicken and plain rice anyone?) and it doesn’t stop the reflux.

          As for the surgery, its really only an option for older patients. The surgery generally undoes itself within 5-10 years and often leads to ulcerations due to the pockets and wrapping required to tighten the valve.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          “Prilosec, on the other hand, can be supplanted by changing your diet, the amount you eat, and your weight. “

          That’s not the case for everyone. When I injured my back several years ago, I was prescribed various drugs that would have at worst eaten a hole in my stomach, and at best made life pretty miserable. Prilosec allowed me to not have to choose between not being able to walk from sciatica and gut wrenching heartburn.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        You can’t invest in a cure. Investing suggests a return on investment, which you won’t have with a cure.

        • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

          Absolutely. My daughter is disabled, and they mentioned there was a .0001% possibility that they could replace the protein she was missing but she’d have to take medication every day for the rest of her life. They couldn’t find the genetic part, but they might be able to replicate and replace it with lifelong medication therapy according to one article.

          …. and I pray, every single day, that this comes around in her lifetime. Curing someone is wonderful, but I would probably rob a bank, rape a goat and kill a priest to be able to go as far as treating it so she could be more functional in her lifetime. This post forgets to mention that the money made of these “chronic” medications also helps to fund other medication studies.

      • Daedelus says:

        Try being sick with something that needs constant treatment before judging those who use said treatments. Some of these are dietary (or similar) problems, sure, but even in those cases a “cure” is not an assured thing as each person’s biochemistry is going to be slightly different. These drugs have their place.

      • allknowingtomato says:

        Because some medical conditions are the result of your body performing the way it is programmed to behave genetically, or else the way a body naturally deteriorates. If you are going to always overproduce stomach acid, or you are leaking it into your throat a la acid reflux, a “cure” might be something way more invasive/higher side effect than a pill which controls the acid. Do you want a lower esophageal sphincter transplant? you could go on a donor list and MAYBE you’ll get one and MAYBE you’ll survive the transplant and MAYBE the new one will magically work better somehow.

        That’s worth it, right? you’d rather be anesthetized and have an expensive and invasive surgery that might not work (and go on immunosupressants for the rest of your life) so that you can stop paying a reasonable fee to big pharma to pop a pill that renders you asymptomatic.

        Sometimes a cure would be unwise and the most appropriate treatment is to control symptoms. When old men get prostate cancer, they will usually live longer and with a higher quality of life by NOT trying to rid themselves of the cancer.

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        How dare he want to feel better! What a jackwagon!

      • Not Given says:

        I got the scope in my stomach to see if there was anything that could be done. The verdict: “you’ll just have to keep taking one of the PPIs.” I saw the pictures of the inside of my stomach, it was all inflamed. I’d hate to think how it would look if I hadn’t been taking those 2 pills everyday for years. Truthfully, if I hadn’t been put on a PPI years ago before there was an OTC version, I would have killed myself by now. Just the burning in my stomach even without the reflux was that bad. I also have reflux at both openings, GERD and bile.
        I’m not eating spicy or greasy food every day, apparently my biggest problem is just an over production of acid. The only diet change that ever helped the GERD was when I temporarily gave up all grains. Pretty much that also means almost no processed foods at all. I tried then to get off the drug and still couldn’t.

      • Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

        There are very few things in medicine that are an actual “cure”. And those that do cure almost always involve cutting the bad part away..

    • schiff says:

      I have to agree. 4 years ago I went to my doctor barely able to breath, and suffering from chronically sour stomach. Turns out I have acid reflux disease and the condition triggered asthma. a month on Nexium and I was breathing again. 2 months and I was eating without repressions. I do not like being dependent on these drugs but they have made my life bearable again.

      Now, for those who say “invest in a cure”. I would gladly cure my condition if there was such a thing — I’m 30 yrs old and the only options are designed for someone twice my age. The problem with those treatments at my age? They do no last long enough to and have serious stomach complications…

      I’m with Angus99 here, if not for PPI’s I would be lying in bed wheezing, unable to eat without feeling like death, and unable to do almost anything a normal 30 yr old would.

      • Verdant Pine Trees says:

        I know you mention further on about diet not working, and you appear to be an active guy, but I’d still suggest you keep tweaking the diet.

        I was diagnosed with acid reflux in the 1990s, but it got much worse a couple of years ago. I started using PPIs. Unfortunately, PPIs remove most of the acid from your stomach in order to work, and in my case, it caused me to develop a B12 deficiency which in turn, caused some temporary nerve damage – the kind more commonly associated with MS or diabetes. I went through a lot of needless and painful tests before someone suggested I have my B12 checked out, and indeed, mine was low enough that it can cause symptoms. Turns out it is not at all uncommon, just Google “ppi b12 deficiency”. The Framingham study discovered that B12 deficiency is now more common in people of all ages, not just the elderly as previously thought.

        I no longer need to take an acid reducer more than a few times a month. I realized that if I ate more frequently, but smaller meals, I didn’t get reflux. I realized a lot of the time I was getting reflux because I *hadn’t* eaten. Peanut butter was a big trigger food, as were fried foods, while spicy foods often did not cause issues. I started eating unsalted foods, eliminated it from a lot of recipes, stopped eating red meat and poultry, started doing nasal lavage (i.e. Neti pot) (TMI alert = you swallow a lot less snot that way) and found that it helped too.

    • coffeeculture says:

      Advair is not over the counter or generic. FYI. Advair also treats COPD which is currently uncurable.

      • Angus99 says:

        The comment was Prilosec is over the counter, not Advair – I should know, since the whole point of my post is I use both. FYI.

    • greentech says:

      Advair Patent expires (expired?) in 2010. There are serious rumor of a generic in 2011 which should help drive the price down significantly. The generic is being made by Vectura and can be found by doing a google search for “vr315″.

      The discus looks a little different, but should function similarly.

      I’m a married student living on two part time incomes, and I’m taking Advair. Even with crappy prescription insurance, I’m paying $100 for 100/50 or $150 for 250/50 each month (on our limited income, that’s a lot!). I don’t qualify for any of GSK’s prescription programs because I make JUST over the maximum income for insured individuals. If I dropped my health insurance I would get Advair free, but would end up paying more in hospital bills when the asthma is bad or something else happens.

      Needless to say, I am anxiously awaiting a generic.

    • Jerkamie says:

      After a year of adviar my asthma symptoms went away for nearly 5 years.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Exactly. I’ll agree, these drugs are expensive. That said, this article is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that there is something wrong with them because they don’t cure anything. I’ve lived with really awful asthma all my life (despite being physically fit in every other way – it’s inherited) and Advair is the only drug that’s made a sizable impact on my life. Really, it’d be nice if you condemned the insurance companies which refuse to cover anything but generics, even in the face of complex long-term problems like asthma. I recently switched insurance only to find that Advair was only covered if first I tried a different medication, which I had already been on years ago but not under the new insurance. I needed to try this medication under the new insurance and for my doctor to prove it does not work as well as Advair in order to get Advair covered. Totally sucked.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    While I totally get the concept of this story, I think it’s unfair to suggest some evil conspiracy with this particular drugs. I think all this story has highlighted is that there are still very complicated diseases out there that don’t have an outright cure, and medicine has a long way to go.

    That being said, I am curious if there are diseases out there that have a cure and we (meaning the drug companies) just aren’t interested in finding that cure. I’d love to be able to see a world without profit and see if cures suddenly started popping up.

    • Tim says:

      Oh, definitely. Drug companies have to invest a lot of money into research and development, and the vast majority of drugs that start the very beginning of clinical trials don’t make it to the pharmacies.

      Therefore, a drug company has to be pretty confident that there’s at least a small chance of making a profit on the drug. And since drug companies spend so much money on drugs that they don’t make any money on, they want to make a LOT of money on the ones that are successful, to recoup the lost costs from the unsuccessful ones.

      Luckily, there’s a lot of government funding available for drugs that are promising but might not be as profitable as, say, Viagra. Still, it’s a huge problem.

    • brianary says:

      I don’t think anyone said “conspiracy”. It’s simply the innate structure of profiting from human misery: Why spend money on a cure (or even just prevention) when you can make money forever on a series of “treatments”.

      I guess we can watch China for a while and see if more cures come from there before they are completely capitalist–though that may not be a priority for them, given their population surplus.

      • NickelMD says:

        Lipitor *is* prevention. It treats your high cholesterol, but it prevents heart attacks and stroke. Ditto plavix (though its action is by thinning the blood).

  3. mbbbus says:

    Slow consumer news day?
    Of course most medications used to treat chronic illness don’t “cure” anything. And these meds, taken chronically, generate a lot of revenue for their makers.
    One can (and I do) argue that pharmaceutic marketing and pricing often border on the criminal.
    But this is just a non-story.

    • sonneillon says:

      To be fair some pharma companies actively work not to cure certain diseases. If they are on track for a cure they instead switch tracks to find a vaccine or treatment instead.

    • One-Eyed Jack says:

      It would be great if someone could cure my migraines. I’m glad I have drugs to stave them off. Not everything is curable.

  4. thewritejerry says:

    There’s no profit in curing any illness. But selling palliatives to a person month after month, now that’s a gold mine! Look at cancer – there’s just too much money in the “find a cure” industry to actually motivate any company to find a real cure.

    Here’s another example… If depression is thought to be caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain, why sell drugs like Prozac that are designed to prevent the serotonin your body produces from being reabsorbed into your brain too quickly instead of a medicine that contains or mimics serotonin itself? Because there’s a ton of profit in releasing new, patented forms of SSRIs, but if there was just a serotonin pill, it couldn’t be patented or at least it couldn’t be “continually improved upon” to force sales of a new but derivative product.

    • allknowingtomato says:

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. Read a few drug patent cases and you will see that such a medicine could absolutely be patentable (assuming it met the patentability requirements, just like any other invention). Read a few more and you will see that there will always be a way to improve the drug (novel encapsulation methods, tweaking side effects, different source or streamlined production means for the drug, etc). Such patentable improvements allow for new IP claims in a crowded art, and are often the bread and butter of big pharma patenting. They are called Jepson claims.

      we can’t “take serotonin pills” because we can’t figure out how to get serotonin across the blood brain barrier when consumed orally. If big pharma could find a way to get chemicals from oral pills across the blood brain barrier easily, you can bet your bippy that big pharma would have patented it. Right now the best we can do is take tryptophan, an amino acid that has been show to increase serotonin production in lab rats and monkeys.

      http://www.springerlink.com/content/b16105275q114001/
      http://www.springerlink.com/content/v8021u8227732315/
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TBG-4GMJ8XT-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=f555eadf2316212be47217a81e7503da

      But hey, crapping out your post took way less time than my mol bio/biochem degree or my JD or my weeks of studying for the patent exam. so maybe you are onto something. maybe just yelling about how big pharma making money is evil and wrong is what will make us truly healthy.

      Not legal/patent advice etc.

      • allknowingtomato says:

        And there will never be a cure for cancer because, like you said, there is no one disease that “is” cancer. Being a cellular behavior wrapped up in genetics and certain genes being turned on and off or somehow mutated, everyone has a different cancer, even if the cancers act somewhat similarly to the cancer of another person, because everyone has slightly different genetics. Likely the future of cancer treatment lies in vaccine-style designer drugs where a person has some of their cancer cells excised and a drug is tailored to affect their particular genetic expression of cancer, thus “turning off” and killing the cancer. The inherent complexity of cancer and the desire for otherwise very fortunate people living in the developed world to eek out 10 more medium quality years from their lives are not the fault of big pharma.

        As some other rational people have pointed out, there is more money to big pharma keeping you alive and reasonably healthy, than in letting you die and cease to be a customer. I’m not saying they are putting your health BEFORE their profits (they will not rest until they have extinguished the scourge of restless leg syndrome and whatever else they try to convince us we have), but they aren’t sitting on cures for cancer and depression when you would certainly pay through the nose for them.

        • allknowingtomato says:

          first sentence is fucked up of my above comment. EDIT BUTTON PLEASE!

        • tailspin says:

          I have Restless Legs and seriously, it suuuuucks. I’ve had it since I was a kid and once they put a name to it, I was so relieved to know I wasn’t nuts.

          To those posting who say that companies don’t want to cure/prevent disease because they’re all about profit — um, have you forgotten about vaccines?

          • macruadhi says:

            Um, can you cite an example of vaccines curing/eradicating a diease? I’ll not go into my lunatic anti-vaccine speech, but incidents of small pox were already declining before the vaccine was created and the polio vaccine was shown to actually increase the incidence of polio infections.

          • macruadhi says:

            Um, can you cite an example of vaccines curing/eradicating a diease? I’ll not go into my lunatic anti-vaccine speech, but incidents of small pox were already declining before the vaccine was created and the polio vaccine was shown to actually increase the incidence of polio infections.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        These idiots are the same who push holistic medicine which they claim works but is being suppressed by evil “corporations”. If a corp came out with a cure for cancer, their stock would rise quicker than any other in history. Curing cancer doesn’t mean preventing it and it is one of the most abundant fatal diseases with a huge built-in customer base.

    • iMaNcOoL says:

      This is an extremely myopic and inaccurate view. The reason there is no “cure for cancer” is because there are literally HUNDREDS of types of cancers, each one being pretty much its own disease. The molecular disruptions that occur in carcinogenesis share something in common across cancers, but there are so many differences that you can’t effectively treat one cancer with drugs geared toward another. You may be surprised that some cancers have actually quite effectively treated by big pharma- for example, several leukemias such as APML and CML are treated by drugs that are incredibly effective in inducing remissions and greatly increase survivability. But cancer is a CHRONIC disease- it can never truly be “cured” unless you find every malignant cell in the body and kill it. If you figure out how to do that, let me know so I can notify Stockholm to rush you a Nobel Prize.

      Your second point is equally misinformed. The reason a “serotonin pill” doesn’t exist is that serotonin doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier. There’s no drug company conspiracy- just basic physiology and pharmacology. Case in point- Parkinson’s disease, which is caused by a lack of dopamine is treated first-line by L-DOPA, an incredibly cheap precursor to dopamine. Problem is, it has some nasty side effects due to the fact that no exogenous substance can recapitulate true physiological equilibrium and also doesn’t work too well after some time, but it is used as a mainstay of therapy.

      Yes, big pharma may engage in some ethically questionable practices but not looking for cures because it’s better to keep people sick? Grow up.

    • SuperSnackTime says:

      I love the old, tired “ZOMG big pharm only wants to treat you, never cure you!”

      I’m going to propose a novel thought — Big Pharm DOES want to cure you of many, many illnesses. It is their selfish best interest to keep you alive.

      You know all those high cholesterol, acid reflux, psychotics out there who are a never-ending money stream? Turns out if big pharm NEVER bothers to develop/invest in things to treat them of possibly fatal illnesses, they won’t be around long enough to be a never-ending cash stream for the kinds of drugs referenced in this article.

    • mbbbus says:

      LSD will raise brain serotonin levels.

      Some cure.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      So these drug companies find amoral scientists to do this research? The CEOs of these companies don’t conduct the research, scientists do. Usually in teams. You’re telling me that if these scientists found a cure to any disease, they would not announce that? If the companies tried to suppress the cure, do you think the scientists will just let their life’s work be ruined?

      The quest for profit (wealth) is huge but the desire to fuel one’s ego is bigger. Isn’t that what accumulation of wealth does? If money drives all, what’s to stop a team of scientists to leave the company, move to another area where no-compete agreements/lawsuits won’t touch them and come up with the cure there? I’m sure someone will fund that.

      Being regarded as the top in your profession, whatever it may be, should be the goal of everyone.

      • thewritejerry says:

        You can announce a cure as loudly as you want – the company you work for owns your work and can shelve it in favor of selling something more profitable. I cannot go into details, but I do have first hand knowledge of this – in one instance a new device that would stop urinary infections due to flowback in catheter and urostomy bag users was shelved because the $2 fix would not profit the company as much as the antibiotics and other medications they could repeatedly sell to “treat” the infections. I am all in favor of profits, and I do think a company that pours a lot of resources into R&D should reap the benefits of their efforts. But it is not at all uncommon for research scientists to be told to shut up and shelve it or lose their jobs and violate their confidentiality agreements.

        • mikeP says:

          Scientists dont just sit around doing research and whatever the heck they want then all the sudden find a ‘cure’ for something.

          Just like as a software engineer, they dont pay me to develop whatever I feel like.

          Instead, the scientists are going to have specific and measurable goals and will work on those. They aren’t going to stumble on any cures, anymore than I will accidentally invent the new UberBrowser or whatever.

  5. George4478 says:

    Are their any asthma drugs that actually “cure” asthma? Are their any stomach acid drugs that “cure” excess stomach acid permanently?

    I didn’t think these were curable conditions.

  6. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Treatment is still better than nothing at all, even if it doesn’t cure your condition. Though, for some reason, it reminds me of this quote, the origin of which escapes me:

    “Medical Research — The only occupation that strives to put itself out of business.”

  7. phira says:

    I actually only had to use Advair temporarily. When I was 18, I woke up one day with a nasty cough that never went away, and it took two months for my doctors to realize it was asthma. They put me on Advair, and after going through 2-3 discs, I forgot to get a new prescription and just stopped taking it. Asthma-free since.

  8. maruawe says:

    Prevention and cure are for old time doctors, The new medicine is to relieve symptoms not causes.This is due to the “i want it now generation”. There is no money in curing a problem, so the pharmaceutical companies play on your right now relief and do not even try to find cures that would stop the problem.

    • haggis for the soul says:

      Right now relief for things like asthma are pretty important.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      What about lipitor for people who have naturally high lipid levels? Should they just grin and enjoy their heart attacks years down the line?

    • slappysquirrel says:

      “I’d like to be able to breathe…I’d like to immediately lower my risk of heart attack while I work on reducing the other non-genetic risk factors I have…I’d like to be able to eat…I’d like to not be so depressed that I can’t leave the house…”

      Yeah, those gen-xers make such unreasonable demands.

    • Michaela says:

      Yeah. It was so darn stupid for me to go on anti-anxiety meds while I went through thearpy for my OCD. I totally should’ve just toughed it out alone, and slowly gone insane as I was forced out of my worst rituals. Panic attacks and emotional breakdowns are fun anyway!

      Fool.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Yes, people want to be free of psychotic symptoms and blood clots. How awful of them.

  9. Silica says:

    This is a strange story. What is the premise here, that drugs that don’t “cure” illnesses do not have value? Most of the medical problems in our society are chronic illnesses. People live longer thanks to vaccines, sanitation, and nutrition, and they become susceptible to chronic ills. Metformin doesn’t cure diabetes. Hydrochlorothiazide doesn’t cure high blood pressure. But if you are the person who does not develop a stroke or heart attack at age 50 because your blood pressure is controlled, I doubt you will think the drug is any less valuable.

  10. john says:

    I take 3 of the 5. Without 2 of them, Lipitor and Plavix, I would be dead right now due to my extremely high levels of cholesterol and tendency to create blood clots. If someone can create a cure for the body making it’s own high levels of cholesterol, then go for it, but since it’s a natural body function, I don’t see anything wrong with the drug companies making money on a drug to treat the malfunction. Same with the plavix.

    • MDSasquatch says:

      I agree. My cholesterol is in the upper 300’s without medication; with medication, I am perfectly within normal levels. To me, the $3 a month for Zocor is a wise investment and as close to a cure as I will probably come in my lifetime.

  11. The Moar You Know says:

    Prilosec. Miserable without it.

    And there’s a lot more than five drugs. Any antidepressant/antipsychotic only works as long as the patient takes it – symptoms always return, sooner or later. It’d be nice if we had a cure for such ailments but the pharma companies don’t even know WHY the current drugs work.

    • pandroid says:

      That’s actually not true – some people have a permanent brain chemical imbalance, but others just have a temporary imbalance due to circumstances or even grief. Now, anti-depressants/anti-psychotics do have a limited number of people that they can help (but are prescribed much more often than that), however, there have been studies that show that early intervention in a mental health crisis can prevent further relapses.

  12. scblackman says:

    This is really pretty lame. You know that your Plavix is working for you when you live through a day without having a second heart attack, or having your coronary artery stent occlude. You know that your Lipitor is working for you when your long-term risk of atherosclerotic disease goes down. You know that your Advair is working when you fail to have an asthma attack (because it’s a long-acting beta agonist combined with a steroid — it works as a preventative and not as something for treatment of acute symptoms).

    Yes, you can’t “cure” asthma, just like you can’t “cure” atherosclerosis. The value of these medications is realized when one has to pay for fewer hospitalizations and ICU stays for status asthmaticus, acute MIs, etc. The value is realized when fewer people die each year.

    It’s not a hard concept — I’m surprised that you guys couldn’t figure it out on your own. Maybe you should focus on that rather than trying to score a cheap shot against the pharmaceutical industry.

    • edman007 says:

      > Yes, you can’t “cure” asthma, just like you can’t “cure” atherosclerosis. The value of these medications is realized when one has to pay for fewer hospitalizations and ICU stays for status asthmaticus, acute MIs, etc. The value is realized when fewer people die each year.

      Why not? Asthma is just a chronic inflimation your airways, there must be a reason that it happens, and while we may not have the tech right now to fix it, it does not mean that we can’t fix it in the future with enough research, it could be a surgery or it could be a pill that alters something inside you, it would be a one time thing and it would “cure” asthma. And atherosclerosis is just something that happens with known causes, they can cure that too, either a one time treatment to reverse the effects (and set you back a few years), or just something to modify something that stops it from happening.

      This stuff isn’t impossible, but a lot of it is probably going to require a lot of genetic engineering to make it work (like modify your dna to fix you). But it could be argued that they are spending money on drugs that treat symptoms instead of drugs that make permanent changes that would actually cure you (and maybe we are behind in genetic engineering stuff because of that).

  13. crazydavythe1st says:

    I don’t think this is exactly fair. The drugs listed above all correspond to conditions that will never be permanently cured by some medicine – not because of any massive conspiracy, but because they are all drugs that alter homeostatic processes.

  14. vioviovioletta says:

    I was using the Advair Diskus, but after going to an iridoligist, I started using herbal supplements that work just as well and are much cheaper.

    • rndmnmbr says:

      I’m sorry, you’ve been suckered by a quack, and any improvement you see is due to the placebo effect.

      • LadyTL says:

        Not all herbal benefits are false. Some are, but there herbs that do have minor benefits. Hell, that’s where medicine started from was herbs and plants. Hundreds of years ago they didn’t have bio-engineered medicines that act a specific way.

  15. Bob Lu says:

    Antibiotic is about the only group of drugs that actually cure illness (when they work).

    As for other drugs that control symptoms, their problem is instead of getting your body a chance to rest and recover, people tend to abuse their body once they feel better.

    • Bob Lu says:

      And I really don’t think these symptom controlling drugs are to blame.

      I know way too many people who constantly take acid reduction drug so they can keep over eating / drinking. Say, if there WAS a cure for excess stomach acid, would it help them? Yes they may be cured, but they will break themselves next day anyway.

  16. MDSasquatch says:

    Surprised Cialis didn’t make the list

  17. DrLumen says:

    While not exactly news, I agree completely that the drug companies and researchers are only looking to treat the symptoms. Then you need more meds to treat the symptoms of the first drugs’ side effects.

    If they cure something then that is the end of their income stream for that product. For example, look at the sales of the smallpox vaccine.

  18. snarkymarcy says:

    I take Nexium. If I miss a day, I’m miserable. My husband takes Lipitor because diet and exercise did nothing to help his cholesterol. Lipitor does.

    I will jump on the “I’m not sure what the point of this story is,” bandwagon. I agree that Pharma is a big business with often questionable practices. However, they do create medications that if not curing a disease process (for diseases where no cure exists,) they can vastly improve quality of life by easing symptoms.

  19. Cameraman says:

    Other than a total tear-down and rehab of the patient’s lifestyle and heredity, can you ever really “cure” hypertension? Without a brain transplant and crazyectomy, can you ever really “cure” mental illness?

  20. majortom1981 says:

    This is just as bad as what the article suggest it just lists the drugs without mentioning why they do not work or are bad.

  21. LuckyLady says:

    What a useless article.

    PS Advair isn’t a pill.

  22. madtube says:

    Seroquel is a dangerous drug. I was on it for a couple of years. My reason for taking it was not for schizophrenia, but for insomnia. The dose used to treat psychotic episodes is about 100 mg; the dose I was taking for my insomnia was 600 mg. I cannot even begin to tell you how bad the side effects were while taking it. 5 years after I stopped taking it (my own choice, by the way), I am still an insomniac. If anything the Seroquel made things worse. That drug needs to be taken off the market yesterday.

    • slappysquirrel says:

      The use for insomnia is off-label. Chemotherapy is not designed to cure insomnia and likely won’t cure your insomnia either, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have other uses.

    • slappysquirrel says:

      From the Wikipedia article on Seroquel: “However, the use of quetiapine only for insomnia is not recommended and can be considered inappropriate, as it is antipsychotic medication designed to treat psychotic symptoms, and there is a danger of serious neurological and cognitive side effects, including damage to sleep-wake regulating brain areas and lowered life-expectancy.”

      So, yeah, this is your Doctor’s fault, not Seroquel’s.

    • CBenji says:

      I too was given Seroquel for insomnia, and let me tell you it almost made me half nuts. I was saying and doing things that made absolutely no sense, and it didn’t help with sleep at all. I have had extreme trouble with sleep for years. Sometimes going for weeks with little over an hour here or there. I would say that our entire medical system is in dire need of repair. How many times have we paid for a doctor, and it turned out they diagnosed us wrong? If that was a plumber we would be asking for a refund. I mean I realize that being a physician is not an exact science, but if this happens again and again and we are constantly paying for this, then I think then there are problems. I often wonder if this is the way it is in countries with socialized medicine as well, and in countries where we aren’t always encouraged to pop a pill right away. Needless to say I ended up just taking Ambien again, and sometimes I just have to go for a few days with no sleep so the Ambien will wear off. On those days I am just a joy to be around.

    • Bitingback says:

      Why on earth would you keep taking something with horrible side effects?

      • madtube says:

        At the time, my dependency was so high that coming off the drugs was worse than the side effects. I eventually got fed up and detoxed. Those couple months were hell in a handcart.

        And to those who point out the off-label warnings, yes I know all of this now. At the time this was going on, those studies had not been published yet. I eventually found out the doc had been getting kickbacks to push the drug. Seroquel is the reason I now do not take anything unless I have to AND only after I research the drug from all sides. I attempted to make the best of the hand I was dealt.

    • sprybuzzard says:

      I was on it for occasional insomnia and my dose was 50-100mg, it worked wonderfully. It also wasn’t addictive like ativan was. Medications may work differently for people because we’re all different.

  23. Pooterfish says:

    Damn you, aspirin!

  24. darklighter says:

    Well, Advair is a pill, not an inhaler, but it’s worked out quite well for me. I’m a lifelong sufferer of chronic asthma, and with Advair, I breathe much more easily.

  25. Alexk says:

    My God, what a stupid article! You might as well argue that any drug that doesn’t grant immortality is a ripoff. Thanks, but I’ll keep buying my insulin, even if it’s not a “cure.”

  26. Jerem43 says:

    I was watching Superman: doomsday the other day. In t there is a scene where Lex Luthor comes up with a cure for MS, the tells his assistant to have the company’s research division convert it into a long term treatment instead. It will make Luthorcorp more profits.

    So basically, big pharm is Lex Luthor.

  27. qbubbles says:

    Without Advair, my husband, and my mom, would be 6 feet under. Sad, but true. I’m only wondering what happens next with my husband, because he’s already on the max dose of the stuff.

  28. daveinva says:

    Not a drug, but a device: CPAP.

    Talk about a bummer of a prescription: “Congratulations, you have sleep apnea, now you get to say goodbye to your peace of mind and love life in return for sleeping with a modern-day iron lung around your face.”

  29. roguemarvel says:

    I’ve been on Nexium for almost 6 months. At 24 I wish I didn’t have to take it (i feel like I’m too young) but I’m miserable with out it. If I skip a day I have intense pain for 3 and its difficult to function. I would love to be of the stuff save the money and get rid of my pain but for now its a life saver.

    • dru_zod says:

      I wouldn’t say you’re too young to be on Nexium. If you are, then I guess I can join that club too. I’ve been on Nexium since I was 21 (I’m 26 now). I tried Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix and none of them worked very well, so I’m pretty much stuck with it if I want to continue to eat anything without pain. Last year I had to go without it for a little over a month because of some insurance issues, so I took Prilosec instead, and I was miserable.

  30. chrimsonfyre says:

    I take Advair regularly as an asthma sufferer. Although it won’t cure asthma, I know this, it does prevent symptom flairs for me. I tried to stop taking it because I am trying to go the organic and not take medications, but just a day or two off of it I am having to use my relief inhaler way too often. So something in it, probably the steroids is keeping me from having attacks.

  31. catskyfire says:

    Why not cite diabetic drugs as well? Those cost a lot, and don’t cure either…

  32. MsFab says:

    The Minneapolis Star Tribune did a great story about Nexium & other drugs similar to them, and how essentially they are over prescribed by doctors & patients get hooked on them for life because weaning off is very difficult (going off the drug makes the symptoms come back even worse apparently).

  33. Mulysa says:

    Most scientists are not obscenely greedy, and people who work on developing drugs often do so for a lot more than profit motive. But I have a feeling that shifting development work from pharma to the Universities might improve things.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      Find me a university with the resources that big pharma has available.

      Does everyone think billions and billions of dollars for research comes from the research funding fairy?

  34. Christopher Wilson says:

    My insulin hasn’t cured my diabetes, damn those pharm corps for making money and allowing me to stay alive!

  35. Paytriot says:

    Some of these are very important Preventative meds, for example if one is diagnosed with Barrets (which left untreated leads directly to cancer) drugs like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex etc. are necessary to help prevent the Barrets transitioning into dysplasia or carcinoma

  36. MaytagRepairman says:

    I developed liver problems with Lipitor and ended up in the emergency room. The fine print that says your doctor needs to perform blood tests to check your liver regularly for problems does not mean getting a year long prescription at a time so you can avoid the doctor’s office for a year.

  37. Martyfrom Seattle says:

    I was surprised Lyrica did not make the list. I take it for Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy. Works like a charm if you like to sleep a lot. Good thing I love coffee.

    Without insurance, this can cost $270 every month (90 pills each month).

  38. u1itn0w2day says:

    Just concentrating on the meth cure Ibogaine this is an area where I think there is too much money to be made from far too many. Rehab is big business especially for many of these treatment centers, docs, staff and the suppliers of the all the drugs they use during the course of treatment. And the insurance companies can charge higher premiums for this coverage. And drug addiction become more socially palitable-oh it’s a disease.

    I think what is happening is the c y a medicine/ treatment has slowed research & testing and deployment of medical progress. I also think too many Americans want an instant single focused cure-now there’s something that needs a cure: short attention span and lack of patience. Throw in the profit motive you have a recipe for disaster because ‘ profit ‘ helps perpetuate little or no progress. A defacto conspiracy.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      “Throw in the profit motive you have a recipe for disaster because ‘ profit ‘ helps perpetuate little or no progress. A defacto conspiracy.”

      Seriously? So the vast amount of progress that occurred during the 20th century would have been far greater if these companies lost money? I forgot all advances came from companies that continually lost money, non-profits and gov’ts.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        Progress would’ve probably been better if the mega profit would’ve been taken out of the picture. You wouldn’t have the corporate consolidation and/or enough money to buy up patents on things like genes, old formulas or even older existing research & developements. As with many other industries that are dominated by corporations when you take away the smaller competition you wind up taking away ideas and different directions at the sametime. You take away independent thinking and different competing ideas.

        Perhaps I should’ve been a little more clearer but when I say profit I also mean job security in the medical and big pharma industry. And that job security could be anything from a lab janitor to a corporate executive. They want to keep the flow coming in/status quo. Every industry I’ve worked always had employees more interested in their own job security. They didn’t care about climbing the corporate ladder or making an all star team. They were content as long as they were doing what they’ve done all along. You don’t think a guy in charge of a particular project or research would want to keep it going or an executive wants to find their very own niche in the corporate world to keep the power, money and status?

        Job security and money flow could be used instead of ‘profit’.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          What is this “money flow”? If it is positive its most likely profit and if it is negative you are losing money?

          I like the job security argument also. If everybody did this, there would be no innovation because they are maintaining the status quo. No ambition no drive nothing. Why should a company provide a job to someone who is satisfied with just showing up? What value does that add?

          This thinking leads to people getting fired? What employer wants an employee whos not ambitious and innovative? Well, we do need those types of people for janitors, ditch diggers ets.

  39. wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

    Has anyone else seen the commercial for Lunesta? Those side effects are horrible. I don’t know why anyone would think taking it was a good idea.

  40. zrecs says:

    Phil just keeps topping himself.

  41. Beeker26 says:

    This is why we will never see a cure for things like cancer and all sorts of chronic and/or life threatening diseases. It’s much more profitable to treat them than it is to cure them. Sad but true.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      No, we’ll never cure cancer because cancer has no cure. There’s not such thing as a “cure” for cancer.

      Basic biology should tell anyone this.

    • ThomFabian says:

      I’d be interested to know what you mean by “this is why….”

      Are you honestly of the opinion that diseases will go uncured because of “big pharma” and that there aren’t honest and motivated scientists actively researching both cures and treatments for all sorts of disease?

      Really?

      There is plenty of crap to throw at the drug companies and our medical care system as a whole. But don’t let the innate desire to blame someone or something cause you to see conspiracies where there are none.

      If we don’t “cure” cancer (which isn’t a single disease unto itself anyway) then it won’t be because there aren’t folks trying. It will be because healthcare is a b#### and somethings can’t be done no matter how hard folks try.

  42. NickelMD says:

    Consumerist, you are exactly right: I don’t take Advair and Singulair and Albuterol to cure my asthma. However without these (and similar) drugs I would be dead with the severe asthma years ago.

    I would jump for joy for a medicine that would cure my ailment, but I am a physician and I understand that some things simply can’t be cured with the technology that exists today. However I am happy to be alive and living a fuller healthier life now than I was 15 years ago before some of these medicines came to market. I haven’t had status asthmaticus since I started using Advair right after it came to the US market.

    If you aren’t familiar with status asthmaticus, it is the most severe form of an asthma attack and does not respond to standard therapies. It has a 3-8% mortality rate. So each time you go into status, you have about a 1/20 chance of death. It can happen at any time. Often you’ll get a warning if you check your peak flows daily, but sometimes it drops on you like a ton of bricks.

    And once you go down that route… its terrifying, so it limits a lot of what you do. You never dare go backpacking and even a flight on a plane can be a terror. Being more than 20 minutes away from the nearest ER makes you break into a cold sweat, because you remember what it feels like. You remember the tightness in your chest… and using your rescue inhaler of albuterol, then repeating it because the tightness is getting worse. Then you try atrovent… sometimes that helps. But it seems like the more things you inhale, the worse it gets. Now you are not just tight, but you are short of breath and its coming faster. You call 911. As you are waiting, it feels like your chest will explode. You can barely breathe. So you throw the hail mary and give yourself a shot of epinephrine in in your thigh. And even that doesn’t work. Your inhaler is empty now. But EMS arrives, they give you oxygen and a continuous neb of albuterol. You can see your O2 sat is 91% (on 100% O2) and your heart rate is 140 on their monitor. And its not helping! You grab your partners hand and hold on with all your might because they don’t want to let him ride with you and you feel almost certain that you are going to die… and soon.

    Its only a 5 minute ride to the hospital (because only an apartment that close will do), but it feels like eternity. You see your sat falling, now its 87%, and your heart rate is 160. You start to lose consciousness. They let your partner come, but your hand is weakening. You don’t have the strength to hold on. You can see him panicked, but you can’t say I love you.

    As soon as you arrive in the ER, they drag your partner away. You are thrown into a bed and lose consciousness within moments as they inject you with ketamine and you know the tube is coming, but it strangely feels good. You know the breathing is hard, but the ketamine makes you really unsure if its your own breathing that is hard…. maybe its someone else.

    Sometime later you wake in the ICU. You have no idea where you are or how you got here. But they let you rouse from sedation. And your chest hurts really fucking bad, but you can feel yourself breathing – that’s a big plus. You are literally choking on the endotrachial tube in your throat. But you have to be awake, following commands and passing a trial of breathing on your own before it comes out. You do *exactly* what the respiratory terrorist tells you to, because they own you at that point. And within an hour, your numbers are good, so your tube gets pulled. You cough and gag and have the worst sore throat ever. You try to talk… but that will come later. Sitting up you realize why your chest hurt so bad, you have bilateral chest tubes – tubes about as thick as a garden hose going into your chest on either side. They explain that during the first couple of days you were tubed, you blew out both lungs and almost dies from pneumothoraces (collapsed lungs) on the vent. Your partner gets to come visit. He’s been there almost the the entire time but to you it is just time that you’ll never remember and probably shouldn’t. You spend another 4 days in the hospital mostly with O2 or a neb in your face almost constantly. Then you are out of school for another week at home.

    That is what life was like for me before Advair (which by the way is coming as a generic soon.) I am overjoyed and greatly indebted that Glaxo brought this to market. It changed my life. I’ve finally gone overseas for travel (awesome!) which I could never do before since the plane could not get me to care in an emergency. I don’t obsess about knowing where the closest hospital is when I travel. Hell I haven’t been admitted in almost 9 years.

    So no, Advair is not a cure. But it has improved my life in ways to numerous to count. I can even work now in a community ER single coverage (without another doc there to help me if I get into trouble.) I would not want to live without it (and might not be alive without it.)

    • Bsamm09 says:

      But…but…greedy corps keep the cures from you…my herbalist has cured cancer…conspiracy…

      /sarc

      Great Post!!!

  43. mikedt says:

    You will never see a disease cured ever again. If polio was just emerging today we’d somehow never find that cure. There’s no money in cures, the money is in enabling you to live with your affliction.

  44. CRB91401 says:

    As someone with a chronic condition I see nothing wrong with taking meds that only make you feel better instead of curing you.
    I have SLE and there is no cure so I have to take corticosteroids, immune supressants, and various other medications to keep my body in check. They don’t cure the problem, but they make is less likely that my own immune system will kill me so where is the harm in that? If it makes people better and they want to pay the money for it then whats the problem?

  45. topgun says:

    Lets not forget drugs that cure afflictions no one ever knew they had…like Restless Leg Syndrome just to name one.

  46. Sean says:

    Drug companies will not come up with a drug that will cure you with a couple pills. If they do it would be outrageously expensive to purchase those pills. The would rather come up with a pill that you have to take the rest of your life because then they have a customer for life.

  47. FerretGirl says:

    It seems like these drugs treat symptoms of chronic disorders. That’s not really insidious, it’s just how it is. I have a hiatal hernia and I take Prilosec. I’ll always take it because the hernia won’t go away. Just how it is. I have a chronic condition that won’t cure, will just manage.

  48. Not Given says:

    I couldn’t live without the generic of prilosec but I have to take 2 a day. I recently found out I can get the prescription generic that I would only have to take one of for a copay of less than half what it costs me now.

  49. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I suffer from acid reflux, and while I wouldn’t consider it a “disease,” it is a major inconvenience at times. I don’t know HOW something like this could be “cured” anyway – my stomach makes too much acid, I occasionally burp it up, it hurts. Short of replacing my entire stomach, or somehow reconditioning it to produce less acid (neither realistic,) I use Nexium, which is a Godsend. My doctor and I went through more than 6 different medications before finding one that actually worked. Not every medication is made to “cure” us. A good majority are to help us get through the day without being in pain or discomfort. I also get migraine headaches and take medication for that – I don’t consider the companies to be bad or evil because they don’t “cure” my migraines.

  50. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    They ease symptoms for diseases that have no cure. That’s good enough for me.

  51. Winteridge2 says:

    And headache meds cause you to have headaches. This is the drug business. Don’t try to cure them, just give some temporary relief so they go back to the pharmacy.

  52. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    It’s so amazing these types of people that hold the ” we know everything” about the topic but evil neerdowells are stopping us from using that knowledge.

    Our knowledge of the workings of the human body is akin to a 4-year old kid knowing about international diplomacy. We are ignorant fools when it comes to medicine. This will change, we will know more and continue to improve the human condition, but it will not be much different for multiple generations to come.

  53. jonquil says:

    This is a remarkably stupid story. Many diseases aren’t curable. That’s what makes them “chronic”. Insulin doesn’t cure diabetes. We don’t know how to cure diabetes. We don’t know how to cure asthma. We don’t know how to cure psychosis.

    It’s not as if the drug companies are pumping treatments instead of a cure; it’s that there is no cure.

  54. sybann says:

    Thank you for this. Americans always want the easy way. Pop a pill! God forbid you change your habits.

    Sheesh.

  55. kerry says:

    I haven’t taken Nexium, but for a year I was on a similar proton pump inhibitor. It did cure me of my chronic stomach problems. Essentially, my problems were that NSAIDs and smoking destroyed the lining of my stomach. Stopping those things along with taking a proton pump inhibitor allowed my stomach to heal, so when I stopped taking the PPI my stomach was all better and didn’t get damaged by mild irritants like tomatoes. That was many years ago and I’m still gastritis-free. Even over the counter Prilosec is sold as a temporary course of treatment, to allow the damage to heal. Is anybody ever really prescribed PPIs for life?

  56. heythere says:

    Measles. Polio. Rubella — how many vaccinations did you get as a child? More recently we see the Hepatitis A & B vaccines, and the HPV vaccine. Cures do not fall out of the sky, it takes years, decades, even (heard of AIDS??), and millions upon millions of dollars to even find a drug that works as a therapy. Articles like this enrage me.

    Of the people complaining here, have you volunteered for a research study?? Did you do it for free?? Do you mind side effects? Like, if your acid reflux would be cured, but you would drool constantly, would you accept that?? Would you allow a doctor to operate on you, not knowing if the surgery would help or hurt, and there was a pill option??

  57. colorisnteverything says:

    I’m on two. Wow. Yay for me.

  58. digisplicer says:

    I have reoccurring atrial fibrillation. If I let it go on too long, I get prescribed Plavix to prevent blood clots. If I did develop a blood clot in my heart and then it goes back into regular rhythm, the clot could travel to my brain, causing a stroke. I’d say that while it doesn’t cure any diseases, Plavix is extremely important to me and I’m willing to pay much more than I currently have to in order to get it.

  59. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i work for a company that has some treatments for chronic illnesses and the patient population i work is constantly saying that there will never be a cure because it’s more profitable to treat. but the thing is, the company will never run out of things to find treatments or cures for. there are so many diseases out there that don’t get the research for even a treatment because more people have something else. if we cure one thing, there will be something else waiting in the wings to take its place. and with the patent time limitations, it’s more profitable to cure something and move on to the next medication on a new patent.
    i sleep well at night knowing that one of the potential future products my company makes, that’s in early testing, is showing signs of maybe being a cure, or as close as anyone’s gotten. the hard part is the years of testing to come to prove it to be effective and hopefully also safe.

    after we cure this one, there’s a whole long list of orphan diseases that aren’t even getting decent treatment right now

  60. pastthemission says:

    These are drugs for conditions that aren’t cureable in most instances. I think I’d rather my dad take Plavix than die from blood clots, my husband take his asthma meds than possibly stop breathing, and my mother take her Lipitor so she doesn’t have 3 strokes like her mother did. Making a comment on these drugs is pretty ridiculous. What about insulin? Or synthroid? Those medications don’t ‘cure’ a disease but they certainly help people live.

  61. RogueWarrior65 says:

    Leave it to the clueless people at the Village Voice to not know the difference between treatment and a cure.

  62. pax says:

    Antipsychotic drugs have allowed otherwise capable and intelligent people suffering from mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to lead more or less normal lives. Whereas perhaps as recently as forty or fifty years ago those people would have been institutionalized or (at best) marginalized, antipsychotics have given many of them time to achieve and succeed in ways that are not possible without these drugs. No, schizophrenia and bipolar cannot be cured, but they can, in most cases and to some extents, be managed with medication and CBT or other talk therapies. The implication that these drugs are profit mills for drug companies is a separate issue; these are, for the foreseeable future, decent treatments for conditions that are incurable.

    • echovictorecho says:

      This.

      I was hospitalized for a week, misdiagnosed with psychotic depression and put on Abilify, which without insurance would cost me $800/month. Not gonna happen. Problem is Abilify was the only drug I’ve taken that worked (in the sense that I felt nothing and thus no negative feelings! YAY) and the drugs I can afford (Paxil/Wellbutrin) were the ones that originally broke my brain.

      Nothing will ever cure my chronic illness, but I agree with previous posters that quality of life is worth the payoff. Then again, I’m still paying off the $8000 debt I incurred in ONE WEEK on the psych ward.

      In conclusion, health insurance is sort of important. ~*THE MORE YOU KNOW*~

  63. FrankReality says:

    So what’s the point of the story? To impugn drug manufacturers who spend millions to develop and test drug which treats symptoms of a disease? To imply they are somehow “evil” because the drugs don’t actually cure the disease? To imply a sinister motive because these drugs must be taken forever or until a better drug is available?

    Since I take one of these drugs on a regular basis to prevent more serious disease, I’m pleased that a drug company developed, produces and sells that drug.

    If the drugs work and people take them because they work, why is that a bad thing?

  64. BytheSea says:

    Seroquel is high earning b/c it’s v popular. It has a lot of off-label uses, it’s more effective with less side effects, and is tolerable so it allows patients with debilitating diseases to lead a normal life.

    It isn’t as simple as saying these drugs aren’t cures. The diseases they treat don’t have cures. It’s like complaining about the never ending sale of tylenol because drug companies haven’t cured pain.

  65. macruadhi says:

    Maybe we should tell the drug companies that if they can’t give us a cure for everything that ails us, they should just quit. It’s an all or nothing proposition. Perfection our else.

  66. macruadhi says:

    Maybe we should tell the drug companies that if they can’t give us a cure for everything that ails us, they should just quit. It’s an all or nothing proposition. Perfection our else.

  67. rpjs says:

    Lipitor, along with a non-statin, ezetimerol, works for me, keeping my chloresterol down to a safe level. But then, I do have an inherited condition, famial hyperchlorestemia, which killed my mother at 44. Just because some drugs get too widely prescribed to people that don’t really benefit from them doesn’t mean they don’t help people with the conditions that they were originally intended for.

  68. agold says:

    So we should just wait for a cure for all these diseases instead of taking drugs that treat them?

    • Chaosium says:

      If I hear another naturopath talk about how western medicine never “cures” anything, I’m going to drive a bulldozer through their diploma mill. That, and it’s a shitty argument that everything has an immediate “cure”, the people who talk about how science doesn’t cure anything supply cure-alls and snake oils in abundance, none of which actually DO anything aside from psychosomaticisms.

  69. Chaosium says:

    “anti-psychotic Seroquel ($4.2 billion).”

    Yeah, what a TOTAL WASTE, right? Sheesh.

    Let me know when you get smug about “curing” mental illness.

    And no, Scientology doesn’t work.

  70. aleck says:

    Note that three out of five of these drugs treat symptoms that are preventative to a large extend through proper diet.

  71. Kardinal_Offsales says:

    A university psychiatrist gave me a little sample pack of Seroquel about ten years ago. I was very depressed and made complaints about the school and its students that might have seemed rather psychotic if taken completely literally — this place is awful, these people are a bunch of sheep, etc. I don’t remember exactly. Anyway, he introduced the idea by asking me if I’d been getting enough sleep, and said that if I hadn’t Seroguel might help. What an asshole. I didn’t read the package carefully or notice the term “anti-psychotic” on the label. I took one that evening. It dulled me to the point that I couldn’t eat cereal without spilling it all over my face, or understand what was different about this from how I normally ate cereal, or care. Nasty stuff. Like many antipsychotics it can cause permanent ticks.