Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Big Pharma Profits From Addiction

Big Pharma Profits From Addiction

by Martha Rosenberg
May 8, 2014

Imagine a treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism that uses no drugs, requires no trained personnel, resources or insurance and makes no money for anyone. This "people's program" is the anonymous twelve-step programs which have quietly saved millions for 79 years.

But lately, Big Pharma sees potential in all that free healing. Increasingly, it is "partnering" with rehab facilities to monetize addiction recovery, especially by facilitating dual diagnoses that require expensive pills. A patient is no longer just an alcoholic, he is an alcoholic with bipolar disease or major depressive disorder. Ka-ching.

The US's National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), often working closely with Pharma, is trying to fix one of the few things in the health care system that is not broken--free, anonymous treatment for alcoholics and addicts. Proof that NIDA has high-tech, expensive plans for addicts is apparent in its recent NIDA flier which trumpets that, "All addictions can be eliminated if the brain’s receptors can be controlled." What?

Behind the search for bio-control brain solutions like a vaccine or pill to treat addictions is Nora Volkow, NIDA director. She is called "an early champion of the idea that drug addiction is a medical problem, rather than a lack of willpower or moral fiber" which actually was the founding precept of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. Hello?

But unlike AA founders who discovered that free, anonymous moral support--without drugs and outside of traditional medicine--worked in almost all cases, Volkow seeks high-tech interventions which will help Pharma at the same time they harm animals.

"We have identified many of the biological and environmental factors [of addiction] and are beginning to search for the genetic variations that contribute to the development and progression of the disease," says Volkow with chilling, Orwellian fervor.

Why is seeking genetic causes and bio treatments Orwellian? First, because addiction and alcoholism are diseases of denial and few would take a medical treatment voluntarily which is why the drug Antabuse (which makes people violently sick it they drink) never caught on. If an addict were "out of denial" enough to seek a vaccine or Antabuse, he wouldn't need either. On the other hand, if he really needed it, he would be in too much denial to take it. You would think NIDA as the government's top drug agency would know that.

Secondly, Pharma, with whom Volkow has published many papers, loves to market "early treatment" drugs for diseases that have not appeared yet, treating the "risk" of heart disease, diabetes, bone thinning and mental illnesses. Patients never know if they needed the meds, are afraid to quit and Pharma creates lifelong customers. Already NIDA is talking about people "at risk" of addiction. Watch out.

Finally, development of biotech addiction treatments subjects animals to painful, unnecessary experiments when they do not even share the human afflictions. Making animals "addicts" to treat the uniquely human phenomenon is a fool's errand and a cruel one at that. One paper co-written by Volkow shows a bloody "pregnant bonnet macaque in transverse position within HR+ PET scanner... positioned so that maternal and fetal organs were within same field of view." The paper concludes that when primates are dosed with cocaine, fetuses are affected too. Animals died for this "insight"?

Animal lovers and substance counselors are not the only ones to object to NIDA's pricey, cruel nostrums. So many scientists have objected to NIDA's "vaccine for addiction," Volkow had to defend the work by denying that "funding in other areas is being sacrificed to support the medication development portfolio.”

A high-tech treatment that few will take voluntarily that treats a condition treatable with a cup of coffee and peer support and kills animals in the process? Sounds like the NISA is thinking a lot like Big Pharma.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Use Of Existing Drugs To Reduce The Effects Of Coronavirus

So now, we’re all getting up to speed with the travel bans, the rigorous handwashing and drying, the social distancing, and the avoidance of public transport wherever possible. Right. At a wider level…so far, the public health system has ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Oil Market And Regulation Crusades

Safe to say, Vladimir Putin did not expect the response he has received amidships from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Earlier, Russia chose to walk away from the OPEC talks in Vienna that were aimed at reaching an agreement on how to reduce world oil production (and protect oil prices) in the light of the fall in demand being caused by the coronavirus. No doubt, Russia and its allies in the US shale industry probably glimpsed an opportunity to undercut OPEC and seize some of its customers. Bad move. In reply, Saudi Arabia has smashed the oil market by hugely ramping up production, signing up customers and drastically cutting the oil price in a fashion designed to knock Russia and other oil suppliers right out of contention. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On 22 Short Takes About Super Tuesday

With obvious apologies to the Simpsons….Here’s my 22 short takes on the 14 Super Tuesday primaries that combined yesterday to produce a common narrative –Bernie Sanders NOT running away with the nomination, Joe Biden coming back from the dead, and the really, really rich guy proving to be really, really bad at politics. In the months ahead, it will be fascinating to see if the real Joe Biden can live up to the idea of Joe Biden that people voted for yesterday – namely, the wise old guy who can save the country from the political extremism of the right and the left... More>>

Gordon Campbell On Shane Jones: A Liability No-One Needs To Bear

New Zealand First has needed a diversion after weeks of bad coverage over its dodgy handling of donations, but it really, really doesn’t need what Shane Jones has chosen to provide. According to Jones, New Zealand has ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Strong Man Legacies: Burying Mubarak

Reviled strongmen of one era are often the celebrated ones of others. Citizens otherwise tormented find that replacements are poor, in some cases even crueller, than the original artefact. Such strongmen also serve as ideal alibis for rehabilitation ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Humanity Is Making A Very Important Choice When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it... More>>

Gail Duncan: Reframing Welfare Report

Michael Joseph Savage, the architect of the 1938 Social Security Act, wouldn’t recognise today’s Social Security Act as having anything to do with the kind, cooperative, caring society he envisioned 80 years ago. Instead society in 2020 has been reduced ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>


 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog