In the hit movie The Fugitive, a greedy pharmacuetic company, Devlin MacGregor, fakes clinical studies of their new wonder drug, Provasic, in hopes of profiting from its sales. The fraud results in the death of Dr. Richard Kimball’s wife, and creates a great tale well worth watching if you have never seen it.
One of the reasons that plot works so well is that it might not be far from the truth. While I’m quite positive that big pharma companies are not killing off the wives of surgeons around the globe, the bias toward positive drug studies vs negative drug studies is very real, and is a very real problem. What it means is that quite possibly half of the $300 B the United States spends on prescription drugs is based on, well, fraud by another name. In even worse cases, some portion of those drugs might in fact be causing more harm than good.
Please watch this video, then take a look at your own medicine cabinet. Hard to know what is real and what is a mirage, isn’t it?
There is no true problem solving, no real progress, until we actually face the brutal realities of it all. When billions and billions of dollars are at stake, there is plenty of motives to not act in the best interest of Joe Patient. I believe optimistic problem solvers can solve many issues, including this one, but we need to wake up to the realities of the problem first.
I.M. Optimism Man