The drug business is using a number of tips to remain a Wall Street darling. Drugs priced at 5 and 6 digits like the Hepatitis C medication, genetically engineered, injected medication from Chinese hamster ovary cells (like Humira) and convincing wholesome individuals they’re “at risk” of great ailments. All ways are seen with newer bone medication.
In 2010, the FDA accredited Prolia, or denosumab, an injected drug made out of GE hamster cells (“monoclonal antibodies”) for the remedy of postmenopausal girls with osteoporosis at excessive threat for fracture. Since then, in a phenomenon generally known as “indication creep,” Prolia has been accredited for a number of different situations.
Monoclonal antibodies, generally name MoAbs, suppress the immune system and invite lymphoma and different malignancies together with uncommon ones, infections like Legionella and Listeria, superinfections and fungal infections. (A MoAb affected person not too long ago acquired Hansen’s illness, as soon as generally known as leprosy.)
But MoAbs are huge enterprise for Big Pharma as a result of they’re costly and extra proof against generic competitors than drugs. Prolia maker Amgen deployed 1,000 reps to promote the drug regardless of the truth that in medical trials, topics developed cervical, ovarian, pancreatic, gastric, thyroid and breast cancers. Ten individuals have been hospitalized with the pores and skin an infection cellulitis throughout trials and one died. Three extra wanted hospitalization for pneumonia after just one dose. Not solely was Prolia accredited regardless of its path of hurt, nevertheless it was additionally accredited early.
Until 15 years in the past, bone medication weren’t a precedence of the drug business as a result of hormone alternative remedy (HRT) had turn out to be virtually a proper of passage for older girls. While HRT did forestall osteoporosis, it was additionally discovered to extend the threat of breast most cancers, stroke, blood clots, listening to loss, gall bladder illness, urinary incontinence, bronchial asthma, the want for joint alternative, melanoma, ovarian, endometrial and lung cancers, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and even dementia in keeping with medical findings. In the first yr that tens of millions of girls give up HRT in 2003, U.S. breast most cancers fell seven p.c and 15 p.c in girls with estrogen-fed tumors. HRT had truly been inflicting most cancers.
When girls give up HRT, drug makers debuted bisphosphonates like Fosamax and Boniva, designed to switch these sufferers misplaced when HRT blew up. The advertising time period “osteopenia” (the threat of osteoporosis) was invented and drug giants put bone density measuring units in physician workplaces, to scare girls into taking bone medication.
But the bisphosphonates quickly revealed dangers of their very own: jaw bone loss of life (osteonecrosis) during which some girls needed to have their total jaws eliminated, esophageal most cancers and inflicting the very fractures they have been supposed to stop.
Now, drug makers have a launched one other Prolia like drug referred to as Evenity that prices $21,000 a yr—a worth that even ten years in the past would have been unthinkable. Evenity (romosozumab), a MoAb, was rejected by the FDA in 2017 for its hyperlink to coronary heart assault and stroke and accredited solely as a result of a warning was added. After a yr of Evenity remedy, sufferers should return to the harmful different bone medication it supposedly changed.
People fearful about what they may do about thinning bones apart from taking Pharma’s medication that price hundreds a yr and have harmful unwanted side effects. There is rising proof the extra acid provide of a Western weight-reduction plan is an osteoporosis threat issue—that’s the reason individuals in international locations with out conventional Western diets seldom have osteoporosis. Nutritious, non-GMO meals needs to be the begin for everybody involved about their bones—together with weight-bearing workouts and Vitamin D and calcium dietary supplements when wanted.
Finally, individuals ought to resolutely keep away from SSRI antidepressants, GERD meds (proton pump inhibitors) corticosteroids different aggressively marketed Pharma medication which weaken bones every time doable. As is usually the case, many of those medication have been rushed to market earlier than the penalties of their long run bone weakening have been documented.
Despite aggressive promoting, Pharma’s high-priced bone medication are a poor substitute for a superb weight-reduction plan and wholesome residing.
Martha Rosenberg is the creator of the award-cited meals exposé “Born With a Junk Food Deficiency,” distributed by Random House. A nationally recognized muckraker, she has lectured at the college and medical college stage and appeared on radio and tv.
Views expressed on this article are the opinions of the creator and don’t essentially mirror the views of The Epoch Times.