Dr Oz: Alli & Olistat: Drug Companies Underestimate Side Effects

By on May 13, 2011

Dr Oz: The 4 Things Drug Companies Don’t Want You To Know

Dr Oz did a show called The 4 Things Drug Companies Don’t Want You To Know.  Do you know the side effects of Alli and Orlistat?  The Drug Companies do!  Below are the first 2 things on Dr Oz’s list, and you can read the second 2 things here: Dr Oz: Pharmaceutical Companies Invent Diseases.  Doctor Oz said that Americans spend more money and take more drugs than any other country in the world, so why are we still sick?  It turns out that the Pharmaceutical Companies might have the answer to that question, but they don’t want us to know.  Here is the scoop on what the Drug Companies do not want you to know.

Dr Oz: Orlistat & Alli Side Effects

Dr Oz said that many people take Orlistat, also called Xenical Orlistat and Alli, to help with their obesity.  Lately though, the FDA has been pressured to take it off the market because recent studies have linked Alli and Orlistat to Severe Dr Oz Orlistat & AlliLiver Disease, Acute Pancreatic Damage and Kidney Stones.  Usually pharmaceuticals hit the market before a lot of tests have been done, and then the consumers become the guinea pigs.  The problems and adverse effects start to show up after the drugs come on the market and are used by all sorts of people like the elderly or children.

Dr Oz: PharmedOut

Dr Adriane Fugh-Berman, Associate Professor of Georgetown University Medical Center and Director of PharmedOut, told Doctor Oz that Pharmaceutical Companies have even invented certain diseases or conditions and disease categories.  By doing this, the Drug Companies can expand the number of people who qualify to take it.  PharmedOut is a university project dedicated to educating doctors on the secrets that Pharmaceutical Companies do not want you to know about.  Much of the drug prescribing that is done in America is not rational, and the risks far too often outweigh the benefits.

Dr Oz: Drug Companies Underestimate Dangerous Side Effects

Dr Oz was joined by two people to debate The 4 Things that Drug Companies Don’t Want You To Know.  Dr John Abramson, author of Overdosed America, lecturer at Harvard University and consultant to the US Dept of Justice and the F.B.I, said that he started to read the FDA data about Vioxx and Celebrex and realized how dangerous drugs really are.  Abramson said Celebrex is not gentler on the stomach, even though it is marketed as such.  So Dr Abramson decided to try and get the information out to doctors, which is what led him to write his book: Overdosed America.

John LaMattina PhD, author of Drug Truths, Former Senior Vice President of Pfizer and 30-year Pharma Veteran, told Doctor Oz that the Pharmaceutical Industry has a major role in discovering and developing new medications.  Baby Boomers are getting older and the need for new drugs is growing.  He said that there are of course side effects, but you have to balance it against the help that they provide.

Doctor Oz pulled together a group of women from his audience who are all on drugs for either weight loss, cholesterol, depression or Acid Reflux.  About 1/3 of them have had a serious side effect from one or more of these drugs.  Dr John Abramson said that the Drug Companies own the data and they do not show it to doctors, consumers or even the authors who write the articles in the journals that doctors trust.  One lady in Dr Oz’s audience said that she has been taking Alli, along with her daughter, for almost a year now and was never aware of the health problems it can cause.  She assumed that since Alli was FDA approved and that her doctor told her to take it, that it was safe.

John LaMattina said a lot of things have changed over the past 10-12 years.  Every clinical trial is now on the Internet and can be viewed at the website ClinicalTrials.org.  It explains what trials worked, which ones did not work, and they report all of the side effects.  Plus, any side effect that is reported by a doctor must be reported by the Pharmaceutical Company within 72 hours.

Dr Oz asked the maker of Alli and Orlistat to come on the show, but they refused and instead gave the following statement: “Orlistat is the most extensively studied weight loss medication on the market, and its safety has been demonstrated…” – Roche Pharmaceuticals.  So how can both of these opinions be true?  The statistics are that of the roughly 40 million people who are treated with Alli and Orlistat, 13 of them have had cases of Liver Failure.  Dr Oz said that when you have Liver Failure, you usually get a liver transplant and often die.  So you have to weigh the deaths of a few people against the benefit of helping other people.

Dr Oz: Side Effect Ladder

Dr Oz said hat the more drugs you take, the more risk you have of experiencing an adverse effect.  The average American takes 12 prescriptions per year.  Here is Doctor Oz’s Side Effect Ladder:

– If you take 2 prescription drugs, you have a 10% chance of a drug-drug interaction

– If you take 3 prescription drugs, you have a 30% chance of a drug-drug interaction

– If you take 5 prescription drugs, you have a 60% chance of a drug-drug interaction

– If you take 7 prescription drugs, you have a 80% chance of a drug-drug interaction

Doctor Oz said that if you must take prescription drugs, it is generally better to go for generic drugs because they have been around a very long time, they are cheaper, and there is often more data on the side effects they cause.

Dr Oz: Drug Companies Control Drug Information Your Doctor Gets

Dr Oz’s next thing that Drug Companies don’t want you to know is that “They Control Much Of the Information Your Doctor Gets About A Drug.”  Dr John Abramson said that 85% of clinical trials are funded by the Drug Industry and they own the data, just like Coca-Cola owns the recipe for Coke.  John LaMattina said that this was true 10-12 years ago, but the FDA gets every bit of data that is generated and everything from clinical trials is now put online.  Doctor Oz said that there was a provocative journal article about Anti-Depressant medications in JAMA that said “True drug effects were non-existent to negligible among depressed patients with mild, moderate and even severe symptoms.”  This basically is saying that Anti-Depressant Drugs do not work.  LaMattina said that when you run a trial for depression, there is always a cerebral effect so when you take a sugar pill and see your physician on a regular basis, you automatically might feel better.  He said that you generally have to run five phase three clinical studies to get approved by the FDA.  Dr Abramson said that there is evidence that shows an increase in suicidal thinking in teens and adults who take Anti-Depressant medications, and if there are no benefits, why do it?

Gwen Olsen, a former Pharmaceutical Rep and author of Confessions Of An Rx Drug Pusher, said that Pharmaceutical Reps are trained on how to manage physician objections to drugs.  You basically side-step side effects so that physicians will not be concerned about them.  Then the drug companies give away free products to reel in the patients and the doctors.  The Pharm Reps are taught to look for high volume prescribers and to “court” them.  Dr Oz said that you must make sure you are getting the right drug for yourself and be cautious when a doctor gives you a sample, it might not always be in your best interest.

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