How Big Pharma’s Money is Affecting Our Health and Our Wallets

bp-infographicPharmaceutical companies have significant power and influence over our health – but this influence isn’t always positive. In order to push their products, pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors across a variety of fields of medicine to prescribe their drugs.

The Law Firm created this infographic to highlight big pharma spending and encourage a “conservative prescribing” approach, which will offer benefits to our health and wallets.

Who profited?

The doctor most highly profiting from big pharma money is Dr. Sujata Narayan, practitioner of family medicine, earning $43.9 million. Following close behind him are doctors of pediatric critical care, orthopaedic surgery, cardiovascular disease and neurological surgery earning anywhere from $22 million to $32.1 million from big pharma.

Some of the most recognizable names in the pharmaceutical industry have driven this trend. Genentech Inc., producer of Valium, Klonopin and Xenical, is by far the highest spending – topping in at $388 million. Patients managing anxiety disorders, seizures, panic attacks and obesity with this medication can expect to see symptoms ranging from drowsiness to psychosis and kidney problems, to name a few.

As well, companies like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and AstraZeneca were found to spend more on marketing than on the research and development of their products, with Johnson & Johnson spending more than double.

Rising drug prescriptions

All of this has contributed to the $1,112 the U.S. spends per capita on prescription drugs – more than any other country worldwide, and 4 times more than Mexico. This equates to more than 12 prescription drugs for the average American in a single year. For children this number is 4, and for seniors it rises to 27.

This infographic provides a detailed report of big pharma expenses from August 2013 to December 2014 – in which a total of $3.49 billion in disclosed payments were made.

Read through the infographic to learn more about the impact of these companies on the health and finances of Americans.