5/31/11

How Big Pharma and the Government Work... For You?

This isn't about cancer - yet it is.  Or MS - yet it is.  Or Parkinson's Disease - yet it is.

This is partly about Lyme disease - which is a rapidly spreading epidemic that we aren't hearing nearly enough about.  It's a bigger risk to you and your family's health than West Nile and AIDS combined.  If caught early, most people can avoid serious effects - but some will have serious, even deadly consequences, and need more serious treatment.

My mother-in-law, and many of her neighbors, got Lyme Disease, and got the more serious neurological and immune system versions.  They had flu symptoms, cognitive function issues, became wheelchair-bound, clinical depression, debilitating nerve pain, movement disorders, immune system disorders.  My mother in law was eventually able to get the long-term heavy-duty antibiotic treatment that treated the problem.  A treatment that now, because of the actions of a few individuals, you and your friends and family will not find available.

And so the documentary is about Lyme Disease, but it is also about how the government and insurance companies and Big Pharma work together to keep you sick, and even dying... for profit.  Not because they are evil, but because it's easier (especially on their pocketbooks) than thinking about the long-term consequences of their actions.

Many of the people who see this documentary will be shocked.  Which they SHOULD be.

We should be shocked enough to take action.

Watch the movie "Under Our Skin".  You can see it on Netflix Instant Watch, you can rent the dvd from Netflix, you can buy the dvd, or you can watch it on your local public television station if it is coming soon - here's a good link to info on the documentary and the calendar of showings on PBS stations in your state.

You probably won't be happy to know what you will know after watching this show - but if it helps a few of us avoid the more serious disease, and if it helps a few of us who do have the serious disease get better, it's worthwhile.  And if it starts making people aware of the way in which insurance companies and the FDA control research and healthcare in this country, and if they take action, perhaps we can find better treatment for other serious diseases in this country.

Breast cancer, for instance.

4 comments:

Delighted Hands said...

Will definitely be watching this! May I ask where your MIL lives? Is this a regional thing?

Delighted Hands said...

I was interested mainly for my brother who lives in central NY-just got tentative diagnosis of MS but not sure that is what is going on. I try to keep my ear radar out for info for him! (You do not have an email listed for blogger so I couldn't email you back!)

The Violet Hoarder said...

Thank you, Eileen. Everyone scoffs when I say to avoid long grass and wooded areas in the spring and fall, but I too have seen the toll Lyme disease can take on people. This sounds like a movie I need to watch and promote. I guess I'm a little "darker" than you, though--I'm not convinced some of the big pharma stuff doesn't involve malice...at least in the form of unbridled greed at someone else's expense. They're right up there with the tobacco industry. Again, thanks for helping get the word out about this movie! Hope you're doing OK!

Dayle Ann Stratton said...

THANK YOU, EILEEN! Lyme disease (and other tick-borne diseases is in every state, more prevalent in some than others, but no place is without it.

I have Lyme disease, and it took 16 years to get a diagnosis. By that time I was bedridden, in constant pain, could not read or think straight, could not stand light and noise.

I will always have this disease, and will periodically need to go back on aggressive therapy for it. I was lucky to find a dr who would give me the aggressive treatment chronic Lyme requires. (He appears in the film).

In this case, it is not Big Pharma-- it is the insurance companies and the co-option of treatment guidelines by a small group of drs who have ties to the insurance companies and to research groups with a narrow focus.

People are lied to, told they are not sick, that there is no Lyme where they live, told it is all in their head, told they are hypochondriacs, told they need psychiatric care. Told they have MS, Parkinsons, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and if all else fails, CFS and/or FM. The film outlines the political situation pretty well. So does Pamela Weintraub's book "Cure Unknown".

Most people get Lyme right in their own backyards. And don't know it until it is too late. Please learn about it, and please do what you can to avoid it. And if you suspect you have it, to to LymeNet, look up the support groups in your area and ask them what doctors are Lyme-literate. Because most drs don't have a clue.