The Instigator
Icebox415
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
FuzzyCatPotato
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Medicine and medications are based more around profits than they are results in the United States

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
FuzzyCatPotato
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/27/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 481 times Debate No: 64029
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Icebox415

Pro

The United States and the FDA has proven through its actions and its support that it cares more about profits for corporations than it does about the results of drugs being administered.
FuzzyCatPotato

Con

Pro has the burden of proof in this debate, and must prove that "Medicine and medications are based more around profits than they are results in the United States".

REBUTTALS

Pro states: "The United States and the FDA has proven through its actions and its support that it cares more about profits for corporations than it does about the results of drugs being administered."

Pro does not provide any sources for this information and makes no logical argument as to why the FDA's "actions" (whatever those are) are focused on profit rather than results. As such, you must reject this claim.

CONTENTION ONE: FDA OVERSIGHT

The FDA currently employs a stringent set of protocols to ensure drug reliability, including multiple types and layers of control studies and methods designed to maximize scrutiny of the drug's effectiveness [1].

In fact, the FDA is harming industry profits and focusing perhaps eccessively on results, as opposed to the far-weaker or non-existent agencies that many other countries have [2].

REFERENCES

[1] http://www.accessdata.fda.gov...
[2] http://fee.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Icebox415

Pro

To start, there are next to 0 limitations on dietary supplements in the United States. It is legal to make nearly any claim as to to the effects of supplements without having the claims grounded in anything that could be considered near fact. Claims can be utterly fabricated.

In addition, it is illegal for any foods in the United States to claim that they can have a positive affect on an individual's health as that is only allowed in the cases of medicine. For this reason, foods that have been scientifically proven to aid an individual's health are not allowed to claim said information. Instead, individual's are encouraged to pursue avenues of medication rather than natural remedies for bodily issues.

Drug use itself is blatantly misappropriated within the United States. The CIA has been under suspicion for taking part in the trafficking of cocaine in Central America for decades. In addition to this, medications which would not allow for pharmaceutical profit are generally swept under the rug whereas medications that gain pharmaceutical companies profit are encouraged almost universally.

It has been proven that "magic mushrooms" can have extremely positive effects on mental diseases such as depression and OCD when used in a clinical setting.
http://www.cnn.com...
-However, despite this information and the low cost of using such a method of treating mental health disorders, the drug is not used in the treatment of patients. Instead, other drugs with significantly more short and long term side effects are used in treating such mental health diseases. Such side effects include nausea, insomnia, anxiety, decreased sex drive, dizziness, weight gain, tremors, sweating, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, and more.
http://www.helpguide.org...

The pharmaceutical industry is debatedly the most profitable industry on the planet. The median annual American pharmaceutical company profits is over 3 times the amount of all of the fortune 500 companies. It would be impossible to maintain these types of profits if the FDA was not compliant in the pharmaceutical companies introducing new drugs to the market. As the FDA is part of the United States government, it is in the governments' best interests to preserve one of its most powerful industries.
Former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell once wrote "Its time to take the Food and Drug Administration back from the drug companies" (Boston Globe, February 26th, 2007).
In 1992, the FDA passed the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which authorizes drug companies to pay "user fees" to the FDA for each brand name drug considered for approval. This user fee act put the FDA on the payroll of the very industry it's intended to regulate. For this reason, it also drastically changed the way the organization operates, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the drug companies. The part of the agency that reviews new drugs gets more than half its money from user fees. This is underscored by the composition of the FDA's 18 advisory committees. Many of these advisers work as consultants for drug companies. As a result of these factors, the FDA now oftentimes behaves as if the pharmaceutical companies are the users rather than the public.
In 2010, the fee revenue given by the pharmaceutical industry to the FDA was over 500 million dollars.
https://www.youtube.com...

One example of how this has been abused by the FDA is in the area of cancer research and drug administration. Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski developed a form of cancer treatment decades ago named antineoplastons. He's been using the treatment with great success on his patients for decades and patented the treatment well over 2 decades ago. Since that time, the United States has filed 11 separate patents on what Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski already had a clear patent for, all of them being patent infringement.
http://www.burzynskimovie.com...
It's too important a thing to keep the profits in the hands of the corporations and industries rather than a single individual with a treatment option for a specific disease. The profits themselves have become more important than the treatments.

Dr. Richard Crout, Director of the FDA Bureau of Drugs, once wrote in a 1982 newsletter: "I never have and never will approve a new drug to an individual, but only to a large pharmaceutical firm with unlimited finances."

Dr. Julian Whitaker sums up the case of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski by stating "How can the US Patent office be corrupted to the point they issue patents for a medical treatment that's already been patented and issue them to someone who had nothing to do with their discovery or use? And how can the Patent office then assign these fraudulent patents to some of the most powerful institutions in the American government? And, imagine, all of this was done while these same agencies were spending millions of taxpayer dollars trying to put Dr. Burzynski in jail, so he could not fight the criminal theft of his discovery!"

Because the FDA is largely in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry, the administration of and testing of drugs has become subject to their needs rather than the needs of the people. This makes the goal of the industry to be more about profits than about helping the people.
FuzzyCatPotato

Con

REBUTTALS

Pro: "[T]here are next to 0 limitations on dietary supplements[.]"

First, note that Pro has no source, and thus this claim can be discarded. Second, note that Pro is incorrect, as the FDA does prevent adulteration and misbranding of dietary supplements [3].


Pro: "[I]t is illegal for any foods ... to claim ... they can have a positive affect on ... health as that is only allowed in ... medicine."

First, note that Pro has no source, and thus this claim can be discarded. Second, note that Pro is incorrect, as the it's entirely legal for foods to claim a positive health impact, as this yogurt does [4].


Pro: "CIA ... trafficking of cocaine[.]"

Note that Pro has no source, and thus this claim can be discarded.


Pro: "[M]edications which would not allow for pharmaceutical profit are generally swept under the rug[.]"

First, note that Pro has no source, and thus this claim can be discarded. Second, note that Pro is incorrect, as the alternate medicine industry currently garners about $34bn/yr in the US [5], and are thus not "under the rug".


Pro: "[M]agic mushrooms" can have ... positive effects on mental diseases[.] ... [T]he drug is not used[.]"

Pro argues that, because magic mushrooms aren't used to treat some forms of mental illness, the entire medical complex of the US must be complicit in maintaining profits over results.

First, note that psilocybin mushrooms certainly have a set of problems, including misidentification of mushroom and resulting stomach cramps and potentially death and long-term hallucinations [6].

Second, note that this issue isn't a medical issue, but a legal issue. Psilocybin mushrooms are banned in the US [7], meaning that the medical industry cannot use said mushrooms.


Pro: "[T]he FDA now oftentimes behaves as if the pharmaceutical companies are the users rather than the public."

Pro proves that the FDA recieves funding from pharmaceutical companies.If profit is the major motive, then testing hurts that motive, because it costs money. Why, then, does the FDA test, when that would hurt profits, if the goal is to increase profit? The answer: The FDA is still somewhat independent, and works to verify that medicine actually works.


Pro: "Burzynski[.]"

Burzynski's "methods" have numerous flaws [8][9], suggesting that the fact that they aren't accepted because they don't work. Besides, if these methods worked, the companies would have been using this method, so that they could keep the cancer patients alive and make them pay for more drugs, right?

SUMMARY

Even if Pro is correct about these specific issues, Pro has still not shown that medicine as a whole is oriented towards profits rather than results in the US.

REFERENCES
[3] http://www.fda.gov...
[4] http://activia.us.com...;
[5] http://www.smithsonianmag.com...
[6] http://brown.edu...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[8] http://scienceblogs.com...;
[9] http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Icebox415

Pro

There have never been any confirmed cases of psilocybin mushrooms being associated with fatalities other than individuals taking the wrong type of mushroom by mistake which would never occur within a medical context.
https://www.erowid.org...

Although the FDA receives funding from pharmaceutical companies, there are still some sanctions on which drugs are allowed to be administered to the public and thus, must undergo testing. That being said, it doesn't prevent the testing to be biased towards specific drugs depending on where those drugs are coming from and how quickly the testing of said drugs can be completed.
The Prescription Drug User Fee Act which authorizes drug companies to pay "user fees" to the FDA for drugs considered for approval is a prime example of this. The money generated by this act has been earmarked to speed up the approval process for said drugs. The part of the agency that reviews new drugs gets over half of its money from these user fees, and as a result, the companies that are very literally paying the FDA get an inherent bias in the testing procedures. The companies that pay these fees have their drugs tested more expediently and the drugs get to market more quickly (Marcia Angell, M.D.).
https://www.youtube.com...
Antineoplaston therapy was undergoing testing by the FDA back in the 1990's and the trials were sabotaged. Of the 9 patients included in the trial, none of the patients received the proper amount of antineoplaston therapy recommended by Dr. Burzynski and some of them received no treatment at all. The trials were also closed prior to completion and the statement "no conclusion can be made about the effectiveness or toxicity of antineoplastons" was published in association with the trials. In 1999, a year later, the NCI cited antineoplaston therapy as a "complete failure" in literature.
So, while it is true that the FDA does still somewhat do its job to verify that medicine actually works, it does so in a biased way that favors companies and corporations that yield more profit. This bias shows that the profit is more important than the results gained for the public in finding medications that work well and can help individuals heal.

"Besides, if these methods worked, the companies would have been using this method, so that they could keep the cancer patients alive and make them pay for more drugs, right?"
-Wrong. The companies wouldn't stand to gain any profit because they don't have any patents on the antineoplaston therapy. It is true that they could keep more cancer patients alive using this therapy and the patients may have to spend more money on the drugs... but that's not the issue. The issue is where that money would be going to which would no longer be the NCI or the pharmaceutical companies that currently handle the manufacturing of cancer medications.

As I already cited in my previous argument, Dr. Richard Crout, Director of the FDA Bureau of Drugs, once wrote in a 1982 newsletter:

"I never have and never will approve a new drug to an individual, but only to a large pharmaceutical firm with unlimited finances."
-It's not about how much profit could be managed using the antineoplaston therapy but about where those profits would go. The cancer industry is an enormous source of profit for pharmaceutical companies and to introduce a new method of treatment that would make prior methods of treatment worthless would be an enormous blow to these companies. As a result, many forms of sabotage have been used to keep these drugs from the publics' hands.

The question here isn't whether or not the FDA and the U.S. government has any interest in providing the public with medications that work, but which is more important to them between profits and health. The inherent bias in the industry that allows pharmaceutical companies to pay the very institution that monitors and evaluates them is a clear indicator that profits outweigh ethics and good medical practice within their minds.
FuzzyCatPotato

Con

Pro completely drops Pro's arguments about "unregulated" dietary supplements, about "preventing" the advertising of positive benefits of food, about the "CIA trafficking of cocaine", and about the censorship of the alternative medicine industry.


Pro: "[N]ever ... cases of psilocybin mushrooms being associated with fatalities[.]"

Great, the mushrooms don't kill people. That doesn't mean that they are the best treatment, or that their ban is a medicial issue, rather than the continuation of social conservatism in drug policy, which is a legal issue.


Pro: "[W]hile ... the FDA does still somewhat ... verify that medicine actually works, it does so in a biased way that favors companies and corporations that yield more profit."

Pro never proves this. All that Pro has proven is that the FDA recieves funding from pharmaceutical companies, rather than that the FDA is actually biased. Considering that the FDA recieves money for tests conducted, it's in the FDA's interest to test more, rather than less, which should hurt profits, because testing is expensive, and the cost of the testing hurts the companies' profits. The fact that testing has been sped up does not mean that testing is worse or profit-driven -- Pro, again, has not proven this, and instead faster testing is likely used to help get life-saving drugs to market faster to save lives.


Pro: "Antineoplaston therapy ... trials were sabotaged."

Actually, antineoplaston therapy has had over 60 clinical, phase II trials [10], the vast majority personally conducted by Dr. Burzynski, so it's hard to claim that every single one was sabatoged by the FDA. However, none of these trials have ever been published in a scientific journal, and Dr. Burzynski has never actually made any attempt to complete trials for his product in since it was discovered in 1972. Dr. Burzynski cannot claim that his "cure" is being censored when he has never proven that it actually cures anyone.

And if we're going to play the "for-profits" game, then Dr. Burzynski certainly hasn't been going the stingy route, amassing literally millions from his patients [11][12].

And if we're going to talk about results, then Dr. Burzynski isn't coming out so hot, considering that his treatment has no effect on patients, as he himself admits, and may cause neurological damage, especially for in-uterus humans [13].


Pro: "Dr. Richard Crout ... in a 1982 newsletter: "I never have and never will approve a new drug to an individual, but only to a large pharmaceutical firm with unlimited finances.""

1982 is not the same as 2014, and the statements of the Director of the FDA are not necessarily the same as FDA policy.


SUMMARY

Pro has never sufficiently proven that medicine is based more around profits than results in the United States, instead focusing on instances of supposed censorship of dubious treatment methods.

Pro has never refuted the point that FDA oversight in the United States serves to harm pharmaceutical industry profits and increase reliability, which serves to counteract any doubt over the motives of the FDA arising from the User Fee funding method.

Pro has been lacking in sources, providing 6 sources, most of them from unverifiable YouTube.com videos and from a website dedicated to selling a film based on the assumptions behind Pro's case, while Con has provided 13 sources that aren't encouraged to lie about these issues.

Vote Con.

REFERENCES

[10] http://rationalwiki.org...
[11] http://burzynskiscam.com...
[12] http://theotherburzynskipatientgroup.wordpress.com...
[13] http://www.quackwatch.org...
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Icebox415FuzzyCatPotatoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: con is right. Pro's sources are too heavily based on Youtube and a soon-to-be released film. Even if we trust them, they don't show that FDA is biased more for profits than the results of the medication.