Like many cancer survivors who have endured chemotherapy treatments, I have often said, “The treatment was worse than the disease.” Why is it that, in spite of the very dangerous side effects of chemotherapy, it still seems to be the choice treatment of many oncologists? Do you think it might be because administering chemotherapy is very profitable for the oncologists?
Did you know that cancer doctors are allowed to profit from the sale of chemotherapy drugs? It is totally restricted and exclusive for oncologists. I don’t know of any other group of doctors who are allowed to profit from the sale of drugs.
Think about this. A significant amount of revenue for oncologists comes from the profit they make from selling the chemotherapy drugs. Do you think that is why chemotherapy is so widely used by oncologists? Is it “All about the money?”
Do you think oncologists might be tempted to give you the drug that they’re going to make the most profit from? I like to have the faith that my doctor has my best interest at heart. Unfortunately, the money incentives, does something to destroy my faith.
Here is what I believe to be a perfect example of that. Trisha Torrey, was told by her doctor, “You have a very rare cancer – a lymphoma – called Subcutaneous Panniculitis-like T-Cell Lymphoma.” Her doctor referred her to an oncologist. The news from the oncologist was very discouraging. She was told, without chemo she would be dead before Christmas. She asked about the possibility that the lab results were wrong. She was told, “No – not a chance. Two labs had independently confirmed the results.” She said the pressure began to mount to begin chemotherapy.
Terry sought out the opinion of another oncologist. Three weeks later, in late September, she was given the confirmation that, in fact, she had no cancer. Is it possible her first oncologist was pressuring her into having chemotherapy because of the money he would make? I don’t know but it is a scary thought.
Oncologists are very much like the business owners of retail stores. According to a recent NBC News Report, oncologists make most of their income by buying products (drugs) wholesale and selling them to patients at retail.
Like any business owner, the private practice oncologists, are entitled to, and deserve to make a living. My question is; should they make their money from treating patients or by SELLING the drugs? Other types of doctors don’t have that option.
And where do you think the oncologists get their information about the drugs they are selling? It comes from the pharmaceutical sales person. Do you think that information might be biased?
How did this practice start? It started because Medicare and the insurance companies wanted to save money by transferring cancer treatments out of the hospital and into the hands of private practice oncologists. Again, it’s all about the money. Unfortunately, that greed backfired and we the patients are paying the price. Since that policy was initiated, prices for many cancer drugs soared to tens of thousands of dollars a year.
All chemotherapy drugs used in the United States have been approved by the FDA. Does that make them safe? Do you think pharmaceutical companies influences the FDA into approving dangerous drugs the way they influence the private practice cancer doctors? I do.
I believe the pharmaceutical companies, and their lobbyists, have too much influence over the decision-making and policy of oncologists and the FDA.
It is well known that the FDA has allowed many drugs, including chemotherapy, to remain on the market in spite of serious risk factors. How did it come to pass that dangerous drugs get approved by the FDA and oncologists make significant profits from selling them? Meet the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industry trade group
PhRMA lobbied for the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) of 1992. The drug industry agreed to help finance the approval process – in exchange for an FDA promise to speed up its deliberations. Does this make the FDA financially beholden to the industry it is supposed to regulate? I think so.
There are many natural non-toxic chemotherapies that kill malignancies. Laetrile, which is basically vitamin B17 selectively seeks out and destroys cancer cells and is available in many plant foods. It does that without harming healthy cels. Maybe the farmers who grow those plants should give oncologists a commission for selling their crops.
In spite of the tone of this article, I AM NOT AGAINST going to an oncologist for cancer treatment. I am not against all chemotherapy treatments. I am suggesting that you do as Trisha Torrey did; get a second opinion.
I almost died from my first two rounds of chemotherapy. I also felt the oncologists were arrogant and egotistical. I wasn’t at all comfortable with them. I then returned to the cape where I live and started my treatment all over again. My doctor on the cape, Dr. Victor Aviles, did in fact treat me with chemotherapy. It was not the same drug as the Boston doctors used. I do not believe he chose this drug because of the profit motive. It was the drug best suited for my particular cancer. I always felt very comfortable with him.
My closing thought. If you are not totally comfortable with your doctor, get another one. There are wonderful, dedicated and honest oncologists out there. You may have to visit several to find the right one for you.