Daily Caller’s ‘SICK’ Reveals Big Medicine’s Reach Is Wider Than You Can Ever Imagine

Gage Klipper Commentary & Analysis Writer
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Why are Americans so overprescribed?

That’s the million dollar question The Daily Caller’s latest documentary, “SICK: Unmasking Big Medicine,” seeks to uncover. What we found is far greater than a million dollar answer. Big Medicine is a multi-billion dollar industry with its tentacles in just about every facet of American life — even those meant to correct all the damage it’s done. Doctors, hospitals, patient advocacy groups, even groups for pain management and addiction — all often receive huge checks from Big Medicine.

“SICK” is available exclusively for Patriots subscribers. Subscribe here to watch now, and check out our entire collection of original documentaries as well.

Catch an exclusive first glimpse below.

Kim Witczak lost her husband Woody to suicide over 20 years ago. Now a Global Drug Safety advocate, she’s committed to telling her story and preventing it from happening to others.

“That night, the coroner got on the phone with me and asked if Woody was taking any medication. And the only medication he was on was Zoloft,” Witczak told The Daily Caller.

She recalled how the coroner said, “We’re going to take it with us. It might have something to do with his death.”

Witczak, like so many others who saw the happy-go-lucky ad campaigns and received casual prescriptions from their family doctors, had no idea that antidepressants like Zoloft increased the risk of suicide. After over a decade of hearings, the Federal Drug Administration finally issued a black box warning for Zoloft and other antidepressants like it in 2004.

After Woody’s death, Witczak wanted nothing more to do with Big Medicine’s magic cures. But everywhere she turned kept offering the same solutions.

She tried going to a suicide support group, sharing how she believed it was the drug that killed him. “I went once, and I never went back because it was not helpful. Because no one would listen to me.” She later found out it was funded by pharmaceutical companies.

She told her story to her doctor as well, who only had one question: “Do you think you need something to help you with grief?”

Too often, doctors have one mode: prescribe, prescribe, prescribe. And support groups don’t want to hear anything about the issue they exist to help with. It’s no surprise, given that Kim’s experience is far from an outlier. Big Medicine has its claws in seemingly every advocacy group and exam room in the country.

In 2022, Big Medicine collectively contributed $12.58 billion, according to Open Payments, a watchdog data aggregator run by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That’s $2.46 billion in general payments to doctors themselves, over $1 billion to teaching hospitals, and an insane $7.59 billion in research payments to other companies.  And these are just the figures readily available.

A deeper dive by Patients for Affordable Drugs in 2021 showed that 15 of the nation’s most respected and influential patient advocacy organizations routinely received payments in the six, seven and even eight figure range from Big Medicine drug makers. All but one failed to fully disclose them. Twelve had board members with financial ties to Big Medicine, while eight shared a Big Medicine lobbyist or lobbying firm. It’s no surprise that not a single one of them supported negotiations for lower Medicare price lists in 2021. So much for patient advocacy.

It gets worse. In 2015, CEO Robert Gebbia of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the leading suicide advocacy group in the country, announced the foundation’s goal to reduce suicide by 20% in 2025. Not only did he fail to meet this lofty goal, but the suicide rate has actually increased since then. Now, no one is for suicide. But an inherent conflict of interest arises when a suicide prevention group receives contributions from Pfizer — the maker of Zoloft — for decades, among other antidepressant manufacturers. A report from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights reveals contributions from these companies to AFPS going back decades.

Anywhere you’ve ever turned for medical treatment or advice might owe a debt to Big Medicine. With billions of dollars to the blow, the rot goes deeper than you can ever imagine. Watch “SICK” today to learn all the ways advocacy groups, hospitals, and even your doctor may have been compromised by Big Medicine.

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