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Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 29 Adar 5783
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Big Pharm
 “Disease mongering” is one of the tactics used by Big Pharma to drum up demand for its products—to present a picture of a disease that is not medically accurate or reliable. So argues Dr. Yaffa Shir-Raz in a doctoral dissertation for the University of Haifa. Dr. Shir-Raz describes the aggressive strategies employed by pharmaceutical firms. According to her research, 60% of all medical news printed in newspapers is actually written by the public relations department of the pharmaceutical companies. They use scare tactics and manipulate statistics to generate panic, thus driving up demand for their product. They fabricate interviews, invent “awareness days” for new diseases and loudly trumpet the latest new threat to our health. Advertisements for medications often include unapproved uses or conflicting recommendations.

Somewhere along the line it seems that pharmaceutical companies have abandoned their mission of helping humanity and instead are dominated by narrow self-interest. Even some medical organizations that were originally formed to help people in need have become corrupted in time, and exploit the very people they intended to help. We have become so accustomed to this that we are not even shocked when another incident of corruption is exposed.

We can assume most doctors entered the field of medicine for altruistic reasons, hoping to better people’s lives. But the influence of industry is insidious and can slowly divert doctors from their original intention. This effect is similar to what happened when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Before their sin, goodness and evil were obviously distinct and separate. By eating from the tree, they internalized the evil, and suddenly the world would never look the same again. Every good has a bit of evil mixed in, and every evil has a bit of good. It’s been our job ever since to undo their sin and get rid of the last traces of evil.

That’s why exposing the pharmaceutical industry tactics is important. It’s important to restore public trust in the people who are supposed to be safeguarding our health. It’s important to remind all those working in the medical profession to open their eyes and not fall into the money trap. It’s very easy to be led astray and difficult to find our way back again.

The good news is that the process of refinement is almost complete. The Lubavitcher Rebbe has stated that we’ve already repaired the damage caused by Adam and Eve. We are ready to enter a world where boundaries are clear, where people are no longer motivated by self-interest but only by what’s good for the world and for society at large. We only need to open our eyes and prepare for the coming of Moshiach.


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