big pharma’s big boner

Big pharma has a big boner for your mother.

Over the past decade or so, millions of women (and some men, too) have taken bisphosphonate drugs to treat and prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia, the latter of which turns out to be a normal condition of aging and not a disease.

I’m not printing the brand names for these drugs or the companies that make them, but I think you know what I’m talking about, right?

Hint: one of the companies rhymes with “jerk.”

Chances are your mom—or you, if you’re a middle-aged person with the right diagnosis—may be taking them.

she might need it, but do you? (source: James Heilman MD, wikipedia.org/wiki/osteoporosis)

Yet evidence is mounting that for healthy women, these drugs do nothing or create the very conditions they are supposed to treat—or even worse. In October, the FDA issued a warning about the risks of these drugs, including sudden thigh fractures, eroding jaw bones and other lovely things like “bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds,” “loosening of the teeth,” and “change in ability to taste food” (one of the scarier side effects in my book).

My friend Giulietta Nardone has spoken out about the dangers of these drugs for years, and has questioned how the pharmaceutical companies (and the doctors they pay) push many of their drugs on an unsuspecting and trusting public. ABC News, the New York Times and others are finally asking the same tough questions about these drugs and the system that creates the market for them. And even though big pharma’s rock star litigators are bailing them out, the damage is done, baby. I would do some serious research before popping any of these pills.

Your mother should, too.

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