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Big Pharma Profits from Human Growth Hormone Abuse

Filed December 28th, 2012 admin

A large federal onslaught on foreign supplies of human growth hormone has done little to stop widespread misuse and has, instead, resulted in record sales of the drug by some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies.

The crackdown on HGH began in 2006 by reducing the illegal flow of unregulated supplies from China, India and Mexico, Grand Forks Herald said. However, Big Pharma has been fulfilling the desires of U.S. users, including those who take the drug in the false hope of postponing the effects of aging. From 2005 to 2011, sales of HGH were up 69 percent, according to an AP analysis of pharmaceutical company data collected by the research firm IMS Health, Grand Forks Herald said. Sales of the average prescription drug increased just 12 percent during that same period.

U.S. sales of HGH—a synthesized form of the growth hormone—are limited by law to treat a rare growth defect in children and a handful of uncommon conditions like short bowel syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome, Grand Forks Herald said. The AP analysis highlights too many sales and prescriptions for the number of people known to be suffering from those ailments. The numbers indicate that at least half of last year’s sales likely went to patients not legally allowed to get the drug.

The data suggests that all of the raids, sports scandals and media attention has done nothing to stop major drug makers from selling $1.4 billion worth of HGH in the U.S. last year. That’s more than industry-wide annual gross sales for penicillin or prescription allergy medicines, Grand Forks Herald said.

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