How Big Pharma is using social media to brainwash you

© Cheryl Fleishman |

Like most Americans, you spend some time on social media every day.

You could watch funny videos or scroll through Instagram to see what your friends are doing.

But did you know that while you’re doing that, you’re also being exposed to a massive propaganda campaign by Big Pharma?

That’s right.

The same drug companies ripping you off for years with their overpriced and dangerous medications are now paying people to lie to you online.

They’re called “patient influencers,” and they’re everywhere.

They claim to have some medical condition and use their social media platforms to promote pharmaceutical drugs or devices.

They make it seem like they’re just sharing their personal stories and opinions, but in reality they’re getting paid by Big Pharma to push their products on unsuspecting consumers.

They have thousands or even millions of followers who trust them and listen to them.

They use hashtags like #adhd (22.3 billion views), #ozempic (675.1 million views) and #wegovy (259.3 million views) to attract attention and spread misinformation.

They tell you how these drugs have changed their lives for the better, how they’ve lost weight, improved their mood, cured their diseases.

But they don’t tell you about the side effects, the risks, the alternatives, or the fact that they’re getting paid by Big Pharma to say these things.

A new study published this week in the Journal of Medical Internet Research exposed this scam for what it is.

The researchers interviewed 26 patient influencers diagnosed with various conditions such as lupus, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, HIV and more.

They found that more than two-thirds of them had collaborated with a pharmaceutical company in some way — serving on advisory boards, speaking to doctors and researchers or communicating with key audiences.

Some admitted to receiving compensation from Big Pharma for their posts or videos — anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per project.

And guess what?

They don’t even have to disclose that Big Pharma is paying them.

The Federal Trade Commission has some weak rules that require influencers to use hashtags like #ad or #sponsored on their posts if they’ve been paid by someone else.

But most people don’t notice these hashtags or understand what they mean.

And even if they do notice them, they may still trust the patient influencers more than anyone else because they share similar experiences and conditions.

The researchers warned that this practice “raises ethical questions” and “should alarm us.”

They said that patient influencers might be unaware of the potential harms or interactions of the drugs they promote. They may also omit essential information, such as dosage instructions or contraindications.

Moreover, some drugs hyped on social media may not even be approved by the FDA for certain uses or may have limited evidence of effectiveness.

This is outrageous.

Big Pharma is using social media to manipulate you into buying their products without telling you the truth about them.

They’re exploiting your trust and your emotions for their own profit.

And they’re getting away with it because no one holds them accountable.

The regulators are asleep at the wheel.

Big Pharma lobbyists buy off the politicians. The media is too afraid or too lazy to expose this scandal.

Don’t fall for it. Don’t let Big Pharma fool you again.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here