Brigham Buhler, with 15 years in the medical industry, is a visionary in healthcare reform and the founder of Ways2Well. His experience exposed him to the shortcomings of the healthcare system, particularly the lack of time and comprehensive care provided to patients. This insight led him to establish Ways2Well in 2017, aiming to revolutionize patient care through in-depth blood lab analysis. This approach enables early detection of diseases and empowers patients to manage their health proactively. Before Ways2Well, Buhler's career spanned notable roles with Eli Lilly and Stryker, supporting leading surgeons nationwide. A graduate of the University of Houston Bauer College of Business, he's also co-founded ReviveRx, a compounding pharmacy in Houston. Buhler's commitment to creating a better standard of patient care showcases his dedication to making healthcare more accessible and effective. His innovative model at Ways2Well reflects his belief in preventative wellness and patient empowerment.
Joe Rogan & Brigham Buhler: Understanding the Complexities of Health Insurance and Pharmacies
In a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, guest Brigham Buhler, a former pharmaceutical representative, delved into the complexities and corruption within the health insurance industry. Buhler highlighted the limitations of the insurance model, where education and tools available to patients are often dictated by the interests of insurance companies. He emphasized the importance of keeping sensitive health data private, especially from insurance companies, as they may use this information to limit care or increase charges.
The Role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers
Buhler shed light on the role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) in the healthcare system. PBMs act as intermediaries between insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, ostensibly to negotiate drug prices. However, over time, the role of PBMs has evolved. Originally intended to provide discounts to patients, they have increasingly focused on negotiating rebates for themselves, often at the expense of patient savings.
The Economics of Drug Pricing
The conversation moved towards the economics of drug pricing, revealing a complex and often opaque system. Buhler explained that the actual cost of drugs is frequently obscured by a web of rebates and tier pricing set by PBMs. This system often prioritizes financials over patient care, with drugs being categorized not based on their efficacy for patients but on their profitability for the insurance companies.
Impact on Pharmacies and Patient Care
Buhler discussed the impact of this system on pharmacies and patient care, citing examples from his own experience. He noted how insurance companies use various levers to maximize profit, such as manipulating co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses. This approach can lead to situations where patients end up paying more than the actual cost of the drug. Buhler also touched upon how insurance companies have acquired pharmacies, further entrenching their control over drug pricing and availability.
The Broader Implications for Healthcare
The discussion extended to the broader implications of these practices on the healthcare system. Buhler argued that the current system is profit-driven rather than patient-outcome-driven. He criticized the short-sighted approaches of some healthcare providers and insurers, who often focus on immediate cost savings rather than long-term patient outcomes. Buhler also addressed the role of primary care practices, which are increasingly being bought by large conglomerates, further centralizing control over patient care and referrals.
Buhler’s insights on The Joe Rogan Experience provide a critical look at the current state of health insurance and pharmacies. His experiences and examples highlight the need for greater transparency and patient-focused reform in the healthcare system. The current model, driven by profits and complex rebate systems, often places financial interests above patient care, leading to higher costs and less effective treatments. Buhler’s conversation underscores the importance of understanding these complexities and advocating for a system that prioritizes patient outcomes over profits.
The Dark Side of Big Pharma: A Historical Perspective
In a revealing episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, host Joe Rogan and guest Brigham Buhler delve into the controversial topic of the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on healthcare and government decisions. The discussion begins with the current “war on peptides,” a group of substances that have been banned without any significant public health concerns. Buhler argues that this ban serves the interests of big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of public health.
Tracing the Roots: Pharmaceutical Companies and Government
Buhler takes the audience through a historical journey to underline the longstanding relationship between private industry and government. He cites an example from the 1940s, where Bayer, then a small pharmaceutical company, conducted lethal experiments on Jewish women during the Nazi regime. This chilling account sets the stage for understanding how deeply ingrained these relationships are and how they’ve influenced healthcare decisions over the years.
Eisenhower’s Warning and the Medical Industrial Complex
The discussion shifts to a lesser-known part of President Eisenhower’s famous speech, where he warned about the medical industrial complex. Buhler highlights Eisenhower’s concerns about private industry monopolizing healthcare, stifling innovation, and prioritizing profit over patient outcomes. This perspective is critical in understanding the current state of healthcare and the influence of pharmaceutical companies.
Bayer’s Hemophilia Drug Scandal in the 1980s
A stark example of pharmaceutical companies choosing profit over human lives is the Bayer hemophilia drug scandal of the 1980s. Buhler describes how Bayer, aware of HIV contamination in their hemophilia drug, chose to sell it in third-world countries, leading to the infection of approximately 20,000 people with HIV. This incident exemplifies the extent of moral compromise in the pursuit of profit.
The Ongoing Battle: Compounding Pharmacies vs. Big Pharma
The conversation turns to the role of compounding and specialty pharmacies in creating affordable HIV treatment options for third-world countries. Despite the need for these cost-effective generics, big pharmaceutical companies aggressively lobbied and sued to prevent their distribution. This situation underscores the persistent conflict between corporate interests and public health needs.
FDA’s Role and Funding: A Conflict of Interest?
The podcast touches upon the critical issue of the FDA’s funding and decision-making process. Buhler argues that a significant portion of the FDA’s funding comes from private industry, leading to decisions and policies that favor these corporations. This relationship raises questions about the objectivity and integrity of the FDA in regulating the pharmaceutical industry.
Peptides and Patent Politics
Finally, the discussion on peptides returns, with Buhler explaining the selective banning of certain peptides. He notes that peptides that have been patented for their dosage and delivery mechanisms have not been banned, suggesting that patentability and profits drive these decisions rather than public health concerns.
Understanding the Complex Relationship Between Big Pharma and the FDA: Insights from Joe Rogan Experience #2079
The Joe Rogan Experience #2079 sheds light on the intricate and often controversial relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Guest Brigham Buhler and host Joe Rogan delve into the dynamics of drug approvals, patents, and the subsequent employment shifts of FDA heads to big pharmaceutical companies. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the discussion, emphasizing the points that raise questions about the integrity and efficiency of the healthcare system.
The Issue of Drug Patents and FDA Approvals
The podcast begins by discussing the peptides known as GLP1s, weight loss drugs that also serve as diabetes medication. Buhler explains that these drugs are not banned because big Pharma holds patents on them. However, the patents only cover the dosage and brand name, allowing compounding pharmacies to create similar products at a fraction of the cost. This practice leads to a cycle where the FDA, citing a shortage of these drugs, puts them on a backorder list, making them less accessible to the American public, particularly affecting poverty-stricken and minority communities.
Compounding Pharmacies vs. Big Pharma
Buhler highlights the tension between compounding pharmacies and big pharmaceutical companies. When compounding pharmacies attempt to meet the demand for medications by producing more affordable versions, they often face lawsuits from Big Pharma. Moreover, he accuses PR firms of portraying these pharmacies as dangerous and unregulated, even though they frequently interact and comply with FDA regulations.
FDA Inspections and Outsourcing
The conversation turns to the FDA’s inspection practices, with Buhler claiming that many manufacturing facilities owned by Big Pharma have not been inspected in years. Furthermore, he alleges that these companies outsource manufacturing to third-world countries, where products do not undergo the same level of scrutiny or testing as they would in the United States.
The Revolving Door between the FDA and Big Pharma
One of the most significant points of discussion is the alleged “revolving door” between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry. Buhler states that in the past 40 years, only two heads of the FDA have not gone on to work for the industry they once regulated. This pattern raises questions about the impartiality and independence of the FDA.
The Role of Media and the Need for Long-Form Platforms
Buhler and Rogan lament the lack of coverage and discussion about these issues in mainstream media. They argue that most media outlets are influenced by pharmaceutical advertising dollars, leading to biased or incomplete reporting. They advocate for long-form media, like podcasts, as platforms for disseminating information and fostering discussion about these complex topics.
The Joe Rogan Experience #2079 with Brigham Buhler offers a thought-provoking look at the relationship between Big Pharma and the FDA. The discussion raises essential questions about drug patents, the role of compounding pharmacies, the integrity of drug manufacturing and approval processes, and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on regulatory bodies and the media. As listeners, it’s crucial to consider these perspectives and seek more information to understand better the systems that significantly impact public health and the healthcare industry.