Big Pharma Paying Us? A Snowball's Chance in...

"Are you getting paid indirectly by the drug manufacturers to come out with a video like this?"

This isn't the first time a reader has accused us of siding with Big Pharma, but it shocks us each time. And it makes us wonder if this particular commenter has read anything we've written. For years, we've railed against Big Pharma. Here are just a few examples...

To say we're on the side of Big Pharma is ridiculous.

We even regularly tell readers to try natural methods to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction, improve sleep, and lower cholesterol... instead of reaching for a bottle of pills.

There are lots of letters out there tossing out health "advice." They might write an article about a real problem. But they'll also try to sell you on a "solution in a bottle." Want to beat ED? Take this pill. Want to sleep better? Buy that supplement. They even go so far as to push "miracle cures" found in the Bible.

We don't do that.

A drug company has never paid us to write anything. Quite a few would probably prefer to shut us up.

But we won't.

We'll continue to share the best ways to take on today's biggest health issues and we'll provide you with the latest research and education you need to make the best decisions for yourself. Remember, we want to empower you to make these choices... even if it means not taking our advice. You are the only one who will take care of yourself. All we can do is arm you with the best information.

Q: Thanks for the info on the new blood pressure guidelines. You pointed out that some of the doctors on the FDA panel have a financial conflict of interest, but you blamed big pharma "shysters." A shyster most often is used to refer to an unscrupulous lawyer.

In this case, it seems the culprits are doctors, not lawyers. That brings to mind the term "quacks," but, a quack is a charlatan, so maybe that's not quite right either. I suggest the mot juste is "gonif," which means someone who is disreputable or dishonest. Lawyers get blamed for enough as it is. – A.H.

A: Your e-mail has us dragging out our dictionary, which defines shyster as "an unethical, unscrupulous practitioner, especially of law." We certainly didn't mean to point fingers at lawyers in this case, as the physicians on the boards were the ones at fault here. I think we can agree their conduct was dishonest at best.

Personally, we know some great lawyers. In fact, we recently wrote about a good experience in our brand-new Sunday e-letter, The Sunday Refresh. We encourage you to check it out right here.

Q: I have a question about closed end funds, some of which I own based on your recommendation. While it of course makes sense to buy at a discount and avoid those selling at a premium, if you look at the discount history of the funds on a site such as I find that many funds perpetually trade at a discount. So the hope of a capital gain as the discount vanishes seems unlikely to be realized.

If that is true, is there an advantage to closed-end bond funds over open end funds? – A.S.

A: Some closed-end funds (CEFs) have persistent discounts and economists have dozens of theories for why that might be.

So just being at a discount isn't enough. You want to compare the current discount to the historical discount or premium and you can find opportunities for that to revert to the mean.

You can read more about how to find closed-end funds that are worth buying right here.

Q: I average playing golf twice a week and I walk the course. How does this fit in your walking recommendation? – C.P.

A: Anything that gets you up and moving around is good. Regular walking – even just 20 minutes a day – helps fight constipation, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and more.

A recent study from the U.K. showed that substituting 30 minutes of light activity, such as walking, for 30 minutes of screen time, cut risk of early mortality. The study followed nearly half a million participants over about seven years.

Just make sure you're protecting your skin from sunburn while you're out on the course.

[optin_form id="73"]

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
Baltimore, Maryland
February 9, 2018