Do Drug Companies Make Drugs or Money?
It would be nice if none of the depressing issues here were true, but sadly, this is not the case. Our capitalist economy, coupled with a government supported by corporate interest groups, is largely ignorant of patient-centered health care (unlike systems in other countries with socialized medicine). I am also convinced that the U.S. government’s mandate to protect the public is secondary to the American pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to line its pockets with the money of those who are sick and desperate. There is no hiding from the influence corrupt “outside-forces” have on the practice of medicine. Not only are we sicker than ever before, medicines’ meaningless efforts to find “any cure” has met with utter failure.
For example, Nixon declared war on cancer December 23, 1971. How is the war progressing, you might ask?
According to the New York Times, cancer death rates have dropped only 5% from 1950 to 2005. Would you accept a medical therapy that has not improved much since 1950? In contrast, over that same time, the death rate from heart disease dropped 64% and 58% for pneumonia. The New York Times was especially critical of the “cut, burn, and poison” conventional treatments that subject patients to mutilation and suffering, yet improve survival rates only a few months. Clearly, as the Times states, “we are not winning the war against cancer.”
In fact, it is now 2016, and cancer is the leading cause of death in 22 states. The irony of war should not escape our scrutiny, and make us realize that maybe, just maybe, the powers of the medical-industrial-complex are not interested in winning or discovery, but prolonging; otherwise, why would their front-line focus be on pill-pushing our symptoms rather than finding a cure for the cause?
On the other hand, only a naive person would deny that doctors also save lives. When it’s a medical emergency and you are in a life-and-death situation, that doctor is always your best friend. However, when you have a chronic condition or simply have a health problem, or suspected problem, that you wish to resolve or shed light on, that’s when your “best” friend can sometimes turn against you – such as over-prescribing drugs or advising unnecessary surgery before exploring other less risky treatments. Such a wrong-doing is usually aka “unintentional or careless,” but the end result is the same: YOU suffer the consequences–not our best friend. In fact each year doctors kill 2,450% more Americans than all gun-related deaths combined.
“It’s true: You are 64 times more likely to be killed by your doctor than by someone wielding a gun. That’s because 19,766 of the total 31,940 gun deaths in the USA (in the year 2011) were suicides. So the actual number of deaths from other people shooting you is only 12,174.
Doctors, comparatively, kill 783,936 people each year, which is 64 times higher than 12,174. Doctors shoot you not with bullets, but with vaccines, chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals… all of which turn out to be FAR more deadly than guns. This is especially amazing, given that there are just under 700,000 doctors in America, while there are roughly about 80 million gun owners in America.
How do 700,000 doctors manage to kill 783,936 people each year (that’s over one death per doctor), while 80 million gun owners kill only 31,940? Because owning a gun in order of magnitude is safer than “practicing” medicine!” Thursday, January 31, 2013 — by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger — Editor of NaturalNews.com Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038889_doctors_guns_statistics.html#ixzz4J1NPza6I
“The Pharma Way”
Do not underestimate Big Pharma’s influence and power over doctors, medical schools, governments, regulatory bodies, policy makers, and consumers (yes, you and me). There is an army of over 1,367 paid lobbyists pursuing Big Pharma’s interests over the US health-care system and, consequently, their tight stranglehold on its customer base. Like Goliath, Big Pharma, has built up a large head of steam that may take more than a slingshot and courage to stop.
Given Pharma’s overreaching influence on all of our lives, funding (it’s probably more like bribing) of key administrative personnel and influencers, and then intimidating the public, they are the 21st century’s most powerful mafia. The industry allegedly spends over $3 billion annually lobbying US government officials to create and maintain favorable Big Pharma policies, on top of the millions it spends on campaign contributions to sway (bribe) elected officials to see things “The Pharma Way.”
Expose on the Errors & Terrors of Big Pharma
This is a powerful and disturbing film, but more than anything–it’s upsetting.
We are no longer the land of the free, but slaves to corporate greed and corruption.
Big Pharma currently spends one-third of all sales on drug marketing initiatives—more than double what they spend on researching the safety and efficacy of these same drugs. Do you ever watch those “I’m-so-happy-cha-cha-cha-overweight-diabetic-ask-your-doctor” TV commercials?Those slick and ad-nauseum-persistent-24/7 direct-to-consumer drug marketing ads have dramatically increased drug demand and produced an explosion of drug users who are marching their way to the tune of 73,000 lower-limb amputations per year.
Furthermore, Big Pharma doesn’t just stop doling out millions of dollars to bribe doctors, they spend millions more to fund medical schools, which brain wash the next generation of doctors. Even the professors of these schools aren’t immune–most of their research is largely funded by pharmaceutical companies, which not only influence the outcome of the research but also have a lasting influence on the medical students involved.
The devastating consequence of Big Pharma’s excess influence has created a population dependent on drugs to feel better. Disease is not caused by the lack of drugs; it is typically caused by poor eating habits and lack of physical activity combined with environmental and lifestyle factors. Unfortunately for us, we have become a pill-for-every-ill society that not only seeks but demands a quick solution for problems that have occurred slowly over many months or years.
Big Pharma’s influence and power is bigger than ever before, and the global population is paying the price— more often than not with their lives. Fierce and insatiable greed is pervasive in Big Pharma as executives seek enormous profits over the health and well-being of the populations they serve. They constantly raise prices on medications used to prevent and treat life-threatening illnesses for the sake of padding their pockets. And the side effects and dangers of some medications are so high (often hidden by unethical safety studies) that the world is slowly being poisoned by synthetic chemicals.
A Deadly Prescription for Organized Crime:
How Big Pharma Corrupts Healthcare
The characteristics of organized crime include extortion, fraud, federal drug offences, bribery, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, tampering with witnesses, and political corruption. As history is witness, pharmaceutical companies are guilty of most of these offenses. Indeed, most of the billions paid out in fines by the drugs industry for flouting the law is thought of as `the cost of doing business.’
Big Pharma has bought doctors, academics, journals, professional and patient organizations, university departments, journalists, regulators and politicians. These are the methods of the mob.
Medicine should be a gift to us all rather than a money-grubbing scheme for the pharmaceutical industry, as it now largely is.
Transparency International, the Berlin-based global coalition against corruption, brought out the highly publicized Global Corruption Barometer 2013 – to that point the biggest-ever survey tracking worldwide public opinion on corruption.
“While the US did not have the worst results, our numbers were not very good… More than one-third (43%) of respondents thought that US health care is corrupt… For comparison, the proportions of people who thought the health care sector is corrupt were 24% in Canada, 28% in France, 48% in Germany, 47% in Japan, and 19% in the United Kingdom… Thus, this survey confirmed that health care corruption is a global problem, and that a large proportion of people in the US believe it is a major problem here”.
The article also gives examples of “illegal kickbacks” to surgeons and false claims allegations, stating that, in one case, “Physicians were allegedly awarded vacations, gifts and annual ‘consulting fees’ as high as $ 200,000 in return for physician endorsements of their implants or use of them in operations”.
Clearly, healthcare corruption is a global problem – and a major one at that. But when politics is thrown into the medical melting pot and stirred up with those other essential ingredients – namely Big Pharma, hospitals, the medical academic establishment, hospital supply and equipment companies, and other key players in the Medical Industrial Complex – the practice can only be described as extremely corrupt. The current system is completely broken, and must be overhauled. But I don’t expect change any time soon from our politicians or Big Pharma–it suits them just fine to maintain the status quo. Bottom line–they have all the power, we have none. So, at the end of the day, we, the people, have two choices:
(1) We can force the politicians to listen or,
(2) Better still, we can take responsibility for our own health.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It.
Often Big Pharma gets caught on the wrong side of the law. From their perspective, it’s all “part of doing business.”
I’ve included a few Newspaper headlines of their recent illegal activities that is “part of doing business.”
Glaxo Agrees to Pay $3 Billion in Fraud Settlement
New York Times, July 2, 2012, NEW YORK–In the largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, the British drug maker Glaxo Smith Kline agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $3 billion in fines for promoting its best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top diabetes drug, federal prosecutors announced Monday.
The report reads in part: “Glaxo Smith Kline paid U.S. medics to prescribe potentially dangerous medicines to adults and children. It handed out cash as well as everything from Madonna concert tickets to pheasant-hunting trips.
Authorities branded GSK as ‘cheaters who thought they could make an easy profit at the expense of public safety, taxpayers, and millions of Americans.’
Justice Department Announces Largest
Health Care Fraud Settlement in Its History
New York Times, September 2, 2009, WASHINGTON — The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations that it had illegally marketed its painkiller Bextra, which has been withdrawn. It was the largest health care fraud settlement and the largest criminal fine of any kind ever. The NY-based pharmaceutical company also settled civil allegations regarding under-the-table payments to doctors who prescribed other drug products – even though the company itself has continued to deny this ever occurred at the time of writing.
List of Largest Pharmaceutical Settlements
|2013||Johnson & Johnson||$2.2 billion||Off-label promotion/kickbacks|
|2012||Amgen||$762 million||Off-label promotion/kickbacks|
|2012||Abbott Laboratories||$1.5 billion||Off-label promotion|
|2012||GlaxoSmithKline||$3 billion ($1B criminal, $2B civil)||Criminal: Off-label promotion, failure to disclose safety data. Paying kickbacks to physicians, making false and misleading
statements concerning the safety of Avandia.
|2010||Novartis||$423 million||Off-label promotion/kickbacks|
|2010||AstraZeneca||$520 million||Off-label promotion/kickbacks|
|2010||Allergan||$600 million||Off-label promotion|
|2010||GlaxoSmithKline||$750 million||Poor manufacturing practices|
|2009||Eli Lilly||$1.4 billion||Off-label promotion|
|2009||Pfizer||$2.3 billion||Off-label promotion/kickbacks|
|2008||Cephalon||$425 million||Off-label promotion|
|2008||Merck||$650 million||Medicare fraud/kickbacks|
|2007||Bristol-Myers Squibb||$515 million||Off-label promotion/
|2007||Purdue Pharma||$601 million||Off-label promotion|
|2006||Schering-Plough||$435 million||Off-label promotion/
|2005||Serono||$704 million||Off-label promotion/
|2004||Schering-Plough||$345 million||Medicare fraud/kickbacks|
|2004||Pfizer||$430 million||Off-label promotion|
|2003||AstraZeneca||$355 million||Medicare fraud|
|2002||Schering-Plough||$500 million||Poor manufacturing practices|
|2001||TAP Pharmaceutical Products||$875 million||Medicare fraud/kickbacks|
Taking responsibility for your own health is not without challenges. It requires research and courage. Most health professionals do not take too kindly to patients who want to be involved in decisions about their treatment. And, they don’t always welcome questions about the (inevitable) side-effects of prescription drugs, or suggestions that natural medicine, diet, or health supplements may be a better alternative than a ‘quick-fix’ pill. So, be prepared to be your own health care advocate. Good luck!