Posts Tagged ‘drug companies’

Can society trust the big pharmaceutical companies enough to be sure child immunizations are not dangerous – especially in the light of the alarmingly long list of proven fraudulent activities of many of those same companies? We attempt to answer that question in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

We also ask is there any limit to the lengths drug companies will go to in order to maximize revenue? And if adult lives aren’t safe in this mad pursuit of profits, can we be certain children’s lives won’t be viewed as expendable as well?

But surely they wouldn’t suppress scientific evidence of vaccine dangers when it comes to children? you may ask. Surely they wouldn’t go that far? Right?

Well, you may be right, but let’s break things down a little before reaching any conclusions.

Firstly, it’s an indisputable fact that immunizations protect many millions of children every year from potentially deadly diseases, and they save countless lives. It is undeniable that vaccines have all but eradicated a whole host of serious diseases including diphtheria, rubella and smallpox. Polio was also on that list although, alarmingly, it has reportedly been making a comeback in recent years.

Given the apparent overwhelming scientific evidence proving the effectiveness of child immunizations, in legal parlance this seems like it should be case closed. However, not all parents, and more significantly not all health industry professionals, agree it’s as simple an issue as that. Indeed, some doctors, nurses and other health professionals argue the underreported risks of vaccinating infants far outweigh the protection they provide against certain diseases.

At the time of writing, Californian politicians were considering passing a new law – Senate Bill 277 (SB 277) – making it mandatory for Californian residents to vaccinate their children. As you can imagine, this hasn’t gone down well with everyone.

Taking away parents’ ability to choose has stirred up the vaccine debate once more – especially in alternative media.

On April 23, 2015, the healthy living website Elephant ran an article by health campaigner Elliot Freed, commenting on the issues at stake. In it, Freed hints at complexities that go beyond whether vaccines are safe and effective, stating, “In 1986 vaccine manufacturers were given financial immunity from the damages of their products by congress”.

It turns out that law change led to a program that’s funded by a 75 cent levy on every vaccine sold.

The article heavily implies that through this legal and/or political loophole, drug companies can repeatedly dodge most claims which attempt to establish a link between vaccines and injury to children.

The Elephant article also mentions how more child vaccines than ever contain disease-producing pathogens – more so since liability was eliminated for drug companies producing vaccines. The list of vaccines containing pathogens, according to the article, includes “the MMR, the dTap and the oral polio vaccine”.

Because of the financial immunity in the production of vaccines, pharmaceutical manufacturers are now much more focused on developing vaccines than drugs. Easy to understand why: it’s a lower risk activity.

Freed continues, “Drugs go through a more rigorous testing process. They are then optional for consumers and consumers and governments can sue pharmaceutical companies for damages caused by the drugs. Vaccines are subject to a less rigorous testing process, saving millions of dollars for each drug sold as a vaccine.”

And of course, vaccines need far less advertising costs – especially when governments make their usage mandatory.

“This is not about vaccines for diseases like polio or measles,” Freed says. He goes on to predict that many other future vaccines will become mandatory as well. “Where are the infectious epidemics that are killing our children? I don’t see them”.

If the bill (SB 277) passes, according to Freed, “No state legislator, no school administrator, no doctor and no parent will be able to say no to any chemical mandated by the federal government to be injected into children, so long as it is packaged as a ‘vaccine’”.

Is this paranoia? Unfounded speculation? A theory only tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists would believe?

Not according to RFK’s son, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has warned the public that a medically induced ‘holocaust’ is now upon us…

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex. To view the book on Amazon go to: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

*****************************************************

Advertisements

Sadly, the path the drug companies have followed, and continue to follow, is a long, rocky one littered with mistakes – mistakes that have been fatal for some; mistakes Big Pharma’s critics have labeled criminal; mistakes some claim are all too often more deliberate than accidental and therefore can hardly be referred to as mistakes. We examine some of the more high profile blunders, lapses, oversights – call them what you will – in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

An excerpt (abridged) from Medical Industrial Complex  follows:

Certainly the history of court cases involving Big Pharma is equally long and rocky with fines against the industry’s major players totaling many, many billions of dollars.

Our research has turned up numerous case studies that highlight just how “mistake-prone” this industry is and how often drug companies have ended up on the wrong side of the law. We include just a few of these in this chapter.

The first headline worth repeating was this one on the front page of the Daily Mail’s edition of July 2, 2012: ‘GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3billion fine after pleading guilty to healthcare fraud – the biggest in U.S. History.’

The report reads in part: “GlaxoSmithKline 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.’

“The enormous settlement – believed to be the largest ever for a drugs firm – covers offences relating to some of GSK’s best-selling drugs between 1997 and 2004.

“It bribed doctors to prescribe Paxil to children even though the authorities had not approved its use for under-18s. The controversial depression drug has been linked to a higher risk of suicide both in the US and here, where it is known as Seroxat.

“The main charges also relate to Wellbutrin, another drug for treating depression, and Avandia, a diabetes treatment…”

The Daily Mail report advises readers that GSK, which is based in West London, is Britain’s fifth biggest public company with a market valuation of $113 billion and a roster of household names that includes Lucozade, Aquafresh, Ribena and Horlicks. “It accounts for almost 5 per cent of the benchmark FTSE 100 index and is a favourite investment for pension fund managers”.

According to the report, GSK agreed to pay a fine of around $1 billion to the US authorities and a further payment of around $2 billion in civil settlements to state and federal authorities.

“The company’s marketeers promoted Wellbutrin as a weight loss treatment when it was approved only for treating depression…

“Carmen Ortiz, the US attorney for Massachusetts, said: ‘GSK’s sales force bribed physicians to prescribe GSK products using every imaginable form of high priced entertainment, from Hawaiian vacations to paying doctors millions of dollars to go on speaking tours, to a European pheasant hunt, to tickets to Madonna concerts’. ”

We think that last statement attributed to Carmen Ortiz is interesting as it mirrors our theory that at least some of the blame can be attributed to doctors in our critique of the Medical Industrial Complex.

Many other news stories and independent assessments of medical corruption also match this belief…

Our filed list of case studies goes on…and on…and on. It’s a depressingly long list. There’s the $1.5bn Xxxxxx (2012) case concerning the illegal promotion of the antipsychotic drug Xxxxxxxx. (Names redacted for legal reasons). There’s also the $1.42bn Xxx Xxx (2009) case for wrongly promoting the antipsychotic drug Xxxxxxx; there’s the $950m Xxxxx (2011) case over illegally promoting painkiller Xxxxx.

Some quick research online will reveal the redacted names (above) of the drugs and drug companies involved.

Need we go on? Okay, we don’t want to depress you any further…

However, it would be remiss of us not to refer you to FoodMatters.tv, an excellent wellness site we stumbled across. Under the heading ‘15 Most Dangerous Drugs Big Pharma Don’t Want You to Know About,’ it lists exactly that – the 15 most dangerous etc. etc.

FoodMatters’ correspondent says, “Drugs are so plagued with safety problems, it is a wonder they’re on the market at all” and “it’s a testament to Big Pharma’s greed and our poor regulatory processes that they are”.

The correspondent labels the following drugs “dangerous”: Lipitor and Crestor, Yaz and Yasmin, Lyrica, Topomax and Lamictal, Humira, Prolia and TNF Blockers, Chantix, Ambien, Tamoxifen, Boniva, Prempro and Premarin.

FoodMatters provides an explanation for its opposition to each of the above-named drugs.

For example, in the case of Lipitor, the correspondent asks, “Why is Lipitor the bestselling drug in the world? Because every adult with high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or fear of high LDL is on it. (And also 2.8 million children, says Consumer Reports.) No one is going to say statins don’t prevent heart attack in high-risk patients (though diet and exercise have worked in high-risk groups too). But doctors will say statins are so over-prescribed that more patients get their side effects – weakness, dizziness, pain and arthritis – than heart attack prevention. Worse, they think it’s old age”.

And in the case of Crestor, the correspondent says, “Crestor is so highly linked to rhabdomyolysis it is doubly criticised: Public Citizen calls it a Do Not Use and the FDA’s David Graham named it one of the five most dangerous drugs before Congress”.

So, next time your doctor writes out a prescription, or your local pharmacist hands a prescription to you, or you pop a pill the TV ads insist is “safe” keep all the above in mind. Certainly there are some miracle drugs and even, dare we admit it, some cures out there in Big Pharma Country, but equally there’s some highly dubious and downright dangerous drugs – and we’re not just talking about the illegal or illicit variety!

Product Details

Medical Industrial Complex is available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

***********************************************

We are openly critical of the big pharmaceutical companies in our new release book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures. Our criticism is tempered by the fact that – as we acknowledge more than once in our book – products developed, manufactured and marketed by Big Pharma save lives. (Some would argue they cost lives, too, but that’s another story).

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

However, we keep coming back to the questions that crop up whenever the pharmaceutical companies and their modus operandi are analyzed. Questions like: Why is so little money ploughed back into research? Why the continuing emphasis on treatments ahead of cures? And, regarding revenues and profits, how much is too much?

BBC News addresses this very issue in a report aired on November 6, 2014 under the title ‘Pharmaceutical industry gets high on fat profits.’ The report asks people to imagine an industry that generates higher profit margins than any other and is no stranger to multi-billion dollar fines for malpractice.

“Throw in widespread accusations of collusion and over-charging, and banking no doubt springs to mind. In fact, the industry described above is responsible for the development of medicines to save lives and alleviate suffering, not the generation of profit for its own sake”.

The BBC News report reminds us that pharmaceutical companies have, by far, developed  most medicines known to Man, but have profited big-time in the process – “and not always by legitimate means”.

It continues, “Last year, US giant Pfizer, the world’s largest drug company by pharmaceutical revenue, made an eye-watering 42% profit margin… five pharmaceutical companies made a profit margin of 20% or more…With some drugs costing upwards of $100,000 for a full course, and with the cost of manufacturing just a tiny fraction of this, it’s not hard to see why…

“Drug companies justify the high prices they charge by arguing that their research and development (R&D) costs are huge. On average, only three in 10 drugs launched are profitable, with one of those going on to be a blockbuster with $1bn-plus revenues a year…

“But … drug companies spend far more on marketing drugs – in some cases twice as much – than on developing them. And besides, profit margins take into account R&D costs”.

The report concludes that the industry also argues that the wider value of the drug needs to be considered. However, it (BBC News) rightly points out that just because you can charge a high price for something does not necessarily mean you should. Especially when you factor in the lives at stake in the healthcare field.

The problem with that is – as we see it – the pharmaceutical companies and the shareholders they answer to would quickly dismiss such a rationale. They’re solely focused on the bottom line: profit.

Profit is not necessarily a dirty word when it comes to healthcare. We happen to believe capitalism, if managed properly, can actually work well in medicine. Profit incentives can spark imaginations in pharmacists and healthcare entrepreneurs and doctors as there’s the reward aspect in capitalism which motivates people to find medical cures.

Otherwise, as evidenced in the past in places like Eastern Europe, when things go to the other extreme and there’s too much government interference it can be just as crippling and corrupting for essential services such as healthcare. With little to no financial rewards on offer under communism, or even under some forms of socialism, most workers are less motivated – medical and healthcare workers included.

Somehow there needs to be a balance between governments and non-profit review committees to ensure mainstream medicine has a social conscience whilst still allowing the free market to work its magic.

…In the pharmaceutical industry’s haste to get drugs to market, critics say safety usually comes a distance second to profits. Little wonder then that mistakes occur and the line between legitimate and spurious business practices is oftentimes blurred.

We explore this untenable situation in the next chapter.

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex.

The book is available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

***************************************************************

No-one can object to the pharmaceutical companies making profits. Surely that’s the aim of all companies – to make profits. But how much is too much? We ask that very question in our new release book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

Excerpts from Medical Industrial Complex  follow:

Many people are alive today because of prescription drugs, and many more are enjoying a better quality of life because of prescription drugs. Let us be clear and unequivocal about that. And unsubstantiated criticism of the pharmaceutical industry, or any industry for that matter, does no-one any good.

We kept all that front of mind when conducting our research for this book.

Unfortunately, the inescapable fact is that much of the good Big Pharma does is undone by mistakes, dubious business practices, (reported/confirmed cases of) fraud and, quite simply, by greed.

Much has been written about Big Pharma in recent years. One of the most informative books on the industry is The Truth About Drug Companies, by Marcia Angell, M.D., former editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

The book’s blurb reads (abridged):

“Currently Americans spend a staggering $200 billion each year on prescription drugs. As Dr. Angell powerfully demonstrates, claims that high drug prices are necessary to fund research and development are unfounded: The truth is that drug companies funnel the bulk of their resources into the marketing of products of dubious benefit. Meanwhile, as profits soar, the companies brazenly use their wealth and power to push their agenda through Congress, the FDA, and academic medical centers.

“Zeroing in on hugely successful drugs like AZT (the first drug to treat HIV/AIDS), Taxol (the best-selling cancer drug in history), and the blockbuster allergy drug Claritin, Dr. Angell demonstrates exactly how new products are brought to market. Drug companies, she shows, routinely rely on publicly funded institutions for their basic research; they rig clinical trials to make their products look better than they are; and they use their legions of lawyers to stretch out government-granted exclusive marketing rights for years. They also flood the market with copycat drugs that cost a lot more than the drugs they mimic but are no more effective.

The Truth About the Drug Companies is a searing indictment of an industry that has spun out of control”.

Product Details

Within the book itself, Dr. Angell describes the unethical and at times inhumane pharmaceutical industry she witnessed in her 21 years spent as the first female editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine. She also gives numerous examples to prove beyond dispute that the world’s biggest drug companies have grown so powerful they are now able to pull the strings and call many of the shots in medical academia, health research and even the way doctors and nurses go about their work. Meanwhile, the public, including more and more of the poor, invalid and elderly, are unable to meet the cost of rapidly increasing prescription drug prices.

For an insight into the profitability of the major pharmaceutical companies, take a gander at the top performers on the latest Fortune 500 list. (Fortune 500 being Fortune Magazine’s annual list of the top 500 US companies – publicly and privately listed – according to their gross revenues).

Fortune 500

At the time of writing, the 2014 Fortune 500 list was the latest available. One of the best summaries of the pharmaceutical companies (drug wholesalers, chain pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and pharmaceutical manufacturers) we could find is on the very professional DrugChannels.net site. Compiled by Dr. Adam J. Fein, CEO of Drug Channels Institute, it’s an eye-opener for the uninformed.

As Dr. Fein informs the public, his data “will help you ‘follow the dollar’ and understand how drug channel intermediaries make money.”

The good doctor compares the fortunes of the eight listed drug channels companies (AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, McKesson, Omnicare, Rite Aid, and Walgreens) with Fortune 500’s 12 pharmaceutical manufacturers and a separate survey of independent pharmacies.

Dr. Fein reports “The 2013, median revenues for the eight drug channel companies were $95.1 billion, up 1.4% vs. 2012. Median revenues for the manufacturer group were $17.5 billion… The revenues of the 12 largest pharmaceutical manufacturers on the Fortune 500 list range from $67.2 billion (Pfizer) to $5.5 billion (Celgene)”.

In the report he quotes 2012 data supplied by the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2013 NCPA Digest, which shows that independent pharmacies had higher profitability than the eight largest drug channels companies, including PBMs.

Dr. Fein also observes that, “In 2013…investment returns reflected last year’s strong stock market performance”.

The median Total Return to Investors in 2013 as reported from Fortune’s list is detailed as follows: 8 Drug Channels companies: +65.8% (range: +30.1% to +272.1%); 12 Drug Manufacturers: +34.8% (range: +7.3% to +115.3%).

Starting to get the picture? Big Pharma is mighty profitable and becoming more so each and every year.

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex.

The book is available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

Product Details

***************************************************************

The countdown has begun for the release of our new Kindle ebook, MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures — a no-holds-barred critique of the state of mainstream medicine today.

MedicalIndustrialComplex cover

Book three in The Underground Knowledge Series, it follows the successful release of ANTIGRAVITY PROPULSION: Human or Alien Technologies? (book two) and GENIUS INTELLIGENCE: Secret Techniques and Technologies to Increase IQ, (book one).

Medical Industrial Complex explores the contention that the big pharmaceutical companies and other major players put profits ahead of patients’ wellbeing and dollars ahead of lives. It shines the spotlight on, or in some cases applies the blowtorch to, all the players in the medical sector, including the doctors, hospitals, the medical academic establishment, hospital supply and equipment companies, politicians, consultants, insurers, banking executives, accountants, lawyers and of course Big Pharma.

*

To view the discussion thread on the Medical Industrial Complex (the phenomenon) in our ‘Underground Knowledge’ group on Goodreads check out: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/142309-29-conspiracy-theories—a-discussion-group >>> Everyone’s welcome!

 

*************************************

Our next book, MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures, is unlikely to be welcomed with open arms by the big drug companies or by other major players in the so-called Medical Industrial Complex. It’s a no-holds-barred critique of the state of modern medicine.

MedicalIndustrialComplex cover

Book three in our series The Underground Knowledge Series, it follows the recent successful release of ANTIGRAVITY PROPULSION: Human or Alien Technologies? (book two) and GENIUS INTELLIGENCE: Secret Techniques and Technologies to Increase IQ, (book one).

Medical Industrial Complex explores the contention that Big Pharma and co. put profits ahead of patients’ wellbeing and dollars ahead of lives. It shines the spotlight on, or in some cases applies the blowtorch to, all the major players in the medical sector, including the doctors, hospitals, the medical academic establishment, hospital supply and equipment companies, politicians, consultants, insurers, banking executives, accountants, lawyers and of course the drug companies.

*

To view the discussion thread on Medical Industrial Complex (the phenomenon) in our ‘Underground Knowledge’ group on Goodreads check out: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/142309-29-conspiracy-theories—a-discussion-group >>> Everyone’s welcome!

 

*************************************