Here is an article I wrote a while back. I definately think we don't need any of their pharmaceutical drugs or the industry, but that's such a radical claim to most (uninformed about natural medicine) that I wrote this is written in sort of a way to compromise and have most who read it agree...
Drug companies injure and kill millions of Americans every year by speeding the drug approval through the FDA, using unreliable animal test models, and being dishonest about clinical studies and the drugs dangers. An entire overhaul of the drug and health industry is needed in order for the government to take over these industries and cut out the private interests and corruption involved. Experimenting with these industries may just create loopholes, and will be fought against vigorously by an industry with money to spend on public policy. We need a president who is going to put the public and not private interests, in charge of the development, approval, and dispensing of drugs in this country. The current system has created dozens of pharmaceutical companies, all competing with each other for similar products that wind up putting similar and dangerous drugs onto the market. In addition, their existence perpetuates the myth that the best way to solve our health problems is with “wonder drugs”. The best way to save both lives and money is to prevent disease. Promoting and subsidizing a healthier American diet and cleaning up the environment should be the job of a National Health Agency which will significantly reduce the dependence of deadly pharmaceuticals.
According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, the public's respect for pharmaceutical companies continues to fall . Only 44% of adults think the pharmaceutical companies are doing a good job for consumers (compared to 48% who think they are doing a bad job), this number has fallen 35% over the last seven years.
Since the industry has immense amounts of money to find their way around regulations, governmental takeover of the entire drug industry is the only sure way these regulations will not be stepped around by those with money. The industry uses their own researchers and scientists and outdated animal research models to manipulate results of drugs in order to get swift approval for drugs that are dangerous and fatal. In addition to injuring and killing thousands, the frequency of these adverse drug reactions that require hospitalization has kept health care costs unaffordable to millions of Americans.
The drug industry was small and unregulated until the Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal reform, notably the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1936 which created the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The law established a class of drugs available by prescription, and the FDA was given control over the approval and safety of drugs. It was until this time that the effects and dangers of drugs were widely recorded, and information on dangerous drugs is more or less unavailable.
The drug and pharmaceutical industry, like many other America industries, expanded widely after World War II, due to government-sponsored research of chemical and biological agents, as well as the need for medicine to help those injured in the war. In addition, the outbreak of polio, malaria, and other infectious diseases around the world propelled people into the field of medicine. After the war, the 1950’s was an era of consumer culture, and the drug industry started to produce products other than those that would strictly cure life threatening diseases. Thalidomide was first introduced in the 1950’s to combat symptoms of morning sickness associated with pregnancy. However, it was found to cause severe birth defects in children whose mothers had been taking the drug during their first trimester, it was thus never approved in the United States, and was pulled off the market around the world as a result .
Dr. Robert Coleman, who has been working for GlaxoSmithKline for three decades, describes the current animal testing method as “one of the great scandals .” Not only does he tell us that we can only predict the side affects of any drug prior to its use in humans. The current method cannot predict the short-term or long-term effects of the drug. In many instances, there may be no way of finding out the dangers until it is too late, such was the case with Thalidomide.
In late September 2004, the anti-arthritis drug Vioxx, manufactured by Merck was pulled off the market after a study showed the drug doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Pain specialist at United Hospital in St. Paul Dr. Todd Hess, says the dangers of the drug are not news. He has seen patients in their 30s and 40s develop dangerously high blood pressure after taking Vioxx - "high enough to take people to the emergency room. " Hess is not alone, "[I] encourage patients to cut their dose if not to switch to another drug," says heart specialist Dr. Norman Chapel . In June 2000, one of Merck's own studies found that patients on Vioxx had an increased number of heart attacks than other pain killers . After being approved in 1999, Vioxx became number twenty among top-selling prescription drugs in the nation, with $1.8 billion in U.S. sales in 2003 .
Cases such as Vioxx are very common. Our own government itself admits that the majority of drugs put on the market are extremely dangerous. A report by the General Accounting Office of the U.S. government states that of the 198 drugs approved by the FDA between 1976 and 1985, 102 (or 51.5%) had serious post-approval risks that included heart failure, kidney and liver failure, sever blood disorders, respiratory depression and arrest, seizures, birth defects and fetal toxicity, blindness, myocardial infarction, and anaphylaxis. "
The discovery of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) has helped put warning labels on many medications, and on their advertisements, yet this is clearly not enough. Each year prescription drugs injure an unknown amount of people, but the Journal of American Medicine gives a figure of 1.5 million people in 1998 were injured so severely they require hospitalization, among those, approximately 100,000 die. . In 1994, the reports were staggering: the overall incidence of serious ADR’s was estimated to be 6.7%, or 2,216,000 hospitalized patients, and that the number of fatal ADRs was 0.32%, or 106,000 deaths, “making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death. ”
These scary figures raise some serious questions about the drug industry and the government organization that approves these drugs. How can we as consumers trust companies to monitor and publish the risks of their drugs, if the research and experiments are carried out in their own research labs, under their management? A survey of clinical trials shows that there is a 40% increase in the changes that a drug will be perceived as effective when a drug company funds a study, as opposed to a non-drug company-funded study . Owning your own labs shouldn’t magically make drugs safer. The entire nature of their industry and their companies survival is simply to get approval of these medicines. Once they’re onto the market, extensive media campaigns occur in order to promote these drugs. In the first six months of 2004, Merck spent an estimated $45 million in advertising Vioxx, despite other painkillers already on the market, that were not shown to have high risk of heart attack or stroke . These companies keep trying to tell us that millions of Americans unknowingly have depression, anxiety disorders, and high blood pressure, and that we need to take drugs in order to cure all our problems. This is obviously not the case; these drugs are clearly killing us, so how do these deadly pills wind up on pharmacy shelves?
The Food and Drug Administration is supposed to see a multitude of evidence of the each drug, and they are required to go through years of rigorous animal testing. Testing the drugs on animals is required by law, but not because of a scientific consensus on the issue. The rejection of the safety and reliance of animal testing has been growing. A new poll conducted in August 2004 by Taylor Nelson suggests that the medical community is walking away from trusting the efficiency of animal testing. The survey of 500 General Practitioners found that:
-82% were “concerned that animal data can be misleading when applied to humans”
-51% would have more confidence in human, rather than animal-based safety tests for new drugs
-83% “would support an independent scientific evaluation of the clinical relevance of animal experimentation .”
Americans for Medical Advancement (AFMA) and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) oppose the animal-modeled research as a method for seeking cures and treatments for human disease. They base this on “overwhelming scientific evidence that findings from animal models cannot be reliably extrapolated to humans”. If this is true, then why are we stuck with this unreliable method of approving drugs? The answer: the drug companies would rather not move into the future where drugs are safe before they are on the market. They would rather make quarterly profit expectations for their shareholders, despite the outcry of scientists themselves, such as the AFMA who consummate that:
“…the reliance on animal-modeled research, as well as other pseudoscientific endeavors, harms rather than helps humans, and prolongs human suffering by inhibiting medical progress .”
In June, 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine announced that it will now accept “biased journalists” (those who accept money from drug companies) because it is too difficult to find ones that have no ties . In 2002 ABC News reported that ties between doctors and pharmaceutical companies amounts to over $2 billion a year spent for over 314,000 events that doctors attended . Representatives from drug companies bribe doctors into prescribing their drugs. Some of these “special events” that ABC reported were drug reps renting out the top floors of high-scale restaurants (paying for dinner and transportation), and giving presentations on how good their drugs are.
Changing the law mandating animal tests will not change the entire industry and its ethics as a whole, but it is a good start. Non-animal methods that are more reliable and not easy to manipulate could put the industry in the right direction. Public policy analysist Ronald Coase would argue that the industry regulates itself, because victims can simply sue the companies for compensation. The FDA legally requires full disclosure of potential lethal side effects of drugs, and drug companies have an incentive to comply to protect the firm against public liability lawsuits .
Contrary to Coase, the Pigouvian tax system is the proposal to align the individual costs with the social costs the company causes. In this case, the social costs are death and injury to millions of people every year, and driving health insurance costs up to make care unaffordable for million Americans. If the later were the only issue, the Pigouvian system might seem reasonable, but how do you put a dollar amount on the lives of 100,000 people dying every year? Taxing these companies the price it costs to care for all the drug-related hospital visits would drive down the costs of health care significantly. It would probably be enough for most of the 45 uninsured Americans to afford services . At the same time, a tax might be so large that it would tax the companies to the extent that the entire industry would collapse, as investors would pull their money out before the taxes went into effect. With all the money and conflicts of interest in our own government with the drug industry, the Pigouvian tax seems relatively unrealistic.
In the case of an industry that takes the lives of 100,000 people every year, the avocation of modest reforms should be shunned upon. This is genocide such as Sudan or Rwanda, only it is happening right here at home, and is killing an unknown amount of people all over the world as well. Extreme measures need to be taken to take the publics control over our own health. Political candidates such as the Green Party advocate a national healthcare system, and they should also be advocating a federal National Health Agency (NHA). Such an agency would be responsible for providing all American citizens with healthcare and educating the public via mass media of preventive measures for chronic diseases that most Americans commonly suffer from: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, obesity, etc. The best way to reduce the need for taking potentially dangerous drugs is to eat and live a healthy organic vegetarian lifestyle. According to the American Dietetic Association (and thousands of doctors, scientists, and nutritionists), vegetarians have lower rates of death from heart disease, lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, lower rates of type 2 diabetes and hypertension, and lower instances of prostate and colon cancer . The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society both recommend vegetarian diets to reduce cancer risk .
Subsidizing organic food proven by studies to prevent cancer and prolong health shall complement the education of the public about these studies and the best way to be healthy. Subsidies on corporate agribusiness should be stopped, and major food companies and retailers will be forced to compete with a new and healthier demand. The National Health Agency will also be responsible for research for new drugs and the production and distribution of vaccines. No profit will be involved, so the incentive to force dangerous drugs into consumers hands is abolished. The National Health Agency will also take over the Environmental Protection Agency’s job, and money saved from hospital visits and subsidizing agribusiness will be put into enforcing strict EPA guidelines which will force power plants, automotive manufacturers, loggers, agribusinesses, and other industries to comply with new and stricter pollution and conservation standards. Such a system will make the country even cleaner and healthier, preventing cancer, asthma, neurological disorders, mercury poisoning, and other conditions related to environmental pollution. We will save a magnitude of money and lives if we clean up pollution and prevent illness, rather than put money into curing illnesses. Creating a National Health Agency will make people less dependent on pharmaceuticals and potentially deadly “wonder drugs” or “cure alls.” If a presidential candidate would only advocate a National Health Agency to take back America, we can prevent the misfortunes of the drug disasters by making America a country of healthier citizens, and less dependent upon dangerous drugs.
Reducing our dependence on drugs should ultimately be a major public policy goal. When politicians and political parties take stances on issues, they should think about what Melville and Johnson say in their book Cured to Death, “All drugs, whatever their virtues, are inherently dangerous. ” This assumption places the entire fundamentals of Western medicine into question, telling us to use drugs only in extreme circumstances, and as little as possible. They do argue that drugs can benefit humanity, but only if they are properly tested and applied correctly under skilled supervision. With an industry seeking speedy drug approval to selfishly profit itself and stockholders, while putting human lives at risk, nothing can save more lives than the government taking control over the health and drug industry in this country, while simultaneously promoting healthy eating and stricter environmental standards.
McKenzie J. “Conflict of Interest? Medical Journal Changes Policy of Finding Independent Doctors.” June 12, 2002. ABC News.
Johnson, Colin and Arabella Melville. 1983. Cured to Death: The Effects of Prescription Drugs. New York: Stein and Day.
Silverman, Milton. 1976. The Drugging of the Americas: How Multinational Drugs Companies Say One Thing about Their Products to Physicians in the United States, and Another Thing to Physicians in Latin America. Los Angeles: University of California.
Aids Healthcare Foundation. "South Africa: Glaxo Aids Drug Price Probe Proceeds." News Coverage 2004: 28 September. www.aidshealth.org/newsroom/news/newsrelease.php?Content_ID=248.
Vaccine Website. "Vaccine Conflict of Interest Quotes". 2003. 2 October. .
Null, Gary, PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, Dorothy Smith PhD. Death by Medicine. “Medical Ethics and Conflicts of Interest in Scientific Medicine” 2003 October. www.nutritioninstituteofamerica.org/research/DeathByMedicine/DeathByMedicine1.htm
United Kingdom Parliament. "Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures." 3 October 2002. a) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldanimal/999/2042309.htm.
PBS Home Video. 1998. "The People's Pharmacy with Joe Graedon and
Terry Graedon, Ph.D." Public Broadcasting Service and Graedon Enterprises. VHS.
Harris Interactive. “Reputations of Pharmaceutical and Health Insurance Companies Continue Their Downward Slide.” 22 June 2004. < http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/allnewsbydate.asp?NewsID=814>.
Journal of American Medicine. “Time to Act on Drug Safety.” Thomas J. Moore; Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD; Curt D. Furberg, MD, PhD. Vol 279. No. 19. 20 May 1998.
Journal of American Medicine. “Incidence of Adverse Drugs Reactions in Hospitalized Patients.” Vol 279. No. 15. 15 April 1998.
Americans, Europeans, and Japenese for Medical Advancement. “Mission”. Undated. http://www.curedisease.com/charter.html
Americans, Europeans, and Japenese for Medical Advancement. “Contents”. Undated.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “PCRM Position Paper on Animal Research.” 4 June 2004. < http://www.pcrm.org/resch/anexp/position.html>.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “Animal Experimentation Issues.” Undated. .
A Drug Recall. “Rezulin lawsuits continue despite Rezulin recall in 2000.” 14 April 2004. .
Greek, Ray. Americans, Europeans, and Japenese for Medical Advancement. “New Survey Among Doctors Suggests Shift in Attitude Regarding Scientific Worth of Animal Testing.” 9 September 2004.
Thalidomide Victims Association of Canda. 2003. http://www.thalidomide.ca/en/index.html
Bhandari, Shailesh. United States Census Bureau. “People with Health Insurance: A Comparison of Estimates From Two Surveys.” 8 June 2004. http://www.sipp.census.gov/sipp/workpapr/wp243.pdf
Orlans, F. Barbara, "Data on Animal Experimentation in the United States: What They Do and Do Not Show," Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 37, 2. Winter 1994.
Now That You Have Read all that I'd like to let you know about my friends profile which exists to counteract all the propoganda that the pharmaceutical industry put out to doctors and the public effectively convincing much of society that their drugs are necessary, work, are safe, and are the best option.
Everything from how to legally get into school without being vaccinated, to information on the best cure: prevention, we have the natural cure for every single type of illness disease or condition, info on finding alternatives to risky and potentially deadly painkillers, birth control pills, antidepressants, or cholestrol medications. This site also has some scary information on how the pharmaceutical industry is succeeding in banning all natural vitamins and supplements and other natural cures to guarantee their monopoly on treating disease.
The pharmaceutical cartel (industry) have more wealth than the entire "big oil" "military industrial complex", the meat industry, the garment industry, and the food industry combined. they brainwash people, liberals and conservatives, moderates, radicals, socialists and anarchsits alike into thinking there are no alternatives. and so no one is safe from their trap of endless side effects, poor health and nutrition, and toxic bodies which bread more and more disease. Each year over 100,000 americans die from prescription or over the counter drug disasters and 2 million get hospitalized. Learn the truth - offset their propoganda.
Please read my friends profile, Pharmaceuticals Kill and send 'em a friend request, then explore the page and the links, videos, and articles on it. Pass this along.