Guess What Kills
One Person Every 19 Minutes? by
When it comes “how you’re going to die,” many people fear things like airplane crashes or
shark attacks, even though statistics show that deaths from these events are very rare. Conversely, far too many people mistakenly
believe that certain common aspects of everyday life are extremely safe — when, in reality, this is often far from the
Once such daily ritual that is far more dangerous than many people
believe is taking properly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. Popping pills on a daily basis to “improve health”
has become far too common for many Americans. In fact, according to the CDC, approximately 50% of all Americans take a pharmaceutical
drug daily. When you isolate senior citizens, the number shoots up to an astonishing 90%. And perhaps even more troubling,
20% of children take a pharmaceutical drug.
At the same time, statistics are showing that deaths from pharmaceutical drugs
are rising at an alarming rate. But don’t take my word for it. Just google the term “pharmaceutical drugs kill”
and you’ll see headlines from major news organizations such as Fox and CNN that read:
“Prescription drugs 62,000 times more likely to kill ….
“Prescription drugs kill 6200% more Americans …”.
“Prescription Drugs Kill 300 Percent More Americans than Illegal Drugs…”.
“Prescription drugs are now killing more people than traffic accidents…”.
“Prescription Drug Deaths Skyrocket…”.
“Prescription drugs kill one person every 19 minutes…”.
“Prescription Drugs Now Kill More People Than Heroin And Cocaine Combined…”
Sadly, most people don’t know that properly prescribed prescription drugs kill over 100,000 Americans
each year. (This excludes prescription drug abuse, which causes this number to skyrocket even higher.) This is more than or
equal to the number of people who die from accidents, Alzheimer’s, influenza and diabetes!
One reason that most people are in the dark about the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs is due to a fundamental
misunderstanding of how these drugs get tested and approved. Too many people believe that the FDA has some kind of rigorous
testing and evaluation system. Sadly, this is far from the truth.
The current system puts almost the entire burden to test the safety of a new pharmaceutical drug on the developer
of that drug. And since developing a new drug costs billions of dollars, you can imagine the immense pressure on the entire
organization to make sure that drug gets to market. Making things worse are the fees that the pharmaceutical companies pay
the FDA, which amount to about 20% of its total budget. Now, I’m no expert on organizational structure, but it doesn’t
take a genius to figure out that this system is inherently flawed and corrupt.
What’s the final product of this cozy relationship between Big Pharma and the FDA? It’s simple
– dangerous drugs being put on the market, leaving us hapless consumers as real world guinea pigs. Simply put, the big
drug companies profit and we die.
One of the most infamous examples of this is what happened
with the painkiller Vioxx. It’s widely known that Merck engaged in several illegal and dubious strategies to influence
the research backing the safety of Vioxx. Sadly, this easily tricked the FDA who approved the drug, only to remove it from
the shelves after it killed approximately 60,000 people – more than the number of brave soldiers who died in Vietnam. Will
we be building a memorial for the Vioxx victims?
The latest example of the flaws in the process
for getting pharmaceutical drugs approved by the FDA is the diabetes drug Avandia. A Senate Finance Committee
investigation showed that GlaxoSmithKline intentionally hid reliable scientific data clearly showing that Avandia significantly
increases the risk of heart attack. Naturally this came to light after the FDA approved the drug, and it didn’t take
long before it was linked to 83,000 heart attacks and deaths, according to the FDA’s own scientists.
If you think Vioxx and Avandia are flukes, think
again. There are dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of drugs killing people every day, because their makers provided flawed, biased
and corrupt data to the FDA. And since the FDA is unequipped, incapable or unwilling to change the system, more and more people
are going to die.
If you believe your doctor provides the final line of defense for you, think again. Despite good intentions,
guess who trained your doctor on all of the “benefits” of the drug they are prescribing to you? You guessed it
– the company that stands to make billions of dollars from its sale. Your doctor got duped (and probably got a free
golf trip in Hawaii). Meanwhile, you got a potentially harmful drug that may put your health in jeopardy.
The bottom line – don’t trust that pharmaceutical drugs are safe. Big Pharma has a long, sad track
record of lies, corruption and deceit, all in the name of profits. And the FDA’s system to approve drugs is as flawed
as perhaps any function of government.
My advice: If your doctor prescribes you a drug, take your health into your own hands! Consider lifestyle
changes, look for natural alternatives, get second opinions and do your own research. Only take the drug after you are 100%
certain it is safe and in your best interests. After all – your life may depend on it!
Big Pharma Pays Yet Another Government Bribe. Also
by Joshua Corn
I recently wrote an article about all the bribes that drug companies pay out to the government
in order to maintain their illegal business practices. Well, they’re not really bribes, but that’s what I’ve
started calling the silly “fines” that they are forced to pay. Day after day, the nation’s pharmaceutical
companies knowingly engage in illegal activities that endanger our lives and take money out of our wallets. I assert that
they essentially pay bribes to make the government agencies get out of their way, and then continue to conduct the same illegal
business practices time and time again.
In some cases, pharmaceutical companies have been found guilty of knowingly (and dangerously)
marketing drugs for purposes other than that for which they were approved by the FDA. In other cases, they have been fined
for overcharging for their drugs or failing to give the government required rebates that would ultimately bring down the costs
of these drugs for consumers. Over the years, they have been found guilty of countless other deceptive and fraudulent business
practices, from deliberately hiding research that shows drugs are dangerous to disseminating misleading information to doctors.
In the most recent example, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay a massive $1.2 billion fine to the
state of Arkansas for illegally marketing the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal. The illegal activities included selling the
drug for unapproved uses, bilking the state’s insurance program for millions of dollars and withholding the truth about
the drug’s dangerous side effects. While $1.2 billion sounds like a lot to us, it’s just a drop in the bucket
to Johnson & Johnson, and is simply an assumed cost of doing business. Do you think this will have any impact on their
future business practices? History repeatedly tells us that the answer is a resounding “NO,” which is why I liken
these fines to bribes.
We all know that the purpose of a fine is to serve as both a punishment and a deterrent.
For example, if you get a $100 speeding ticket, the hope is that paying that fine will sting, and prevent you from speeding
again. But if the punishment really isn’t felt by the perpetrator, and if they continue to commit the same crime again
and again, the fine really serves no purpose.
For the average person, who just reads fractured news clips and hears
short sound-bites, the dollar amounts involved and the frequency of the fines must make it seem like the government is really
cracking down on Big Pharma. With this flawed perception, everyone wins. The government comes across as an aggressive pursuer
of justice, Big Pharma comes across as an apologetic industry that will cure “isolated” wrongdoings, and the general
public feels warm and fuzzy inside thinking that things will get better. But if you dig in deeper into the real story –
the story that neither the government nor Big Pharma wants you to know about – you’ll quickly detect a chronic
pattern of illegal business practices that are permitted by the government as long as frequent fines are paid. Let’s
be clear about this – a bribe by any other name is still a bribe.
Beyond being deceptive and unfair to us as citizens, the real problem with this systemic fraud is the
danger it imposes on our welfare. It’s estimated that properly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs kill 50,000 to 100,000
people very year, making it the fourth most common cause of death among adults. These death rates are equivalent to one or
two Vietnam wars every year, year after year. But somehow in all of this, it’s the pharmaceutical industry
that gets “most favored” status by our government and the mainstream medical system. Meanwhile, virtually every
alternative means of disease prevention and treatment is ignored, demonized or outright outlawed. Is this warranted?
I’ll leave you with this: According to data compiled from both
FDA and CDC studies, dietary supplements have averaged less than five confirmed deaths per year over the past 25 years.