It is common practice for a company to market products for which the consumer feels an urgent desire, or even need. Such products have, for many decades, minted the fortunes of corporate giants like Coca-Cola, Apple, and even car makers who strive for that perfect balance between functionality and style to make their annual offerings irresistable to their client base.
The principles of capitalism deem the consumer addiction to style, not only desirable but, a pre-requisite for long-term success. Few in the business would find fault in Apple’s newest product line, as long as the profits were there and, the stockholders happy.
Our Addiction to Addiction
And, there is little denying the fact that this addiction to addiction of the western consumer has a huge dark-side. That dark side is clearly visible in the massive conflict between morals and profits… The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t seem concerned with this line any longer. They regularly cross the line between what is ‘right’ for the patient, and what is ‘right’ for their bottom line. I would assert that things have gotten out of hand. BigPharma is out of control. And, each of these huge corporations is, every bit, the monster in the most frightening of bed-time stories.
After all, no one in their right mind trusts these companies. But, most of us DO trust our doctors. So, what is the problem? The problem is that the west, in general, and Americans in particular are drug seekers. Why do we go the doctor? To get a prescription for whatever affliction is currently ruining our day.
While many will deny this simple fact; America is definitely addicted to drugs! Drugs for every imaginable symptom are arrayed in the American medicine cabinet like some kind of colorful glass collection. Yet, the basic assumption behind every colorful bottle of pills or magic elixir is that the products are safe and effective when in fact, they are dangerous and do nothing but cover up symptoms of an underlying and possibly serious problem. This example extends directly to the many prescription bottles arrayed alongside the common anti-inflammatory or headach pills. In fact, what is in your medicine cabinet has a better than average chance of being that which kills you.
Above All, Do No Harm
There is, however, an obverse perspective to this concept. A perspective which could be summarized in the philosophy common to the healthcare profession, but rarely quoted these days;
“Above All, Do No Harm” is the creed of the practicing healthcare professional. It is a simple, altruistic concept on its surface. It requires us to do everything within our power and talents to assist a patient in regaining optimum health – without causing any harm to that patient, or others in the process.
Physicians the world over, who adhere to, admittedly, differing standards of medical care – have only the creed on their minds when determining a course of care for any injury or disease process. But, in the west, we have seen the development of a disturbing trend in medical care.
Western physicians are increasingly buried under a veritable mudslide of rules and regulations which, not only hamper their ability to provide customized care but, also scripts care guidelines in such a way as to take the practice of medicine out of the hands of the physician. These scripts are handed down to physicians in every specialty; complete with the supporting documentation so the preferred intervention can be implemented properly and, in the most cost-effective manner possible.
Who writes the script? Why… BigPharma of course. It is now the doctor’s sole purpose to dispense pills as little more than a sales force for the pharmaceutical companies who demand that only their drug be used. And, that their drug be used as THEY instruct.
Again, this may seem like a fairly reasonable approach to health care in general. After all, who knows more about the drug than the people who make it? This practice distorts the meaning of the word ‘prescription’ in a most ironic way as the choice of drug for any patient is literally written before they even show up for the appointment.
In actual practice, this untenable situation has become a disaster for which nations like the United States, Great Britain, and Canada are bearing the brunt of a disturbing increase in the amount of ‘harm’ that is being done to patients under this system.
When Doctors Cause Harm
The term “iatrogenic” means that a separate medical issue is “induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy.” Therefore, the term ‘iatrogenic death’ literally, means that the death was caused by the doctor.
The use of this term raises the defensive hackles of every practitioner affected. It is for good reason that they suppress the numbers. No lawyer will allow the admission of culpability in a patient death.So, it must be attributed to something else.
Numbers for iatrogenic death vary, depending upon who is aggregating the data. Once again, please note that government sources are compelled to record the cause of death appearing on the official death certificate. So, it is pointless to request iatrogenic death data from the government. However, the numbers are hidden in the data and, therefore; can be pulled out – admittedly, with a certain degree of error.
Smarter people than I have taken on this task. Invariably, the numbers for iatrogenic death are shockingly high for the United States. Many data-crunchers putting it as high as the third-leading cause of death in the United States alone.
For instance, in one dissection of CDC data, we can extract numbers for iatrogenic death in the range of 225,000 to 285,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes. 106,000 of these deaths being assessed as directly related to pharmaceutical interventions (prescription drug side effects). This translates into approximately 290 deaths per DAY attributed to complications of prescription drugs. And, this number cannot take in to account the numbers of patients who became addicted to opioids and other addictive pharmaceuticals due to practitioner negligence and over-prescribing.
Using only the lower limit of this one assessment indicates that over 600 deaths per DAY result from iatrogenic causes. Unacceptable!
Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that only HALF this number is accurate. You are still left with approximately 300 unnecessary deaths every day with around 150 of those being from deadly pharmaceutical complications.
Source: Dr. Ronald Grisanti, D.C.
Let us take a look at a few numbers from the Centers For Disease Control in the United States; (Oh wait! We can’t because they don’t publish the data)
And, the VAST majority of medical mistakes are never reported as such.
The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) is the final destination for all cause-of-death information. Yet, one category that is glaringly absent is; iatrogenic death. This insinuates that no single doctor actually caused the death of a patient in the United States for the entire time-period the data covers. Hard to believe? Yeah. We find that a bit difficult to swallow as well.
So, we dig deeper.
Always keep in mind the question as to why the government does not directly publish iatrogenic mortality statistics to the public. Underreporting or outright non-reporting of iatrogenic cases is endemic to the system. Therefore, the only way to get any reliable data is to painstakingly dissect the available data, and extract relevant data points, in order to arrive at reliable estimates.
While the argument can be made that statistics for iatrogenic death in the United States have been intentionally manipulated downward by the bean-counters. It is an incredibly difficult position to prove. Yet, the absence of proof does not constitute a valid defense when statistics prior to 2001 were available – and, suddenly were no longer available.
This blatant manipulation includes, but is not limited to such gerrymandering as; the reclassification of prescription drug-induced death into a larger classification which includes ALL deaths due to drug use (Including heart patients who died from drug interactions being classified as “Death from Heart Disease” when in fact, the heart disease did not kill them. The drugs did that.
Also, the re-distribution of many drug-related deaths into categories describing the reason for prescribing a particular drug in the first place has become more commonplace. For example, a patient with pneumonia who was prescribed liquid acetominophen and, as a result, develops severe liver problems and, subsequently dies from toxemia should be classified as a drug-related death. But, this case is increasingly likely to be classified as a death due to pneumonia.
Additionally, the sheer number of studies and statistical papers published annually renders efforts to collate complete data extremely painstaking and costly. One effort to complete a comprehensive survey of iatrogenic death has been published which reveals the alarming extent of this problem. [http://www.webdc.com/pdfs/deathbymedicine.pdf]
This collation counts over 7.8 million deaths due to all iatrogenic causes and, “Adverse Drug reaction” at 1.06 Million.
Again, if only HALF of this number is correct, we have a very serious problem in our pharmaceutical industry.
Why would such a situation be occurring? The answer may be found in the sheer amount of money spent by pharmaceutical companies… in Washington, D.C.
Pharmaceutical companies spend an amazing amount of money to grease the wheels (and palms) in Washington, D.C. This points to a pattern of evidence that leads us to the undeniable truth that they are paying our representatives to look after their interests.
Take a look here at the top 10 “Contributors” to our representatives’ bank accounts from BigPharma contributors:
Data is for FY 2017
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America – $25,430,000
PhRMA is a political and legal lobbying firm in which serves the
legislative needs of US and foreign Pharmaceutical companies
operating in the US.
Amgen Inc. – $10,620,000
Amgen sells almost exclusively in North America and Europe, 77% of
its revenue coming from the former. As for what exactly Amgen makes,
the company’s product line is remarkably small. It’s pretty much just
Embrel, for arthritis, may be the most recognizable.
Pfizer Inc – $10,430,000
Sporting a huge list of drugs and impressive international reach, Phizer
makes everything from chemotherapy drugs to bathroom products.
Novartis AG/ Novartis Corp – $8,640,000
Another global player in the drug game, Novartis may be most famous
for rushing an HPV vaccine to market in the early 00’s which caused an
impressive list of neurological damage and death claims. None of
which were compensated. So much for the vaccine injury
Bayer AG Bayer Corp – $8,550,000
Requiring no introduction, Bayer specializes in staying below the
public’s radar. With arguably the most international reach of any of the
BigPharma companies, their list of products marketed worldwide
number in the hundreds.
That’s just the top five. Just these five BigPharma players constitute $63,570,000 dollars dumped into Washington, D.C. pockets in only ONE year. Where did all of that money go? Just asking, because I didn’t see a dime of it.
If you are not sufficiently incensed over this corruption, here are the other five of the top ten players and the amount of cash they left behind in D.C. in 2017.
- Eli Lilly & Co – $7,035,000
- Merck & Co. – $6,230,000
- AbbVie Inc. – $5,660,000
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Teva Pharmaceuticals USA $5,590,000
- Sanofi Sanofi US – $4,496,000
- GlaxoSmithKline – $4,180,000
- Alkermes Plc Alkermes Inc. – $4,090,000
- Bristol-Myers Squibb – $3,610,000
What does this money buy them? C’mon! We are Americans here. We KNOW what it buys them; FAVORS… Big Favors. Such as…
In one instance, a piece of legislation passed by Congress and signed by Pres. George G.W. Bush in 1986, made it impossible to sue pharmaceutical companies for the damage their vaccines were causing around the nation. The Childhood Vaccination Act of 1986 has even more harrowing points to it. But, let’s stick with the “pay-to-play” angle for the purposes of this article.
Thanks to Congress, and later the Supreme Court, this law is now part of the new normal for Americans. It specifically makes pharmaceutical companies immune to prosecution when their vaccinations do harm to children. It sets up a “Tribunal” in Congress, commonly called the “Vaccine Court” to which these parents must directly plead their case – out of the public eye and, at great personal expense.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, saying the “threat of lawsuits provides an incentive for vaccine manufacturers to constantly monitor and improve their products.”
This decision “leaves a regulatory vacuum in which no one – neither the FDA nor any other federal agency, nor state and federal juries – ensures that vaccine manufacturers adequately take account of scientific and technological advancements,” Sotomayor wrote.
While opinions vary widely on the matter, there is no doubt that the decision was a victory for vaccine makers such as Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline.
There are several pieces of legislation which make it illegal to buy less expensive, alternative drugs from other countries. This captive market concept is not unique to Big Pharma. Just try to access a movie online when you travel across a border. You will be not-so-kindly rejected. The clear message is that “This market is now legally OURS. These sheep belong in OUR pen. And, we will sheer them any way we see fit.”
Attacks on natural products and other non-patentable items.
In order for a company to control a product, that company must either patent the product themselves, or exclusively license the product from whoever holds the patent.
This guarantees that the company has complete control over marketing AND pricing since, they now have monopoly rights.
Again, legislation has been in place for some time, which protects monster corporations’ rights to charge exhorbitant amounts for drugs and therapies which supposedly save lives. I ask the reader this; In what universe is this either moral or just? None, of which I am aware.
As a conservative, I ride a bit more to the right than is entirely necessary. The reason is clear when one considers that corporations should have no Constitutional rights. In fact, for most of U.S. history, they did not. And, every corporation existed on the condition that they did not screw it up.
The Supreme Court opened the flood gates for corporate greed and corruption when an ‘opinion’ (Not a RULING. But, an opinion) was released which indicated that Constitutional rights indeed, extended to corporations. We should roll back this ill-considered opinion which caused corporations in every sector to go absolutely crazy with their ‘rights’…Especially the right to make billions in profits off the sick and dying; all the while crying to their bought-and-paid-for politicians about how expensive it is to bring a new drug to market. Obviously, there is a disconnect between costs and the profit margin if a company can boast multi-billion dollar profits while, at the same time, claiming unbearable costs.
And… Something is definitely wrong with the system when government regulatory agencies actively attack companies providing natural supplements with the argument that they are dangerous – All the while, ignoring data and published statistics which reveal that government-sanctioned, government-protected medicine is real and present public health hazard.
Yet, this is exactly what is happening in the United States, on an ongoing basis. Everything from herbs to essential oil companies is being bullied and boxed in by federal regulators intent on preserving their ‘piece of the pie’ for themselves.
One such action involves the largest essential oil manufacturer in the world – a company which employs thousands of people worldwide, and has a bottom-line making it the envy of all in its market.
Not once. Not twice. But, on an ongoing basis, the FDA scrutinizes everything this company does. If you are surprised to learn that the FDA actively seeks out these companies, don’t be, It logically follows, that to protect the fat cows of BigPharma, the little guy must be shut out.
Fortunately, those of us who enjoy the freedom to make our own health decisions have not been totally shut down. Several attempts by the FDA to have dietary supplements regulated the same as drugs have repeatedly failed.
But, how long will it be until BigPharma launches an all-out attack on that which it cannot patent, cannot own, and cannot (yet) control?
That is why everyone who learns these facts should care. If supplementation and even essential oil use is subject to a doctor’s approval, how many of us believe that we will continue to have free access to them?
But wait! There’s more.
The government also has rules for anyone talking about natural wellness products. Rules which, if not followed to the letter, will land you in hot water with the government.
Everyone has seen the legally-required statements when buying supplements of any kind. You know. The one that says … “this product is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.”
It is interesting that in their lack of ability to control, they still find a way to control. And, many unfortunate, blind souls see this mandatory statement as proof that a product is at-best, worthless and, at worst, harmful.
As for me and my house, we will continue to avoid the death-dealing pharmaceuticals at all cost. We will continue to use well-worn, and time-tested natural remedies whenever possible. And, yes, we will supplement our diet with those things which BigAgra have engineered out of our food.