Big Pharma: Enemies Of Humanity?

Everyone knows about the sick, depraved monsters of the Third Reich – Hitler, Himmler, Mengele and the rest. Well, there is an evil just as insidious on the planet today. It isn’t as widely known as it should be – that’s one of the reasons why it is so insidious. They are predators that are so wealthy and so devious that they are able to hide behind a veil of legality and respectability. Actually, the most treacherous aspect of this story is the fact that they are a significant part of the health industry. Yes, the HEALTH industry.

While hard-working people struggle to make ends meet and take care of their children to the best of their abilities, these traitorous criminals are amassing enormous sums of money to provide “necessary” drugs to ensure a healthy population. Or so we thought.

Now, for the multibillion dollar pharmaceutical corporations to make obscene amounts of money while actually providing life-saving drugs would be one thing. However, when an industry entrusted with people’s health actually creates a cartel and conspires to keep the masses sick to protect their profits while sucking billions of dollars out of the economy – well, that’s quite another. 

Pharmaceutical corporations have morphed in recent years into something more like a criminal organization than an integral part of our healthcare system. Now, how have they been able to do this without creating a storm of maniacal rage from the public? The main reason why they – or corporations in any industry for that matter –  can get away with such ominously destructive behavior is that they are able to hide the fact that they rig the system by disseminating propaganda in a nation in which everything from elections to creative public relations is for sale.

First, they have legislation written for them by so called “industry experts” that are designed to bypass health and/or safety regulations while creating the illusion they are doing what’s best for the public (research the nefarious dealings of ALEC). Then, they purchase positions in government and put spies in place to quickly push this legislation (that they call regulation) through the normal bureaucratic process. This is possible because they have managed to increase their influence in Wall Street circles – partially due to duplicitous corporate in-breeding with the criminally insane Banking and Insurance Cartels. And, finally, because corporations have purchased virtually every media outlet in the nation they are able to indoctrinate the masses into believing their sociopathic behavior is acceptable and aimed toward “progress”. This includes the group of corporations known collectively as Big Pharma.

For every dollar the drug companies spend on research, they spend 19 dollars on marketing. Interestingly, paid mouthpieces for the Big Pharma {like the Galen Institute, an industry-funded organization that promotes so-called “free market” policies} publically state that the drug companies have had to decrease funding for research and development due to regulation. Well, this regulation they speak of is something of a mystery to the rest of the planet. In fact, more than 80% of basic funding for new drugs and vaccines comes from public sources. Apparently, pharmaceuticals is another industry (like war) in which corporations benefit from taxpayer money while reaping a harvest of obscene profits.

A study on the pharmaceutical industry was done by Donald Light, a professor of social medicine and comparative health care at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, and Joel Lexchin, a professor of health policy and management at York University in Toronto. One of the facts they uncovered was that while the industry’s research and development costs have risen significantly between 1995 & 2010 (approximately $30 billion), profits have increased much more so in that same time period (over $200 billion). “Net profits after taxes consistently remain substantially higher than profits for all other fortune 500 companies”, according to the study.

Sometimes, nothing other than the concepts of justice and democracy are hurt from this greedy, manipulative behavior. Other times, however, the damage is much more deadly.

In 2010, Merck & Co. settled a lawsuit in which 3,468 people died of heart attacks and strokes associated with use of Vioxx, a painkiller they manufactured. Yes, three thousand four hundred sixty eight people. Dead. The company was accused of not releasing safety data to the FDA, making inaccurate and misleading statements about the cardiovascular safety of the drug and illegally promoting “off label” uses of it. Meanwhile, they were more than happy to collect over $11 billion in sales of Vioxx from 1999 – 2004. This means that for six years a multi-billion dollar corporation spent untold amounts of money in litigation costs to avoid compensating the victims of their criminally insane greed. On top of this already sordid tale of unethical activity, another fact attests to the viciousness of this crime. Merck never admitted liability for the deaths attributed to their product. We can only imagine how many times corporations have gotten away with this type of crime without being caught.

Merck is not the only corporation in which management puts personal profit over the safety and well being of their customers. In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to extremely disturbing charges related to several of their medications. In the case of their antidepressant drug, Paxil, the company tried to promote use in children and was caught helping publish a medical journal article with misleading data from a clinical trial. One of the facts that was supressed is that there was significant evidence of suicidal thoughts in teenagers who were tested. Can’t have dead teenagers holding back profits. It might affect their value at the NYSE. With their drug, Wellbutrin, they jumped on the bandwagon of self-centered obsession with youth and physical appearance by promoting it for sexual dysfunction and weight loss. It was only designed for use as an anti-depressant. With yet another drug, Avandia, they failed to report data to the FDA about heart risks discovered during testing. Avandia is a medication for diabetes. How nice, deceive people and have them trade their diabetes for heart trouble.

Another aspect of this story of insatiable greed and lack of empathy is that overdoses of prescription sedatives and painkillers have killed more people than heroin and cocaine combined, yet are legal. Hospitalizations from poisonings attributed to these legal drugs increased 65% from 1999 to 2006. Over the same period of time, the increase of poisonings due to illegal drugs was half that rate. Some doctors consider prescription drug deaths the biggest man-made epidemic in the U.S. However, try telling law enforcement officials who listen to the propaganda put out by pharmaceutical lobbyists to arrest the pushers of prescription drugs. Jail is for the working class – not for wealthy people who live in mansions.

While Big Pharma has unscrupulously been filling their coffers with ill-gotten gains from unnecessary drugs, almost one-quarter of the U.S. population over the age of 50 has had to cut back on dosages or switch to generic brands of (sometimes) necessary drugs due to price increases. Pharmaceutical corporations have had tremendous success in lobbying corrupt elements within our government to prevent Medicare and Medicaid from bargaining for affordable drug prices. In Canada, the provinces negotiate with drug companies for lower prices. This has kept prices in Canada significantly lower than in the U.S. – even when medications are imported from their southern neighbors. A recent survey among legitimate online pharmacies revealed prices in Canada ranging from 40% – 70% lower than their U.S. counterparts.

Oh, and one more thought about the lack of humanity in corporate America: after their lawsuit was announced in 2010, Merck’s stock dropped 1% or about 33 cents per share.

Is that all we value human life these days?

6 comments on “Big Pharma: Enemies Of Humanity?

  1. Great Post. Keep up the good work much appreciated

  2. Thank you very much. I’m still getting the hang of this. I’ll be posting a new one April 1st. Something a little different. Check it out. Peace.

  3. […] via Big Pharma: Enemies Of Humanity? | ashiftinconsciousness. […]

  4. I’m new to this. Does this mean you reposted the essay? If so, very cool. Thanks for educating people. I’d never heard of a “pingback’ before. By the way, I enjoy your posts. Thanks, again.

  5. Thank you for the reblog.

    If more people were aware of how bad this problem is we might be able to do something about it. Pharmaceutical firms can only take the full blame for this horrible behavior as long as it isn’t widely known. Once people know what’s going on it’s up to us to stop them. Let’s hope more people turn off the television long enough to pay attention and take action.

    Thanks, again. Peace.

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