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Medicine Money; a Prescription for Legal Bribery

FDA Pharmaceuticals

Image Source: hdw.eweb4.com

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly demonstrated its inability to appropriately protect the public from the harmful, and sometimes fatal, side effects of medications; including addiction and psychotic episodes. There are many combinations of explanations. One problem that rightfully draws regular criticism is the FDA’s seemingly comfy relationship with the pharmaceutical industry whose outrageous investments in Washington continue to pay off. With what is a never ending series of favorable laws on Capitol Hill, they rake in tens of billions of dollars in additional profits at our expense.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drugs are the second most abused drug in the nation; second only to Marijuana. But, the problem isn’t that we abuse drugs. The problem is the drug makers and Washington DC are abusing us with their drugs.

The following drug categories are just some that are known to cause psychotic symptoms:

Pill Pushers

Image Source: gizmodo.com

  • Amphetamine-like drugs
  • Anabolic steroids
  • ACE inhibitors,
  • Antidepressants
  • Antiepileptics
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Beta blockers
  • Opioids
  • SSRIs
  • Statins, and more.

Are they making us crazy on purpose?

Pharmaceutical Lobbyists

Image Source: OpenSecrets.Org

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRma) trade association represents the majority of large pharmaceutical companies. They are notoriously one of the largest and most effective lobbying organizations in Washington. PhRMA and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), lobbied on at least 1,600 pieces of legislation between 1998 and 2004 alone. You can only imagine what that number is today. Every American should be paying close attention otherwise we allow them to keep us co-dependent co-conspirators by our own complacency and/or lack of education on the issue.

PhRma’s broad reach into government is rooted in its utter dependence on federal decision making. Without the government they have nothing but a laboratory full of chemicals without a legitimate way to pass them off to the public. It is the government that legitimizes them and determines which products drug companies can market, how they can be marketed, and how each drug is to be labeled. For that reason, the industry pumps overflowing pools of money into political campaigns, including those at the State level. In fact, medicine makers have hired more than 3,000 lobbyists — more than a third of which are  former federal officials, in order to advance their interests before the House, the Senate, the FDA, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and any other executive branch office. Representatives from PhRma and Bio industries take the top 20 spots in political spending, buying their influence in D.C.’s “favor factory”.

Why are pharmaceutical companies buying influence in Washington?

Whinny the Pooh Pills

Image Source: Unknown

The numbers are staggering and at some point we need to look in the mirror. We are taking more drugs than ever before and the cost of those drugs continues to rise at a colossal  rate. For all of life’s little (and big) problems — according to the pharmaceutical industry, there is a drug available and you should take it. Then — for the side effects of that drug, there’s another drug for you to take and another, and so on.

Did you know that about half of all Americans take one (+) prescription drug(s) a day and a third of us take two or more

In 2010 we spent a whopping $307 billion on these drugs with the #2 seller being Abilify (the drug Nexium ranked #1, but only by a slim marginal lead). There were other antipsychotics and antidepressants that made the top 10 as well. Government and big PhRma are getting richer and we are getting sicker.

Abilify Sales

Image Source: Drugs.com

Abilify indications for use:

    • Use as an add-on treatment (Polypharmacy) to an antidepressant for adults with Major Depressive Disorder who have had an inadequate response to antidepressant therapy
    • Treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder in adults and in pediatric patients 10 to 17 years of age
    • Treatment of Schizophrenia in adults and in adolescents 13 to 17 years of age
    • Treatment of irritability associated with Autistic Disorder in pediatric patients 6 to 17 years of age

When it comes to antidepressants and antipsychotics, medications are prescribed without a single biological diagnostic test  given to actually prove illness or chemical imbalance. It’s a guessing game for doctors; from what is wrong with a patient to what to prescribe someone who has been labeled or “diagnosed” with mental illness. For people diagnosed with something categorized as  psychological in nature, most often physicians will prescribe what’s called a  Polypharmacy.

Image Source: tripledailydose.com

Image Source: tripledailydose.com

Polypharmacy is a “cocktail” mix of prescription medications to allegedly build one upon another. For depression and other diagnosis deemed “mental”, this cocktail includes antidepressants and antipsychotics. It may also include mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications and sleeping aids. Doctors admittedly have no idea why these types of medications work for mental illness, but still insist that they do as they continue to add to your “cocktail” — that will include at least one, if not more of the drugs that are known to cause psychotic behavior. In addition, no one tells you that the buildup in the human body of these medications is toxic. No one tells you how an average person’s organs are unable to filter and properly expel such amounts of these types of medications; possibly causing you to need even more drugs. No one tells you that mind altering drugs are truly altering our minds, and often not the good way. No one tells you because the profit margins for both real and manufactured sickness is too easy to come by and too lucrative to spill the beans.

Sadly, there will never be real health care reform until American’s realize what is happening and how it’s happening, and then demand accountability

Magic Pill

Image Source: Salon.com

and measurable change while denying them their profits. But, who can think when they have us on so many drugs?

What’s even more troubling to think about is the negligent dosing of America’s children.

According to Dianne Murphy, M.D. – the director of the FDA’s Office of Pediatric Therapeutics,

“Many therapies are developed for adults and then used in children without having been studied in children. Therefore, most marketed products that are mostly used in adults have not been studied in children—even though they may be used by doctors to treat children.”

Image Source: Medco Health Solutions Inc. 2009 Chart

Image Source: Medco Health Solutions Inc. 2009 Chart

According to the Wall Street Journal, by December of 2010 more than a quarter of  the children in the United States were taking at least one chronic prescription medication. Of the top five drugs prescribed to kids across the country, all but one are  mind altering drugs like; antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-hypersensitives and medications to treat ADHD. Sadly polypharmacy is not only on the rise in the way adults are prescribed, but the practice of polypharmacy is growing rapidly across the country in how we dose our children. Remember, this means simultaneous doses of multiple mind altering drugs. Think about it. Mind… Altering… Drugs.

Didn’t we D.A.R.E. to keep our kids off drugs?

The FDA themselves say these medications are not tested on children; they are manufactured for adults, yet are being prescribed to kids by the family physician and other specialists. Trusting parents readily assume and accept that their physician adheres to their oath of  “first do no harm” so they dutifully dose their kids according to the instructions on the label and their doctor’s advice.  Most parents have no idea there have been no tests proving the safety of these drugs for their kids. We just give it to them because our doctors tell us  it’s safe and will help them (us). The adult testing or so-called “clinical studies” done on these drugs  are bought,  managed, and paid for by the drug companies themselves. One must recognize the potential of this conflict of interest.

Unfortunately the news gets worse.

Legally Bribing Doctors

Image Source: blogs.lawyers.com

The government and pharmaceutical companies are not the only ones making a killing. Chances are, your doctor is cashing in too. A new database shows that during just the 2009-2010 period alone seven drug companies paid $282 million to more than 17,000 doctors across the country. The data base is interactive and also allows you, the consumer,  to see where your state’s physicians fall in this participation of what realistically amounts to legal bribery; which is neither ethical nor safe.

Aside from the billions of dollars spent advertising to the public, pharmaceutical reps spend countless hours and dollars wooing your doctor so that he or she will prescribe their brand of drugs over their competitor’s drugs. Most physicians know this to be a huge conflict of interest however, many do not care — just like the politicians, as the statistics have proven. Pharmaceutical reps are in constant contact with your physician offering “gifts”, applied payments and other perks based on their research and investigation into who each doctor is and what they feel it will take to influence them. The laws of advertising and marketing show that relationships do matter and frequency sells. Many physicians have  become pill pushers for big PhRma because they have been sold. Many have because they’ve been hired.

Unbelievably drug companies have not had to report any of these expenditures. The data that has been compiled is based on forced disclosures as a part of settlements and lawsuits. How much more money flowed between doctors and pharmaceutical companies that we do not know about? The wining, dining, schmoozing, and high dollar “gifts” to physicians is par for the course and the above figure does not include actual advertising dollars spent specifically targeting doctors. In 2006 PhRma spent an estimated $16 Billion, that’s an average of $10,000 per physician.

sunshineThe “Physician Payments Sunshine Act”  is part of the 2012 Health Care Reform Act, and required all drug companies to begin collecting data by January 1, 2012 and report physician payments by this year (2013). That data is not yet available, but one can only assume  the numbers will be astronomical and with murky guidelines the ability to manipulate the information is still in PhRma’s hands. We will probably never get a full and honest disclosure.

The FDA regularly passes poison to American’s whereas many other countries have already disallowed several drugs and other dangerous things like genetically modified foods (GMO), Aspartame, and more. In addition, American’s pay 1.7 times to 2.9 times more for the same drugs than they do in any other country. They are stripping away our health and raping our wallets.

Are not the FDA and our family physicians supposed to have our best interest at stake at all times? Maybe they need a reminder of their Hippocrates   Hippocratic Oath.

oath

* Fair Usehttp://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Shame on you

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42 comments on “Medicine Money; a Prescription for Legal Bribery

  1. Corner of Confessions
    January 9, 2013

    Cheri, what a great informative article. Alot of people place their TRUST into doctors and physicians and would seemingly take anything and do anything the doctors says because , well, we aren’t a doctor! We assume a licensed physician would have honest and true concern for our health be it mental and physical.

    You won’t believe how script happy oncology is. When the hubby had anxiety attacks they were prescribing this and that and half of it is still sitting untouched in our medicine cabinet. When we returned to the doctors they would ask how is the new medicine and we told we don’t know, havent took them. All because i read the little side affect pamphlet and googled the medicine. Honestly, does it make sense that an anti-depressant has a side effect of making you suicidal? A sleep aid giving you paranoid insomnia? The hell with that. The last batch of stuff they prescribed she BEGGED me not to google the medicine and give it a try. Unfortunately we did and then he couldn’t simply stop taking them, he had to been weened off them. One of them is addictive ( google paxil and you will see endless forums about it being addictive and the withdrawal process of it being just like dope-sick). It’s ridiculous. Granted some stuff helped and work wonders like nausea medication and such but alot of the stuff they prescribe I was just like REALLY ?? and being young and in unknown health situations, especially with cancer, I just want to do everything right so most of the time i put my judgement aside and listen to them.

    With any brain tumor they automatically prescribe anti-seizure medication. Again, the doctors wouldn’t budge with cutting his dosage and weening him off it and if he stopped taking it on his own the withdrawal will cause seizures. And with this medicine it kept him completely lethargic.

    It’s sad doctors are indorsed by certain medicine companies. We think they are prescribing what’s best for us but in fact they are prescribing whats best for their bank accounts. I always research medicines before i personally need to the doctor and get medication and I ask for specific ones or alternatives…and sometimes i find they prescribe the most expensive drugs out there. I don’t need fancy expensive drugs when generic is just as good.

    Again, great article! I hope others read this and learn to question a little bit, do a little research before they pop a pill.

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 9, 2013

      Thank you very much Tasha. This is a very important subject, especially now. It’s time we really take care of our people and wake them up completely.

      Like

  2. Adam S
    January 9, 2013

    Cheri,
    Great article. It’s a shame that all of the backdoor dealing has to go on. It’s like the Wizard of Oz — “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”. What can be done to change it? Why do we allow these pigs to keep running the show?

    I guess it all boils down to the idea that knowledge is power. A collective understand of a matter, followed by personal action/responsibility, is the only way a massive change is possible. I’m not gonna hold my breath…

    Good information. You went all out on this one.

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 9, 2013

      Thanks Adam. You know how I feel about PhRma. It’s a very important topic and people need to realize they are being drugged and poisoned.

      Like

  3. artofstumbling
    January 9, 2013

    Hmm sounds familiar. My cocktail is salazopyrin for colitis, azathioprine as an immunosuppressant for colitis, intermittent doses of steroids, mirtazapine at first to counteract insomnia caused by the steroids, switched to fluoxetine as an antidepressant, domperidone as an anti-nausea tablet to counteract the side effects of the immunosuppressants. Various supplements including calcium, folic acid, iron (when bleeding), vit b12 injections. I’m a walking pharmacy. But without the immunosuppressants I couldn’t survive or would have to have surgery to remove my colon. Luckily I’m monitored to check my liver function is ok! Thankfully I don’t have to pay for mine myself either…

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 9, 2013

      Stay healthy and question everything. Always research before you agree.

      Like

      • artofstumbling
        January 9, 2013

        Yep, I have a very limited trust of all doctors…

        Like

  4. tfaswift
    January 12, 2013

    I haven’t trusted meds in ages. I will take something if I pull a muscle or something and it’s just unbearable, but generally I hate meds. Hate antibiotics too because they kill all the friendly bacteria as well as the bad stuff. I know there’s a time and a place but people tend to jump on medicine too quickly. Whenever possible I use natural remedies. My mother in law was on meds for heart problems and liver problems for over 10 years. I sent her some natural supplements, she took them for a month and when she went back for her usual tests, the doctors were dumbfounded. They asked what she had done differently because all symptoms were gone and she has now been removed from all medication. She continues with the supplements, which are basically food products. Also treated my husband’s thalassemia with two very simple natural products. Currently taking care of my dad with much use of healthy food, natural remedies etc. He is recovering speedily. Medication is helpful sometimes, but I really think that the answer to most illnesses is in our food, lifestyle choices and natural remedies.

    And honestly, the number of times that I have been to a doctor, or my husband, or one of my parents and the doctors shrug and say they don’t know what’s wrong, is unbelievable. Then they prescribe something and say, try this and if it doesn’t work come back in a week. Meanwhile you just suffer on and the damn thing never works. That’s when I started doing my own research into natural remedies. I’ve even gone back to the same doctors and said, by the way, I cured it myself with blah blah blah. All natural stuff, no meds, just in case you get someone else with the same symptoms.

    Great post as always. 🙂

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 12, 2013

      Thank you and i agree about natural remedies, but I am curious more to what the post was about i.e. the bribery and conflict of interest stuff 😉

      Like

      • tfaswift
        January 12, 2013

        Write, I know you are interested in gov conspiracies. I just see all govs as a big act with a bunch of puppets. I can’t take any of it seriously and I assume there is nothing but bribery, corruption and conflicts of interests all the time.

        Like

      • C. R.
        January 12, 2013

        if it’s a big ‘act’ with ‘puppets’ who is the puppet master?

        Like

      • tfaswift
        January 12, 2013

        It’s me, of course! LOL. Just kidding *obviously*. I can’t say publicly. I’m sure you already know! 😉

        Like

      • tfaswift
        January 12, 2013

        I meant “Right”, not “Write”. lol.

        Like

      • C. R.
        January 12, 2013

        lol

        Like

  5. DaydreamsinWonderland
    January 14, 2013

    Why this post doesn’t have over 1,000 likes is beyond me. This has been an ongoing problem for over 15 years now. & Yet people keep dying from this.

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 14, 2013

      Thank you and I agree. Please share widely!!!

      Like

    • C. R.
      January 14, 2013

      lol you can tweet it to @Freshly_Pressed …maybe they will pick it up 😉

      Like

      • DaydreamsinWonderland
        January 14, 2013

        I deleted my old Twitter account due to a lack of activity but hmm, who knows..I may start up again…

        Like

  6. diannegray
    January 14, 2013

    It’s the same in Australia, Cheri. the doctors get kickbacks and the drug companies are making a fortune. I’ve had two very close friends who have been given prescription drugs for no good reason that I know of and have become addicted to them. It’s a horrible thing. Someone needs to take control of this utter madness.

    Also, I’m so impressed with all the work you’re doing with Kozo on Bloggers for Peace. Well done!

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 14, 2013

      My Mom died an addict of prescription pain pills 😦 …it’s a huge problem and someone has got to do something.

      Like

      • diannegray
        January 14, 2013

        I’m hearing you. They nearly killed my hubby who ended up with a malignant tumor on his pancreas… a story for another day…

        Like

      • C. R.
        January 14, 2013

        I believe it. And a story you should write, when you are able.

        Like

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  8. anothermichelle
    February 11, 2013

    Reblogged this on Some Sauce on the Side and commented:
    I knew I had more than 10 reasons to get off of prescription medications http://wp.me/p38JMx-1b. Bottom line we need to be advocates of our health when we step into the doctor’s office and do our own research so we can make the best decision. Many of the medication cocktails can be avoided by just taking charge of your own health. It isn’t always the easiest path to take but it is definitely worth it!

    Like

  9. anothermichelle
    February 11, 2013

    I reblogged @ somesauceontheside.wordpress.com. I haven’t many followers of my blog but I do have a decent size twitter & facebook following.

    Cheers,
    Michelle

    Like

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