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Exposing Big Pharma (again!)
1/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Investigative health reporter Will Brink recently documented the lies, deceits, and manipulations of Big Pharma. And what he revealed won’t make you happy.
One of those ongoing “backstage” manipulations involves a massive campaign to convince the public that “bioidentical hormones” are not safe while lobbying aggressively to put compounding pharmacies put out of business. (More on that later.)
Brink’s findings should be noted by anyone who ever bought the myth that we can trust and believe in drugs because they are FDA approved while supplements are “dangerous” because they’re “unregulated”.
Really, now?
Consider this:
One of the leading drug manufacturers in the world (Schering-Plough) has repeatedly been caught failing to put the active ingredient (albuterol) in their asthma inhalers! (1) They were finally fined 500 million for repeatedly failing plant inspections. Shcering shipped out asthma inhalers that contained little or no active ingredients, leading to as many as 17 deaths, according to the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.
In 2009, Genzyme Corporation, “under the consent decree of permanent injunction” agreed to correct manufacturing quality violations at one of its facilities and return $175 million in “unlawful profits” from the sales of products made at the plant.(2)
Abbot Laboratories, makers of the popular infant formula Similac, recently had to recall five million cans of Simulac that possibly contained either common beetles or their larva! (3)
Methotrexate is a common chemotherapy drug that is also used in the treatment of severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Recent one of the biggest manufacturers of methotrexate- the drug giant Amgen—initiated a recall of 24 lots of its methotrexate injections due to the presence of “small glass flakes” that could lead to “adverse events”. According to Amgen, these “adverse effects” include “damage to blood vessels, swelling, and possibly death”. (4)
A report on the news magazine show “60 Minutes” called “Bad Medicine” reported on atrocious manufacturing conditions at a plant subsidy of Big Pharm giant GlaxoSmithKline, a plant that was at the center of last year’s $750 million health fraud case the company settled last year.(5)
I could go on. The cases of recalls, bad manufacturing practices, Big Pharma elbowing the FDA to approve things that shouldn’t be approved, the burying of negative studies, the common use of “ghostwriting” MDs to publish research papers that are essentially advertisements for Big Pharma drugs.. All of these have been widely documented and continue to this day.
But let one gingko capsule contain 10% less of the active ingredient listed on the label and you’d think the entire country was on Anthrax alert.
Then there’s that nasty business with the “bioidentical hormones”.
Brink’s words are so eloquent and impassioned, I’ll let him speak for himself:
“The pharmaceutical industry is disseminating a myth for the purpose of frightening the public away from compounded drugs!
The claim is that since compounding pharmacies are not directly inspected by the FDA, they lack the quality control standards inherent to large pharmaceutical companies.”
(My comment: Anyone noticing the irony yet?)
“The media is functioning as a mouthpiece for Big Pharma by attacking compounding pharmacies nd those who recommend them in lieu of side effect-prone FDA-approved drugs.
The harsh reality is that Big Pharma has been caught red-handed committing numerous and egregious manufacturing lapses. Even when life-threatening problems are uncovered, such as no active ingredient being in the finished drug, Big Pharma has done nothing until the fines become prohibitive and executives are threatened with jail time.
Wyeth (now owned by Pfizer) sells Premarin and Prempro—tw hormone drugs that can increase the risk of certain cancers and vascular disease. Wyeth wants women to continue taking Premarin and Prempro so their allies in the FDA stepped forward to interfere with the ability of American women to access estriol, a form of estrogen that has not shown lethal side effects, especially when used with natural progesterone.
Big Pharma’s arrogance is beyond comprehension.”
I couldn’t agree more.