Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

 

Dr. Golomb is one of those rare commodities. She has earned an MD and a PhD and, is an associate professor of medicine, and associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California at San Diego.  But she is a rare commodity because she has integrity, and has not sold out to the drug companies while most other researchers have.

"I was initially perplexed by the disparities I saw between the published evidence, review papers, guidelines, and follow-up papers after trials were published," she explains, when asked how she became interested in the topic of Big Pharma distorting scientific evidence.

She had been researching statins (cholesterol lowering drugs), and she was perplexed by how people could come to the conclusions they were coming to, based on the data. "I would ask my colleagues, how could they have read this paper and come to this conclusion?"

Over time, as she began examining the evidence relating to conflict of interest and published results, she discovered there were forces at play that lead to disparities between:

  • the evidence that was published, relative to the "truth" of that evidence, and
  • the secondary representations of that evidence and the evidence that was published originally

"There is actually widespread evidence, even within the medical literature, showing that these forces can lead to qualitative differences in the conclusions relative to the fact," Golomb says.

A Perfect Example of Drawing the Wrong Conclusion from Published "Scientific Evidence"

Early in the interview Dr. Golomb cites a perfect example of the qualitative difference between the scientific facts amassed and the conclusions drawn.

"FDA analysts now have access to clinical trials whether or not they are published because of the clinical trial registries that some journals now require. (That doesn’t actually require that those results then be published, but at least now there is opportunity for the FDA to get access to those studies, and sometimes to the evidence from the studies.)

So the FDA conducted an analysis of antidepressant drug trials and found that of 38 trials for which the evidence appeared favorable, 37 had been published. Whereas of 36 trials for which the evidence did not appear favorable toward antidepressant drugs, 22 were not published at all, and 11 were published in a way that misleadingly conveyed the outcome as though it was favorable.

So that research, the "published evidence," would be that over 90 percent of publications were favorable, relative to "truth" (at least as determined by the FDA analysts), which was about 50 percent.

… So that’s an example of how the evidence we see can be dramatically different from the evidence that was procured, and there are actually a number of mechanisms that lead the evidence that was procured to already have disparities, generally favoring treatment benefits, relative to truth."

Many of the critics against natural or alternative health claim that we have abandoned the scientific method, and I think nothing can be further from the truth.

I have enormous respect for the scientific method, and I think when it is done properly it can clearly provide us with profound and valid truths that can guide and direct our treatment protocols.

But what many people fail to appreciate is that much of the research published has been deeply influenced and severely tainted by tremendous conflicts of interest and profit-driven motives.

Dr. Paul Offit, for example, an infectious disease specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, has been quoted as saying:

"Science is not a democracy where people’s votes decide what is right. Look at the data, look at science and make a decision based on science that has been published."

But what he is really advocating with this statement is blind faith in "facts" that may have been produced in the midst of, and sorely skewed by, massive conflicts of interest.

You Won’t Find What You Purposefully Avoid Looking for

Dr. Golomb was previously the scientific director for the Department of Veteran Affairs and on the Research and Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ illnesses. This experience also predisposed her to being more sensitive to issues that many other physicians are not attuned to.

"Part of the reason I got interested in the Gulf War area was because I was already concerned about the way inferences were drawn about that condition… I had seen the conclusions of the Institute of Medicine and the Presidential Advisory committee reports relevant to Gulf War illness at that time, and… inferences were basically absence of proof of a connection between organic factors and illness, which is interpreted as "proof of absence" of a connection…

But no one had looked, and therefore no one had "proved" that the exposures they had received were related to their illness. They then concluded that there couldn’t be a relationship.

But you couldn’t conclude there was "no relationship because there was no evidence" because nobody had looked, or even asked if it was biologically possible and therefore merited more inquiry."

This seems to happen more frequently than you might think. Absence of proof of a connection between a toxic exposure and disease tends to morph into "proof of absence of a connection."

But in reality, the absence of proof is oftentimes little more than a refusal to investigate the matter in any serious way.

"It was clear that some of the exposures Gulf War veterans had, had strong biological plausibility as precipitants for their illness, and I outlined… a research plan that would help to evaluate whether in fact there was a cause of relationship.

…I suggested that we look at the genetic variants of the enzymes that detoxify some of the chemicals they were exposed to, on grounds that if these chemicals were causally linked to illness, [then] people who have sluggish variants of these detoxifying chemicals should be more likely to be ill, and sure enough, they are.  And people who had higher levels of exposure to these chemicals would be more likely to be ill, and sure enough, they are."

Why is There so Little Independent Research When We Know Profit Motives Drive Conclusions?

Not surprisingly, based on Dr. Golomb’s investigations into statin drug studies, ALL of the large randomized control trials of statin drugs have been funded by drug companies. And when you consider that the pharmaceutical industry makes about half a trillion dollars annually, it’s easy to see how statin drug research may have been clouded by conflict of interest.

So why is there not more independent research being done?

"It’s very expensive to do those studies," Golomb explains. "The only other source of funding for reasonable sized studies is the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

We approached the NIH to conduct a study to see whether coenzyme Q10 might mitigate muscle side effects of statins, and we were told by NIH officers that they wouldn’t even consider to do the study unless we ask the drug company to supply the statin…

So I contacted the NIH and I said, "I’m really trying to have a career free of drug company conflict of interest, would it be such a problem to have one study that doesn’t have a drug company involved in it?"

And they said, somewhat reasonably, that their interest is in leveraging their funding and therefore, no, they would not consider an application unless we asked the drug company to supply the drug, which of course already set some level of conflict of interest."

So, unfortunately, the need of the government to leverage their investment has the unfortunate side effect of also producing ties to industry. Clearly, a pharmaceutical company is not going to jump at the chance to give their drug to an independent researcher who may find that the drug has significant problems.

If they voluntarily supply the drug, they’re naturally going to want to have a say in what results are published at the end.

How the Publication Process Can Easily Add to the Problem

But looking at the funding, and hence the potential for direct conflict of interest, of the research in question is not the only problem we face when trying to decipher the truth of any given study.

Once the data has been collected, there’s a whole other set of variables that come into play, with respect to submitting them to peer-reviewed journals.

"We’ve already alluded that there are funding disparities, and that less favorable studies – if they are drug company funded – are less likely to be submitted for publication. And then there are issues at the level of the journal.

It would be nice to think of medical journals as these bastions of truth and light that have no bias, but in fact, they’re businesses, and they make their money, in many cases, from drug company advertisement, and also from sales of the glossy reprints of the drug favorable articles to industry.

And interestingly, several former editors and chiefs of major medical journals, Richard Smith of the BMJ (British Medical Journal), Richard Horton of the Lancet, and also a couple of former editors-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine have written books and opined heavily on the favorable impact of drug company influence on medical publishing.

There are strong conflicts by the journal to publish drug company favorable articles in order to reap those hundred thousand dollars or so in reprint sales for the favorable articles, and also to keep the drug companies happy so that they continue to get drug company advertising."

This is an important point that I don’t want you to miss: There are drug reps whose sole responsibility is to "educate" physicians about new drugs, and one of their primary tools is to provide reprints of favorable studies.

This is not something that they can simply photocopy in their office, because that would be copyright infringement. So they actually have to pay for that reprint from the journal, and that’s exactly what Dr. Golomb refers to here as "reprints."

In many cases, these reprints can amount to income in the six figures, over and above the income the journal generates from the drug company’s advertisements in the journal.

This profit-driven motive to publish shoddy studies of dangerous drugs creates a major conflict of interest within the journal itself.

"The evidence that this has an impact comes from several sources," says Golomb. "One was the Annals of Internal Medicine that, some years ago, published an article on the impact of drug company advertising on physician behavior… and the article was not flattering to drug company advertising.

Somebody tracked the impact on the Annals revenues…  before the article, and after the article, and… they estimated that they lost $1-1.5 million in advertising revenue over the ensuing several years as an apparent consequence of having published that unflattering article.

… And there is direct evidence now as well, of drug companies rejecting unfavorable articles — articles unfavorable to industry, based on factors other than article quality."E

Two additional problems that have flourished within scientific publishing are the issues of ghostwriting, and duplicate publications. I expounded on both of these issues in this previous article.

Although it is considered a serious ethical breach to publish the same clinical trial more than once, this is in fact what has happened with some drug trials, which Golomb discusses in this interview.

Why is this problematic?

Because, for example, if you were to do a meta-analysis, where you review all available studies on a particular drug, you’d be mislead to believe that there are far more favorable studies than there really are. And if that republished study was flawed or the results manipulated through conflicts of interest to begin with, then what you end up with is essentially scientific fraud.

Then there’s the process of gaining favorable reviews by other experts – another area fraught with potential conflicts of interest. To learn more about the ins and outs of the peer review process, I urge you to listen to the interview in its entirety, or read through the transcript.

In it, Dr. Golomb discusses the policies in place regarding conflict of interest; why these policies so often fall short; and how pharmaceutical companies manage to circumvent these policies to still publish their sometimes downright imaginary findings.

Some of her stories detail the devastating collapse of the entire system that occurs far more often than anyone could possibly imagine.

But she also discusses the potential for reforming the system. Part of rescuing the honor and validity of the scientific method is to put an end to the indoctrination by pharmaceutical companies that occur from day one in every medical school.

"… Most of the physicians who are doing the training are conditioned by the existing literature and the existing "expertise," which is influenced by all the factors that we’ve just mentioned.

So they legitimately believe the benefits of these drugs — often to a degree that’s not even supported by the published randomized trial evidence, because it will also be supported by the follow-on review papers, commentary expertise, and guidelines.

But medical students have actually been on the vanguard of trying to make change and the American Medical Student Association actually developed a policy of trying to rate the impact of conflict of interest in the classroom.

My understanding is that this was motivated initially by a medical student at Harvard who had listened to their lecture on statins, and somebody in the classroom had raised their hand and asked the question about statin adverse effects and it was answered in such a derisive and dismissive way that this other student looked up the lecturer online and discovered that he had all these conflicts of interest with statin industry.

That ended up prompting the student group to try to take action."

Isn’t that always how real change starts? With just one person, asking the right questions, expecting answers, and being willing to look deeper rather than accept something as "truth" at face value.

It’s unfortunate, but the science based system we currently have has some fatal flaws.

It’s virtually impossible to expect a publicly traded pharmaceutical company, which has a major obligation to its stockholders, to simultaneously have the patient’s best interest at heart. As Golomb says, the two are fundamentally incompatible. And yet this is THE source of the vast majority of the funding for all our science-based evidence.

Remember, the end consumer here is you – if you take any type of drug.

So although these issues may seem far removed from your life, they absolutely affect a vast majority of you, every single day. The decisions about what drugs to prescribe are being made based on the research published. Oftentimes individuals will decide they wantto take a specific drug based on a TV advertisement they just saw, which also spouts claims derived from this scientific process.

Knowing what you know now, after listening to this interview, how comfortable do you feel about taking Paul Offit’s advice to just "make a decision based on science that has been published"?

Hopefully, this interview will cause you to think a little deeper about the process of the scientific model in general, and how to evaluate scientific evidence in particular.

 

 

How Corrupted Drug Companies Deceive and Manipulate Your Doctor

Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 18 2010 | 34,820 views

Dr. Beatrice Golomb, Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Diego, masterfully exposes the corruption that has metastasized like a tumor throughout the pharmaceutical and medical industries, in the video above.

If you have any doubt about drug companies being riddled with conflicts of interest, those doubts will be shattered after seeing the evidence she presents.

The corruption has become so prolific that it has literally debased medical science.

In the above linked Chicago Breaking News article, Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is quoted as saying:

“Science is not a democracy where people’s votes decide what is right. Look at the data, look at science and make a decision based on science that has been published."

What he is really advocating is for you to blindly believe in “facts” that may have been produced in the midst of MASSIVE conflicts of interest.

Before you assume the science in medical journals is credible, let’s take a look at what is going on behind the scenes of editing and publishing in medical science.

Bias #1: Unwanted Results are Not Published

In order for scientific studies to happen, someone has to pay for them.

The top funder for any drug trial is the pharmaceutical company that makes it, since the manufacturer is most invested in “proving” how spectacular its drug is. Dr. Golomb uses the case of statins as an example, stating that all of the major statin studies have been funded exclusively by the drug industry.

The second-highest funder of drug studies is the National Institute of Health (NIH), which is not the group of neutral government experts you may have assumed them to be. In fact, NIH accepts a great deal of money from Big Pharma and is deeply enmeshed with the industry.

But drug companies publish only a fraction of the studies they fund — the ones that promote their drugs.

If a study does not have findings that are favorable to its product, it is unlikely it will ever make it into a journal for publication.

In contrast, studies that have favorable findings almost always make the cut.

There are simply thousands of scientific studies out there that have never been seen by you or your physician because they have been screened out by editors and reviewers who are being paid to uphold an industry agenda.

Published studies overwhelmingly favor the funding company’s drug. Whichever drug is manufactured by the study sponsor is the drug that comes out on top, 90 percent of the time!

Given this, how can medical journals be considered unbiased?

Bias #2: Bad Results are Submitted as Good

When a scientific study has findings that cast doubt on the efficacy of a drug, oftentimes the negative findings are morphed into positive ones.

For example, in 2008, FDA officials analyzed a registry of 74 antidepressant trials, which included trials that were published and those that were not. The FDA’s findings were then written up in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine1.

This is what they found:

  • 38 of the trials reported positive results, and 37 of the 38 were published.
  • 36 trials had negative or questionable findings. Of the 36, 22 were not published at all, and 11 were published in a way that conveyed the results as though they were positive.

So, if you just went to the published literature, it would look like 94 percent of the studies were positive, when in reality only about 50 percent were positive … equivalent to a coin toss.

For statins, the odds that the funding company’s drug will come out on top are staggering1:

  • The odds that the funding company’s statin drug will come out looking better than anyone else’s statin in the “results” section of the article are 20:1.
  • The odds that the funding company’s statin will come out on top in the “conclusions” part of the article are 35:1.

So, even if they can’t make the results look good, they can often find a way to twist the conclusions so that their drug appears favorable.

Selectively omitting negative trial results can be devastating to your health, as Merck & Co. proved when they concealed the fact that three patients suffered heart attacks from Vioxx during clinical trials. They conveniently omitted this data (along with other relevant findings) from the copy of the study they submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine for publication.

The omissions were uncovered years later during the 7,000 Vioxx lawsuit litigations.

Bias #3: A Favorable Study is Submitted Multiple Times

When a study yields positive results, it is often submitted multiple times in a way that the reader doesn’t realize it’s the same study, obscured by different author lists and different details. Analyzers have had to look very carefully to determine which studies are actually duplicates because they are so cleverly disguised.

Not surprisingly, trials reporting greater treatment efficacy were significantly more likely to be duplicated, according to Dr. Golomb’s reporting.

In one analysis of the published reports about ondansetron (an anti-nausea drug), the same study was published 5 times. This duplication of data led to a 23 percent overestimation of ondansetron’s effectiveness when a meta-analysis was performed.2

Talk about good mileage!

Bias #4: Follow-Up Reviews Done by Biased Experts

The editorials that follow from a study, submitted by so-called unbiased experts and then published in reputable journals, are often done by non-neutral parties who have a financial tie to the drug maker.

Dr. Golomb uses the case of calcium channel blockers (a type of heart medication) as an example. The connection between authors declaring their support for calcium channel blockers and those not in support of them was highly statistically tied to their affiliation with the drug manufacturer — in fact, the odds that their opinion was NOT due to their affiliation was more than 1,000:1.

Bias #5: Ghostwriting

Many of the articles that appear in medical journals purportedly written by well-known academics are actually written by unacknowledgedghostwriters on Big Pharma payroll.

Consider the example of Parke-Davis and their drug Neurontin.

Parke-Davis contracted with a “medical education communication company,” or MECC, which is a company paid almost exclusively by pharmaceutical companies to write articles, reviews, and letters to editors of medical journals to cast their products in a favorable light.

In this case, MECC was paid $13,000 to $18,000 per article. In turn, MECC paid $1,000 each to friendly physicians and pharmacists to sign off as authors of the articles, making the material appear independent.

This was also done by Pfizer as a strategy for marketing Zoloft. A document was written that included 81 different articles promoting Zoloft’s usefulness for everything from panic disorder to pedophilia.

The only problem was, for some articles, the name of the author was listed as "to be determined," even though the article was listed as already completed. They weren’t helping out an existing team of scientists who happened to be talentless at writing — Pfizer wrote the article, and then shopped around for scientists willing to claim authorship, to give it a veneer of credibility.

Wyeth-Ayerst employed a similar ghostwriting tactic to promote its “fen-phen” diet drug, Redux.

Bias #6: Journal Bias

Medical journals are generally considered by medical practitioners to be a source of reliable information. But medical journals are also businesses.

Three editors, who agreed to discuss finances only if they remained anonymous, said a few journals that previously measured annual profits in the tens of thousands of dollars now make millions annually.

The truth is that Big Pharma has become quite adept at manipulating and brainwashing practitioners of conventional medicine. They influence the very heart and center of the most respected medical journals, creating dogma and beliefs that support the drug paradigm because it is blessed by the pinnacle of scientific integrity: the prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal.

Peer-reviewed medical journals contain advertisements that are almost exclusively for drugs, amidst articles that are biased toward promoting those drugs. If you have looked through a medical journal lately, you’ll see full-page Pharma glossies, cover to cover.

Pharmaceutical companies spend almost twice as much on marketing as they spend on research!

In 2003, drug companies spent $448 million dollars on advertising in medical journals2. It has been calculated that the return on investment on medical journal ads is between $2.22 and $6.86 for every dollar spent, with larger and older brands at the higher end.

Long-term returns may be even higher when you consider that one ad viewed by a physician could result in hundreds or even thousands of drug purchases, based on the prescriptions he or she writes.

The term “peer-review” has come to imply scientific credibility. But the fact is that many of the peer-reviewers are on the drug company’s payroll, and those who are not are unlikely to detect flawed research or outright fraud.

Medical journals are the number one source of medical information for physicians. In fact, nearly 80 percent of physicians use medical journals for their education, which exceeds information from any other source3.

Do you really want to blindly take the advise of a physician whose only source of medical information is a medical journal engaged in such profound conflicts of interest?

Advertisements for drugs focus the “latest and greatest” drugs to hit the market, drugs which may not be superior to existing, less expensive alternatives. So physicians are seduced into prescribing the newest, most expensive drugs, which drives up your healthcare costs.

An excellent article in PLoS Medicine regarding drug advertising in medical journals concludes4:

“The scholarly nature of journals confers credibility on both articles and advertisements within their pages. By exclusively featuring advertisements for drugs and devices, medical journals implicitly endorse corporate promotion of the most profitable products. Advertisements and other financial arrangements with pharmaceutical companies compromise the objectivity of journals.

The primary obligation of industry is to make money for its stockholders. The primary obligation of journals should be to physicians and their patients, who depend on the accuracy of information within these publications. Medical journals should not accept advertisements from pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, or other industries ‘relevant to medicine.’"

In 2004, Dr. Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, wrote, “Journals have devolved into information-laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.”5

Bias #7: Drug Companies Masquerading as Educators

The education of medical students and residents also comes through the filter of the drug industry, which seeks to groom them before they even finish medical school.

According to Dr. Golomb’s data, Big Pharma now spends $18.5 billion per year promoting their drugs to physicians. That amounts to $30,000 per year for every physician in the U. S.!

And drug companies are allowed to develop their own education curriculum for medical students and residents, lavishing them with gifts, indirectly paying them to attend meetings and events where they promote the company’s products.

Why is the Accrediting Commission for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) so permissive with industry involvement?

Almost half of the members are representatives of Big Pharma or are consultants for businesses that work directly with it to prepare these educational programs. Only a few represent academic CME institutions.

Any discussion of physician “seduction” would be incomplete without the mentioning of the 100,000 drug reps, who are groomed and trained to wine and dine and otherwise shower physicians in sweetness until they are handing out prescriptions like candy.

Reps are even taught tactics for manipulating doctors for industry benefit, as a standard part of their training.6

Hell Hath No Fury

What happens if a physician or other person speaks up about these conflicts of interest? What happens to the proverbial whistle-blower?

Intimidating phone calls and direct threats, for starters.

In one case, Dr. Buse, an endocrinologist who is the incoming president of the American Diabetes Association, presented data in 1999 about his concerns about the risks of Avandia. Dr. Buse was intimidated with multiple phone calls by drug company officials. They suggested he could be financially liable to the company for $4 billion in lost revenues due to his “unscrupulous remarks.”

Other truth-tellers have had their reputations trashed or job offers rescinded for speaking the truths that Big Pharma works so hard to keep under wraps.

“Too Big to Nail”

An individual truth-teller might be vulnerable to the wrath of an angry drug company, but drug companies are unlikely to suffer much of a consequence for their crimes.

A CNN report from April 2, 2010 reveals the truth about how shielded these huge drug companies really are.

Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, engaged in illegally promoting their drug Bextra for off-label use, despite their knowledge that it was associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

Bextra was pulled from the market in 2005, but not before many people were damaged by its use. When Federal prosecutors realized that convicting Pfizer would likely be a corporate death sentence (as any company convicted of major health care fraud is excluded from Medicare and Medicaid), they cut Pfizer a deal. Just as the big banks on Wall Street were deemed “too big to fail,” Pfizer was deemed “too big to nail.”

Why?

Prosecutors claimed to be concerned about the loss of jobs by Pfizer employees and financial losses to Pfizer shareholders as a result of being excluded from the Medicaid/Medicare programs.

So the prosecutors charged a Pfizer subsidiary, Pharmacia & Upjohn Co., instead. In fact, this particular subsidiary company was created specifically for this purpose, as a sacrificial lamb, having been incorporated the very same day its lawyers filed a “guilty” plea in another case involving kick-backs, leaving Pfizer with the penalty equivalent of being sent to bed without supper.

In the end, all Pfizer lost was about three month’s profit, but all contracts, including those with Medicaid and Medicare, were spared.

This is just one more example of your federal government failing to protect you, and opting to protect big business’ interests instead.

The bottom line is, the drug companies aren’t going to protect you.

The government won’t protect you.

The AMA won’t protect you.7

And it is unlikely that your physician can protect you either — even a well-meaning one — when he or she is operating within a system that has become RIGGED for Big Pharma profit.

Only you can protect yourself.

So, until real systemic change takes place, your best health strategy is quite simply to employ and maintain a naturally healthy lifestylethat will optimize your body’s innate healing abilities and minimize your need for the drug companies’ latest concoctions.

 

 

Is YOUR Doctor Saying No to Drug Company’s ‘Free Lunch’ Deception Campaign?

Posted By Dr. Mercola | October 08 2009 | 20,419 views

The video “Big Bucks, Big Pharma” pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar drug industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and created for monetary gain.
Media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which Direct-To-Consumer drug advertising glamorizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors. Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment.

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The video above is a full feature documentary, so whenever you have an hour, I highly recommend you take the time to watch the film in its entirety.

Many people still do not understand the enormous power wielded by the pharmaceutical industry. They, in a very real sense, have dictated the rules of the entire health care system through their massive lobbying.

According to federal data, the pharmaceutical industry spent $168 million in their lobbying efforts in 2007 — a 32 percent increase from the year prior. And their financial influence has shaped the health of the entire U.S., if not the world, for the worse.

Shocking Facts about the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • The price of drugs is increasing faster than anything else a patient pays for.

    Drug prices are rising at more than twice the rate of inflation, and the prices of the most heavily prescribed drugs are routinely raised, sometimes several times a year. Some medications have a mark-up of 1,000 percent over the cost of their ingredients.

  • Your doctor may have an ulterior motive behind your prescription.
    Drug reps often give gifts to convince doctors to prescribe the medications that they represent. These drug reps usually have no medical or science education. What they do have, however, is training in tactics that are on par with some of the most potentbrainwashing techniques used throughout the world!
    Worse yet, earlier this year it came to light that drug giant Merck had a hit list of doctors to be "neutralized" or discredited because they were speaking out against the painkiller Vioxx.
    So when persuasion tactics don’t work, Big Pharma has shown it does not hesitate to ramp up the ante against dissenting doctors.

  • Pharmaceutical companies spend almost twice as much on marketing than research.
    In 2000, Big Pharma spent $16 billion on aggressive promotions to consumers and doctors.
    Merck spent $161 million just on advertising for its deadly drug Vioxx, which quadrupled its sales to a cool $1.5 billion.
    Meanwhile, $125 million was spent on Pepsi ads, and Budweiser beer ads reached $146 million. Vioxx advertising was almost neck-and-neck with GM’s Saturn promotions, which was the most advertised car in the U.S. with $169 million worth of ads.

  • Guilty of health care fraud.
    Pharmaceutical companies are now being tried in federal courts as a result of their exploitation of Medicare. For example, in 2003,AstraZeneca had to pay more than $340 million in penalties for coaching doctors to cheat Medicare. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, AstraZeneca’s criminal conduct caused losses of nearly $40 million to Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded insurance programs.

But the largest health care fraud settlement in history is happening right now. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has to pay $2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company illegally promoted off-label uses of four of its drugs: the painkiller Bextra; Geodon, an antipsychotic; the antibiotic Zyvox; and the anti-epileptic drug Lyrica.

  • Engage in research fraud.
    Earlier this year, Baystate Medical Center announced that Scott S. Reuben, a prominent Massachusetts anesthesiologist, hadfabricated 21 medical studies that were published in several anesthesiology journals between 1996 and 2008.
    His studies claimed to show benefits from painkillers such as Vioxx, Bextra, Celebrex, and Lyrica. Dr. Reuben’s research work also claimed positive findings for the antidepressant Effexor XR as a pain killer.

    Drugmaker AstraZeneca is also accused of burying unfavorable studies on its antipsychotic drug Seroquel. They chose not to publicize results of at least three clinical trials of Seroquel, and engaged in “cherry picking” of data from one of those studies for use in presentation. The company is currently facing about 9,000 lawsuits claiming it failed to properly warn users that Seroquel can cause diabetes and other health problems.

  • Global market for pharmaceuticals worth more than the GNP of many nations.
    In 2007, the global market for pharmaceuticals was worth more than $693 billion. This is more than the gross domestic product (GDP) – which is the market value of all the output produced in a nation in one year — of these COUNTRIES, according to GNP statistics from the World Bank:

  • Belgium (GDP $448.5 billion)

  • Sweden (GDP $444 billion)

  • Switzerland (GDP $415.5 billion)

  • Norway (GDP $382 billion)

  • Saudi Arabia (GDP $381.7 billion)

In fact, if placed on the list ranking the countries of the world according to gross domestic product, the pharmaceutical industry would rank number 17 out of 185 countries in 2007!
Their power and influence over government, the field of conventional medicine, and your mind through massive marketing efforts, is in a class of its own.

  • "New" drugs aren‘t really new.

    Two-thirds of “new” prescription drugs are identical to existing drugs or modified versions of them. The only thing that’s changed is the price tag.

  • Drug companies are taking advantage of underdeveloped countries to perform clinical trials.
    In developing countries, government oversight is more lax, and people of poorer means and less education are more willing to take an experimental drug for money—oftentimes not realizing the potential ramifications. An article in last month’s issue of south Asian magazine Himal highlights the problem of outsourcing drug testing on human subjects in India.

How to Survive in a Diseased Health Paradigm

Folks, you CAN Take Control of Your Health. You don’t have to put up with this kind of insanity any longer. By educating yourself on the tactics employed, you can learn to see right through the propaganda, and stop being deceived by drug company lies and deceptions.
Then, tell your family, friends and neighbors, and be a beacon of light.

I am confident that with tools like the Internet, the days are numbered for the drug companies, and collectively we will stop this unwise and foolish expenditure of resources. It is a massive David vs. Goliath battle, but there is no doubt in my mind that the victory will be ours.

Remember, there are a number of basic strategies you can use to avoid getting sucked into the current disease-care paradigm:

  1. Eat a healthy diet that’s right for your nutritional type (paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)

  2. Drink plenty of clean water

  3. Manage your stress

  4. Exercise regularly

  5. Experience healthy doses of sunlight

  6. Limit toxin exposure

  7. Consume healthy fat

  8. Eat plenty of raw food

  9. Optimize insulin and leptin levels

  10. Get plenty of sleep

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