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By Dr. Mercola
Even though the video above is a few years old now and bigger fines of $3 billion have been assessed to GlaxoSmithKline two years ago, it is a good summary of how the drug cartels operate.
Did you know that nearly 20 percent of corporate crime is being committed by companies that make products for your health?
Sad but true, no less than 19 pharmaceutical companies made AllBusiness.com's Top 100 Corporate Criminals List for the 1990s, and the trend has continued if not increased into the 21st Century. Crimes committed by some of the most well-known drug companies include:
- Fabricated studies
- Covering up serious problems with their drugs
- False claims
- Bribery, illegal kick-backs, and defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and even the FDA
- Immoral threat and intimidation tactics (recall the international drug company Merck actually had a hit list of doctors to be "neutralized" or discredited for criticizing the lethally dangerous painkiller Vioxx. "We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live," a Merck employee wrote, according to an email excerpt read in court.)
Fortunately, organizations like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism,1 the False Claims Act Legal Center, and Politicol News have all started investigating and publicizing the criminal actions these companies have been getting away with for decades.
Most recently, the British Medical Journal’s blog featured an article by former BMJ editor and director of the United Health Group’s chronic disease initiative, Richard Smith, aptly titled: "Is the Pharmaceutical Industry Like the Mafia?"
The piece is also the foreword to the book, Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare, written by Peter Gøtzsche, head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, which is considered the gold standard in terms of independent research reviews.
In related news, a recently published study concluded that most drug commercials are misleading or outright false. There’s a literal mountain of evidence proving that pharmaceutical companies are untrustworthy at best, and criminal at worst. And yet they’re the backbone of our modern “healthcare” system...
Even Forbes Magazine recently published an article with the provocative headline: "Is Big Pharma Addicted To Fraud?" and asked out loud “whether any aspect of the pharmaceutical business can be trusted.”
If you depend on conventional medical care to address your health problems, then you’re basically entrusting your health to organizations that clearly have far more interest in their bottom line than your health. In his article, "Is the Pharmaceutical Industry Like the Mafia?" Smith writes:7
“The characteristics of organized crime, racketeering, is defined in US law as the act of engaging repeatedly in certain types of offence, including extortion, fraud, federal drug offenses, bribery, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, obstruction of law enforcement, tampering with witnesses, and political corruption.
Peter [Gøtzsche] produces evidence, most of it detailed, to support his case that pharmaceutical companies are guilty of most of these offenses.
And he is not the first to compare the industry with the Mafia or mob. He quotes a former vice-president of Pfizer, who has said:
‘It is scary how many similarities there are between this industry and the mob. The mob makes obscene amounts of money, as does this industry. The side effects of organized crime are killings and deaths, and the side effects are the same in this industry. The mob bribes politicians and others, and so does the drug industry…’
Smith also notes that many more people are killed by the pharmaceutical industry than the mob. Prescription drugs also kill far more people than illegal drugs, and while most major causes of preventable deaths are declining, those from prescription drug use are on the incline.
For example, prescription drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, and more than tripled among people aged 50 to 69.
Legal prescription drug abuse is a silent epidemic, and is part of the reason why the modern American medical system has become one of the leading causes of death and injury in the United States.
An estimated 450,000 preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the US every year. Merck’s painkiller Vioxx alone killed more than 60,000 people within a few years’ time before being withdrawn from the market.
“... [T]he benefits of drugs are exaggerated, often because of serious distortions of the evidence behind the drugs, a ‘crime’ that can be attributed confidently to the industry,” Smith writes.“The great doctor William Osler famously said that it would be good for humankind and bad for the fishes if all the drugs were thrown into the sea.
He was speaking before the therapeutic revolution in the middle of the 20th century that led to penicillin, other antibiotics, and many other effective drugs, but Peter comes close to agreeing with him and does speculate that we would be better off without most psychoactive drugs, where the benefits are small, the harms considerable, and the level of prescribing massive.”