MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND PUBLIC HEALTH TURN ON BIG PHARMA
Byron J. Richards, CCN
January 31, 2011
Wonders never cease. The blatant poisoning of individuals under the false pretense of health could soon be coming to an end. A series of studies published this month by mainstream researchers, issued in mainstream journals, and even carried in mainstream media is signaling the beginning of the end of the Big Pharma PR drug-sales juggernaut. The two top-selling drug classes have come under direct attack and public health officials are proclaiming that Big Pharma marketing is causing far more damage then benefit to the health of Americans – at incredible cost to taxpayers. The Big Pharma house of cards is poised for collapse.
Heading the onslaught were a number of studies attacking Big Pharma’s sacred cow – the extensive over-marketing of statin drugs to lower cholesterol. Shockingly, mainstream media—who is paid big money by Big Pharma—is running headlines like this, Statins: Bad Idea for People with Good Hearts? At risk is ten billion in fraudulent drug sales every year.
The CBS article above was generated in response to a press release and article published by the Cochrane Library. The article sought to establish the cost effectiveness of individuals with high cholesterol but no prior history of a heart attack, taking statins to prevent a first heart attack. This type of patient is now the big push for new statin sales – along with a PR campaign trying to convince us that statins are so good they should be in the drinking water.
The scientists reviewed 14 randomized control trials with 16 trial arms (34,272 patients) dating from 1994 to 2006. All but one of the studies was funded by the makers of statins. Even with this Big Pharma spin on the results the researchers concluded that the death rate of non-statin takers was 9 per 1000 compared to 8 per 1000 for statin takers. In other words statins seemed to have prevented one death for a public health taxpayer cost of about $1,000,000.
However, as you might expect, the researchers reported that “there was evidence of selective reporting of outcomes, failure to report adverse events and inclusion of people with cardiovascular disease.” In other words, the saving of one life for $1,000,000 was questionable. Indeed, earlier studies have shown that for every life apparently saved from cardiovascular disease, there are an equivalent number of deaths from other reasons caused by the drugs (accidents, infections, suicide).
Of course, the comparison of statins to something healthy, like the effects of exercise, is never done because the statin would lose. The bottom line from a cost-effective public health point of view is that taking statins to prevent a first heart attack is a complete waste of tens of billions of dollars.
Statins have built their “usefulness” data on studies protecting individuals who have already had a heart attack or stroke from getting a second one. Once again, the purported benefits are never compared to exercise, as statins wouldn’t win.
Shock waves were sent through this strategy earlier this month when researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School concluded that statins should not be given to individuals with a previous brain hemorrhage stroke as statins actually increase the risk of getting a second one. This is a common form of stroke that statins are routinely used to treat. This is not what the statin PR machine wanted to hear. The scientists have no idea why statins increase the risk, apparently not understanding the importance of cholesterol to brain function.
Even on the statin industry’s home turf, zealous use of statins to lower numbers to absurdly low levels to prevent a second heart attack or stroke has now been proven a waste. The latest study shows that using high-dose statin therapy to force numbers down does not improve mortality risk and has many adverse side effects. The setting of guidelines for this absurd use of a toxic drug was of course done by an “expert panel” wherein most members were consultants for the producers of statin drugs.
Collectively, these mainstream studies are showing that approximately 2/3 to3/4 of current statin sales have no useful purpose or are actually harmful.
The attack by mainstream on Big Pharma is widening to almost every drug they have patent protection on. Public health researchers are now proclaiming that “The ratio of benefits to harms among patients taking new drugs tends to vary inversely with how extensively the drugs are marketed…This is not a random occurrence, but rather a repeating, planned scenario… Drugs that pharmaceutical companies market most aggressively to physicians and patients tend to offer less benefit and more harm to most patients.”
The study is published in the prestigious American Journal of Public Health and was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. It focuses on six areas where Big Pharma manipulates facts and often breaks laws in an effort to sell patented drugs with high profits to people who do not need them and should not take them (which is approximately 90% of the sales of these drugs that are being paid for by higher health care costs). This system is especially good at fraudulently bilking Medicare and Medicaid.
The six marketing scams mentioned are reducing thresholds for diagnosing disease, relying on surrogate endpoints, exaggerating safety claims, exaggerating efficacy claims, creating new diseases, and encouraging unapproved uses. I’ve been reporting on these abuses for years – to my surprise mainstream public health officials are joining in.
The press release for this article ends by saying “Patients can also play an important role by being more skeptical of drug ads … and remember, the most important directive in them is to talk to your doctor.” The actual earthquake isn’t going to strike Big Pharma until people wake up and realize it is their doctors that are actually the instrument of poisoning. Why would someone want to get advice from the person that is poisoning them? There appears to still be a basic assumption in society that doctors provide great health care. That is rubbish. I’m not talking about emergency medicine. I’m talking about the widespread overuse of drugs in the name of “prevention” and relying on them solely for the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular disease. The fraud is massive and doctors are at the center of it.
The top-selling drug in America based on cost is now the incredibly dangerous and disease-producing atypical anti-psychotic medications. True enough, more people by number are hooked on the statin fraud, but these new metabolism-disrupting drugs are a great tool for turning people into zombies. They were designed for schizophrenics, have never been proven to work better than dirt-cheap drugs that no longer have patent protection, and have received excessive marketing buzz, much of it illegal, resulting in billions of dollars in sales as a behavior management tool for elderly people who are irritated they are in a nursing home, misbehaving children in orphanages, hyperactive children, and gullible adults watching TV adds. The drugs destroy metabolism, causing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The drugs also alter the brain. If you want a society of diseased zombies then this is the best drug to ever come down the Big Pharma pike.
Shockingly, a mainstream study by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and University of Chicago says that these “lack strong evidence that the drugs will actually help. Yet, drugs in this class may cause such serious effects as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, and cost Americans billions of dollars.”
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In plain English this means that drug marketing of a ridiculously expensive patent-protected drug becomes the focus of health care, not the patient. In other words, we have drug-sales-centered health care, not patient-centered health care. The antipsychotic medications have taken this marketing craze to a new level of absurd – cramming a pure metabolic poison down the throats of children, elderly, and naive adults.
A large magnitude earthquake is sitting below the Big Pharma bubble. Fissures are cropping up in unexpected places. The mainstream media is even starting to bite the hand that feeds it. Health care costs are putting pressure on the wasteful and harmful fraud. All the factors for a perfect storm are in place – and it’s about time Big Pharma was made to stop its highly profitable sales that do far more harm than good. All it will take is fed up Americans to stand and be counted.
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