Big Pharma as Organised Crime

Ex-BMJ editor Richard Smith’s preface to a book by Peter Gøtzsche, the head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, entitled Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare –  a book about the failures of the whole system of discovering, producing, marketing, and regulating drugs.

Many of those who read this book will ask if Peter has over-reached himself in suggesting that the activities of the drug industry amount to organised crime. The characteristics of organised crime, racketeering, is defined in US law as the act of engaging repeatedly in certain types of offence, including extortion, fraud, federal drug offences, bribery, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, obstruction of law enforcement, tampering with witnesses, and political corruption. Peter produces evidence, most of it detailed, to support his case that pharmaceutical companies are guilty of most of these offences.

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 …”

Many people are killed by the industry, many more than are killed by the mob. Indeed, hundreds of thousands are killed every year by prescription drugs. Many will see this as almost inevitable because the drugs are being used to treat diseases that themselves kill. But a counter-argument is that the 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…

Most of Peter’s book is devoted to building up the case that the drug industry has systematically corrupted science to play up the benefits and play down the harms of their drugs… He shows too how the industry has bought doctors, academics, journals, professional and patient organisations, university departments, journalists, regulators, and politicians. These are the methods of the mob…

Critics of the drug industry have been increasing in number, respectability, and vehemence, and Peter has surpassed them all in comparing the industry with organised crime.

It’s increasingly how I’ve begun to think about pharma companies. I wasn’t aware that someone had made the charge explicitly.

For the past 50 years, it’s been Big Tobacco which has been cast as the Bad Guy. But Big Pharma is increasingly becoming a serious contender for that part. It’s much bigger than Big Tobacco, and it’s much nastier. I’ve never been quite sure what was supposed to be so bad about Big Tobacco anyway, apart from denying that smoking causes lung cancer. However, pharma companies are now facing expensive lawsuits due to the serious side effects caused by many medications. One example, Bayer, is having to pay out billions to prosecutors in the yaz law suit, for insufficient side effect warnings on the drugs labels. The drug seems to be causing blood clots and strokes in young women.

And since Tobacco Control gets a lot of funding from Big Pharma, they’ll automatically become Bad Guys too, once Big Pharma gets tainted.

Tobacco Control always casts itself as the Good Guy fighting the Forces of Evil incarnated in the tobacco company, Doing Good by helping wean smokers away from its lethal product.

But in fact Tobacco Control is simply trying to get smokers hooked on Big Pharma’s NRT products instead. And it’s using the brute force of the law – banning smoking, hiding and defacing traditional tobacco products, and ramping up tobacco taxation to extortionate levels – to do so. And it’s also doing its damnedest (using the law, as ever) to stop smokers turning to new-fangled e-cigs instead of NRT, because that would defeat the entire strategy.

The more people that learn that, far from doing any good, Tobacco Control is doing a colossal amount of outright evil, destroying communities and friendships, setting people against each other, crushing the hospitality industry, and hobbling the economy, as well as robbing smokers, the sooner their saintly mask will slip, and reveal the ravening wolf behind.

But before this happens, people will probably need to realise that the medical profession is deeply implicated as well.

The doctor and author Ben Goldacre, in his book Bad Pharma raises the interesting thought that doctors have come to see as “normal” a relationship with the drug industry that the public will see as wholly unacceptable when they fully understand it. In Britain doctors might follow journalists, members of Parliament, and bankers into disgrace for failing to see how corrupt their ways have become. At the moment the public tends to trust doctors and distrust drug companies, but the trust could be rapidly lost.

About Frank Davis

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70 Responses to Big Pharma as Organised Crime

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Lordy Lordy Look who dropped the ball!

    Mayor Bloomberg has scrapped a key provision from his anti-tobacco legislation that would have banned cigs from being publicly displayed behind the counter or anywhere else in stores, The Post has learned

    http://nypost.com/2013/10/26/mayor-drops-bid-to-ban-display-of-cigarettes-in-stores/

  2. ijcd36 says:

    Has anyone wondered whether the problem would have developed if the patents on new drugs, particularly successful drugs, expired in 50 or 100 years instead of just 10? Drugs would not need to be so expensive for a start, research could be less frenzied and generic cowboys put out of business.

    • Frank Davis says:

      That would be to hand pharma companies a 50 – 100 year monopoly. The idea behind 10-year patents is to encourage competition. Plenty of other businesses survive selling products which aren’t patented, by producing a better or cheaper and thus more competitive product; why can’t pharma companies do the same?

    • Nightlight says:

      The patents are not the problem (they exist in all other industries, not just in sickness industry), but the crony capitalism is, where government is bought by the few big players to keep the competitors out. The FDA’s armed swat teams go out and ransack alternative or natural medicine shops that could threaten profits of the pharma. The pharma attacks none more viciously than the ancient medicinal plant, tobacco, the most potent and beneficial among them all. To say nothing of “war on (non-pharma) drugs” so pharma could sell more of their pain killers, anti-depressants,… In all these manifestation of the pharma’s social malignancy, the government bureaucracies are functioning as the armed goons breaking legs and killing for their pharma bosses.

      The whole social organism, the society, is suffering the toxic side effects of the big pharma, just as individuals often do with many of the pharma products.

      • Klaus K says:

        “The whole social organism, the society, is suffering the toxic side effects of the big pharma, just as individuals often do with many of the pharma products.”

        I totally agree. But more: Big Pharma also attacks other industries, not just the natural drug industry, but any industry producing something people put in the mouth or the body. Right now they are attacking the sugar industry in order to manipulate the idea into the public mind, that natural sugar must be taxed higher because of sugar’s “health effects”.

        Of course they own sugar “replacements” themselves, like the cigarette / nicotine-replacement products. The artificial sweetener Splenda is owned by the Johnson & Johnson-company McNeil, also owners of Nicorette: http://www.splenda.com/
        And they are always much more unhealthy to humans than the natural ones:
        http://cspinet.org/new/201306121.html

        Big Pharma is a big bully in the world. There’s a good quote here from a top medical leader in France:

        “The pharmaceutical industry is the most lucrative, the most cynical and the least ethical of all the industries – It is like an octopus with tentacles that has infiltrated all the decision making bodies, world health organisations, governments, parliaments, high administrations in health and hospitals and the medical profession.”

        “It has done this with the connivance, and occasionally the corruption of the medical profession. I am not just talking about medicines but the whole of medicine. It is the pharmaceutical industry that now outlines the entire medical landscape in our country.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/14/french-doctors-drugs-useless-dangerous

  3. Junican says:

    Have I got this right? Is ijed saying that a successful drug would not need to be ‘tampered with’ and ‘improved’ if the patent lasted longer?
    I suppose that it could be so, but I rather think that Big Pharm would tamper anyway. But the question of corruption arises whenever monopolies exist, and patents are a form of monopoly, aren’t they? Fair does – patents exist to give an inventor’s idea reasonable protection, but where health is concerned, surely an invention ought to be as widely available as possible for others to improve for the benefit of mankind? You are right – “Drugs are not toffees or like any other form of merchandise”, therefore there should be no patents!

    • Walt says:

      NO patents? Not sure if you’re serious because in that case we’re back to “profit is a dirty word,” or to fooling around with the acceptable margin of gain over cost. Bringing a drug to market in America costs multimillions and can take a decade, and were there no patent –no guarantee that the fruits of the research and the expense of the testing would be adequately rewarded,,, why (from a business point of view) bother? And there goes pretty much the end of innovation. (in fact, of ANY innovation. It’s normal to want to own one’s creations. To have the exclusive right to sign them and to sell them if only for the glory or to buy oneself “idle time” in Frank’s coinage. Take away ownership, take away profit and you take away ambition.)

      Of course, the very fact that bringing a drug to market IS so expensive creates its own messes. Limits the kind of R & D from the get-go; leads only to a search for “blockbuster” drugs or marginal improvements in widely-used categories; leads to graft and corruption in the testing, marketing and approval process, to tainted “studies,” distorted “science,” and, as somebody mentioned, disease mongering, doctor buying and over-prescribing. And I have no idea what to do about any of that but removing patents isn’t it. Nor is extending them, Perhaps an answer might lie in an extended period of royalties, operating almost like the copyright system… .

      • Frank Davis says:

        NO patents? Not sure if you’re serious because in that case we’re back to “profit is a dirty word,” or to fooling around with the acceptable margin of gain over cost.

        Patents allow producers to charge high prices, and make big profits, in the absence of competition. Once competitors enter the market, after 10 years, the price will fall, and drive the weaker competitors (those with the highest costs of production) out of the market. Profits will fall, but they won’t entirely vanish. Whether that’s “acceptable” is a judgment call. Pharma companies seem to have got used to a patent-protected environment where they can make big profits. But is that justified?

        More or less everybody else works outside the patent/monopoly environment. The automobile industry in the early 1900s (and still today) wasn’t patent-protected. “Cars” weren’t patented items. Anyone could make them, and anyone did. Ford, Chrysler, etc. And to beat the competition Ford built efficient assembly lines in his factories, which cut the time/cost of production and allowed him to mass-produce Model T Ford cars. The competition followed, and improved their products. The competition continues to this day. And cars have improved considerably over the past 100 years.

        But if Henry Ford had been granted a 100-year patent on “cars”, we’d still be driving round in pre-Model T cars. (Some people might think that would have been a good thing.)

        What applies to cars also applies to computers, which aren’t patented items. And now maybe also e-cigarettes.

        Of course everyone wants to have a monopoly. You can charge top prices with a monopoly. You can even charge “rip-off” prices (where the price exceeds the value).

        Bringing a drug to market in America costs multimillions and can take a decade,

        Same goes for developing a new car engine, or a new generation of computers, or a new anything. What’s so special about pharma drugs that they need special protection? Ian Dunbar says that they’re “not toffees”, but what does that mean? That they’re not luxuries? Well, neither are cars or computers or food or housing. Pharma drugs are something you swallow, just like food (or toffees). They have a beneficial effect, just like food (and toffees). What’s the magic ingredient that makes pharma drugs so special? Particular when (as the above piece says) the result is a monster.

        • ijcd36 says:

          Medicine is a profession that, like teaching and the law, deals with the welfare of people. Business on the other hand deals in the manufacture and distribution of goods and chattels. If you treat people and their welfare like goods and chattels you have the situation about which you are complaining.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Medicine may be a profession, but pharmaceutical drugs aren’t. They’re products – useful tools – just like any other. And also just like any other useful tools that medics use. e.g. thermometers. Should thermometers have 100-year patent protection too?

        • ijcd36 says:

          Comparing drugs to tools is not appropriate. You cannot tighten a loose nut by swallowing a spanner.
          The body operates under the influence of a fearsome number of chemicals most of which are still unknown. Among then are the hormones and neurotransmitters that modulate the balance of the mind. Some are known, e.g. adrenaline. Others have only recently been discovered, e.g. opioids and cannabinoids. Their chemistry and function are still being unravelled and ill understood. A drug might have a known physical effect on the body for which it is developed and prescribed but unknown side effects on the balance of the mind. Hence the phenomenon of side effects.
          Goods and chattels on the other hand are developed and manufactured within known scientifically deduced parameters. It is therefore a grave mistake to view drugs simply as tools.

        • Frank Davis says:

          When I refer to something as a “useful tool”, I don’t mean that it’s like a spanner (although spanners are useful tools). I mean it in the conceptual schema of Idle Theory Useful tools reduce human work. All sorts of things are useful tools, including mathematics and language and pharmaceutical drugs.

          Someone who is suffering intense physical pain is often unable to do anything else. They are involuntarily “busy at work”. A drug that relieves that pain reduces or completely frees them from the involuntary “work” they are doing. Its value is to reduce/stop pain/work for some period of time. Its cost is the amount of work that is needed to manufacture it.

          Precisely how drugs relieve pain is a detail that we don’t need to know. All we need to know is that it does what is required. Just as all we need to know about a car is that it will get us from A to B as quickly as we want. We don’t need to know about pistons and cylinders and gears.

          And there are side effects with everything, not just drugs. e.g. one of the side effects of cars is exhaust gases in the air. Others are traffic jams, problems with pedestrians and cyclists, etc,

          So I still don’t see anything special about pharmaceutical drugs, that merits special economic protection. :-)

          P.S. I also don’t see that not fully understanding the chemistry makes pharmaceutical drugs special. All our scientific understanding is incomplete, in every field of inquiry.

        • ijcd36 says:

          You are trying to make out that I defend big pharma and discredit me. Why?
          When I was a boy, the most commonly used and most effective drug was ‘coloured water’. There were opiates of course but they only work on a one off basis before tolerance and its associated problems develop.
          The reason why coloured water worked was because it depended on the drug called ‘doctor’. It was the first drug ever to be discovered among hunter/gatherers in the jungle. It is still the most effective drug available.
          Then along came antibiotics and their miraculous effect on infections. Since then the holy grail of big pharma, EGGED ON BY THE PUBLIC, has been to produce a drug that treats other conditions with similar certainty. Therein lies the root of problems. The drug called doctor was dismissed as mumbo-jumbo and now you are all suffering the consequences.
          You can whine and complain vociferously about treatment in the NHS even suing for thousands. Why is nobody able to complain about the way the NHS has been treating family doctors since its inception. It has become increasingly impossible for them to treat their patients quickly and cheaply the way patients clamour to be treated and could be treated?

        • Frank Davis says:

          You are trying to make out that I defend big pharma and discredit me. Why?

          I’m doing neither. I’m simply disagreeing that pharma drugs should be exempted from 10-year patent restrictions. And I’m doing that because I can’t see that they’re any different from any other product.

          I entirely understand what you mean by the drug called ‘doctor’, and I don’t think it’s mumbo-jumbo.

        • ijcd36 says:

          If drug companies had more than 10 years to recoup research expenses they would not have to charge so much in the first place and there would not be the same pressure to come up with a replacement which is rubbish, e.g. Roche’s replacement of Librium with Valium in the ’60s, when patents expire.

        • Frank Davis says:

          If drug companies had more than 10 years to recoup research expenses they would not have to charge so much in the first place

          That makes it sound like drug companies barely manage to break even on a drug like Librium. But the evidence from the book review above is that they make very big profits.

          There’s something that just doesn’t make sense here. Let’s take it as read that Librium was a very effective drug. Let’s suppose that company X spent $10 million developing it, and a further $10 million on its mass production and distribution. And that it sold $40 million worth of Librium over the 10-year patent period, with a net profit of $20 million. Come the end of that period, it can continue to make and sell Librium (it has both the manufacturing capacity and the distribution network and the brand name recognition), except that since anyone can now manufacture it and sell it, there’ll be competition, and the price will fall. Maybe to 1/10th or even 1/100th of the initial price. But there’ll still be a small profit in it. So why doesn’t X just accept the smaller profit?

          I’m not a drug company insider, but my guess is that, instead of barely managing to break even on new drugs like Librium, patent-monopolist drug companies actually make huge profits on them (like monopolist suppliers of anything usually do). These huge profits vanish when the patent expires. But rather than accepting the diminished profit margin, they try and repeat the trick with another new drug, like Vallium. And maybe, in order to make sure people use Vallium instead of Librium, they stop manufacturing Librium.

          That’s just my guess. The nearest analogy that comes to mind is that of a rock-n-roll band that comes out with a big hit record – call it Librium – which sells millions for a few months, and then continues to sell at a much reduced volume in subsequent years. But not enough to support the jet set lifestyle to which the band have become accustomed. So they hunt around for another big hit – which they find in Vallium, although it’s not half as good as Librium was -. In fact, they have to come up with a long series of big hits. Although, in the case of music, the hits continue to sell at a reduced volume for decades after, if the songs were good enough.

          Anyway, I don’t see what’s to stop a drug company manufacturing Librium, apart from the fact that the profits will be relatively small.

          P.S. Report: NHS needs to do more to help patients complain

        • ijcd36 says:

          ‘Come the end of that period, it can continue to make and sell Librium (it has both the manufacturing capacity and the distribution network and the brand name recognition), except that since anyone can now manufacture it and sell it, there’ll be competition, and the price will fall. Maybe to 1/10th or even 1/100th of the initial price. But there’ll still be a small profit in it. So why doesn’t X just accept the smaller profit?’

          Unfortunately, the government has long since forbidden family doctors from prescribing drugs by anything other than their generic names i.e. no profit.

          I do not think you should labour the obscene profit bit too far. I saw the other day that the average worker is earning something like £20,000 a year. To me that is an obscene profit. Having devoted my life to medicine and been forced to make considerable sacrifices to do so, I am expected to live on £5000 a year. Fortunately a small inheritance that originated in the prewar profits of Glaxo, doubles that.

          When I resigned from the NHS in 1973, the average GP was paid £4000 a year for a 168 hour week or about £0-45 per hour. The average worker was earning £2000 a year for a 48 hour week or about £0-80 per hour.

          I think you should ride that particular hobby horse to the knackers yard! There are far more important things for you to get worked up about.

      • smokingscot says:

        Fair do’s. They should receive something for their research and approvals costs and 10 years is a compromise that works quite well. Certainly there are many that feel it worth their while to get into the drugs market, even if only for generic products.

        However a recent case in India does show that Novartis can try to sail close to the wind by seeking a patent for a slightly modified version of an earlier product whose patent had expired.

        Generic manufacturers in India produce this for £48 a month vs £2600 per month for the Novartis version.

        If memory serves me they did get a patent approval in the developed world. For changing one ingredient!!!

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indian-court-refuses-to-grant-patent-to-drugs-manufacturer-in-landmark-case-that-could-keep-lifesaving-medicine-affordable-8555902.html

  4. mikef317 says:

    From 2006, 47 pages long. Multiple articles on disease mongering. Scroll to pg 3 for the start of the text.

    Click to access plos_medicine_diseasemongering.pdf

  5. anono1955 says:

    Tobacco Control is a champagne tower with Johnson and Johnson/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with their marketing partners in HHS, the CDC, the FDA, and NIH, pouring in the bubbly from the top, where it moves down into the 501c3’s, nationwide, to do their illegal lobbying for them. From the YMCA, United Way, locally federally funded, federally created, “grassroots” groups, local television stations and newspapers, the money, both federal (CPPW and SIF grants) and pharma, flow down to the massive conglomeration of grant moochers and spongers in the tiniest towns in America.
    When they get their illegal lobbied for smoking bans passed, then the “free” NRT patches are handed out, and the “tobacco counselors” go into overdrive.
    The money then goes back to J&J and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for MORE campaign contributions to more candidates for MORE federal and state level spending.
    J&J sell patches, so we have a “war” on smokers, NOT tobacco.
    J&J sell the most used lap band procedure and Splenda and diet pills, so we have a “war” on sugar and obesity.
    J&J sell anti depressants and anti anxiety drugs, so we have a “war” on alcohol.
    They have been working on alcohol for a long time as isolating people from their friends with smoking bans and DUI’s, and humiliating people sells all their drugs.
    Lobbying is illegal for RWJF and the other 501c3’s involved, including the ACS, ALA, AHA, and a hundred others who the IRS is NOT going to investigate.
    I sent a formal complaint to the IRS, which they received on August 7th. This was at about the same time that RWJF “donated” $10,000,000 to “promote” the Obamacare signup. This was about the same time that the IRS was accused, and rightly so, of attacking 501c4’s, while they allowed the billions of dollars being used illegally to flow in and through the entire 501c3 racketeering organizations.

    • mikef317 says:

      In 1998 James T. Bennett and Thomas J. DiLorenzo wrote a book about The American Cancer Society’s use of public funds to lobby government. Highly recommended.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/CancerScam-Diversion-Federal-Cancer-Politics/dp/1560003340/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382940051&sr=1-35&keywords=DiLorenzo

      By the same authors, also highly recommended, a history of the U. S. Public Health bureaucracy.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pathology-Politics-Public-Health-America/dp/1412807360/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308123462&sr=1-1

    • Klaus K says:

      @ anono1955: Thanks for your insights. It seems like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has taken power in many parts of the US administration. Don’t you have a website or blog where you can post this information and your documents?

      I am sure people still not fully understand how bad these organisations are. Pharma companies like Johnson & Johnson kill many people each year by pushing bad drugs & devices to people – so they need charities like the Johnson Foundation to keep up the appearance of being “good” in public. As you correctly point out, the Johnson-owners are so greedy that they can’t just jump on any “good” cause, unless one of their companies have products on the shelves which will be promoted as a result of the cause – ie. War on Tobacco / Nicorette – War on Sugar (childhood obesity) / Spenda.

      The pharma mob has been attacking people and other industries for at least 100 years – their goal is owning & patenting everything humans put in their mouth or body – in the case of tobacco, the nicotine. There is some links to the history of Big Pharma here:
      http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_brotherhood05.htm#part%209

      http://www.whale.to/b/ruesch.html

      http://www.relay-of-life.org/speech/speech.html

      • ijcd36 says:

        I think you have a cart before the horse here. When people do not feel very well they will take anything they think might make them feel better. They always have done and always will. In the old days family doctors prevented them coming to harm by reassurance and ‘coloured water’. The NHS did not approve and the drug companies jumped on the bandwagon unchallenged. There are more details in my blogs at http://www.doctor-ian.org

        • Klaus K says:

          I’m not talking about family doctors, Sir. I’m talking about a very rich criminal organisation, the global pharma cartel. This cartel not only kill people and ruin peoples lives with highly expensive drugs, which are dangerous and addictive – it is also attacking other industries and businesses with their army of paid experts & activists in the public health sector, thereby threatening the basic human right to decide for yourself what you choose to put in your mouth.
          The pharma cartel is pushing for a totalitarian society in the west again. They also did that in 1933 when the pharma cartel at the time, I.G.Farben, helped the nazis to power in Germany. Please read the 3 links I put in the above post.

  6. “The doctor and author Ben Goldacre, in his book Bad Pharma …. At the moment the public tends to trust doctors and distrust drug companies, but the trust could be rapidly lost.”

    It already is lost here in Galloway, S.W. Scotland. Because of our remoteness, we fail to attract enough bods anyway and those we do end up with are generally rubbish. The GPs are an embarrassment and EVERYONE agrees, although as Dr Ian said a few days ago, they are only obeying DoH orders and are probably rubbish everywhere nowadays as a result.

    I have washed my hands of the NHS (unless/until I absolutely have no other choice) and their ‘medicine’ and ‘treatment’ and (biggest laugh of all) ‘care’.

    As I say, the NHS now exists primarily to control, subvert, collect information for the Government and kill – and drug run for the Pharma Boys.

    • ijcd36 says:

      Well said Stewart!
      General practice as practised in the NHS today would have been regarded as unethical when I was a lad. Doctors and their medicine are there to make people feel better not make them feel ill. So called preventative medicine and unknown and untested side effects of drugs are costing you all over 100 billion pounds a year. You all need to be more forensic in your approach to the problem.
      Have a butchers starting here: http://www.doctor-ian.org/?p=567 and plod through this dreary saga: http://www.doctor-ian.org/?p=404. Then write to the Royal College of GPs and ask them why they have allowed this state of affairs to arise. I tested them in 1972 and found them seriously lacking and motivated by politics rather than science.

      • I have much reading to do on your site, sir. I am also still planning on taking legal action against the Health Mafia when I have various other matters tied up.

        But, you’re right. It is incredibly unethical. The drugs. The propaganda posters and leaflets. The lack of compassion within most GPs – their consciences having been attacked for so long. My GP (up until a few months ago) is supposedly a Christian – I went to the same church as him for 4 or 5 years up until 2010 – but it’s not like the Freemasons – doesn’t get you anywhere. Too scared of the DoH and putting their salary and pension in jeopardy.

        It was no holds barred towards the end. I told him he’d give condoms to 12 year-olds and advise about abortions, but wouldn’t help me.

        “Don’t brig abortion into it,” he’d say.

        Just what does it take for their conscience to tell them enough is enough, I wonder? His wife is a part-time GP, so you can imagine they’re making a good few bob out of obeying orders which conflict with their supposed beliefs, so they ‘ask’ people like me to find a new practice, but I got my local MSP involved and requested emails between him and the local Health Board and they admit it would be the same story at any practice.

        I am persona non grata at the NHS, yet have to pay for the Barbarians’ overblown salaries and pensions.

        • ijcd36 says:

          Yes! Family doctors have been emotionally blackmailed into collaboration by the need to provide for their wives and families. For refusing to collaborate I have not been paid since 1973, have no wife and family – and nobody cares – civil rights do not extend to doctor’s who keep their eye on the ball!
          If anyone is interested in the details they will have to read my two boring books: http://www.doctor-ian.org – details on home page.
          The bottom line, believe it or not, is anti-British racism! The skids are under all of us and have been for several decades.

    • Nightlight says:

      Stewart, having arrived at similar conclusions I stopped going to the quacks altogether since 1991, and short of broken bone or some other clear cut major acute emergency with simple direct treatment, I don’t intend to see them ever.

      I take care of most problems that come up, which are mainly minor injuries or reaction to disagreeable foods and beverages. The biggest problem I had to deal with was setting back a dislocated finger few years ago, which I did after looking up anatomy sites (luckily it was a left hand finger). For antibiotics, which I use very rarely, I buy pet versions online (after searching for brand reviews of such use, which are found mostly on preper or survivalists sites).

      I also find quite useful the public advice from the “health” authorities, mostly as a tip to consider doing exactly the opposite, which in most cases I do (from smoking, eating meat, eggs, animal fat, salt,…).

      • Frank Davis says:

        I stopped going to the quacks altogether since 1991, and short of broken bone or some other clear cut major acute emergency with simple direct treatment, I don’t intend to see them ever.

        I have the same attitude. I stopped going to my GP after 2007 (and all-out UK war on smokers). I no longer have a GP. I find that most mild disorders that I develop generally go away after a while. I think if I had rushed off to see my GP at the first sign of trouble, I’d probably be on dozens of drugs by now. As it is, I’m on zero drugs (apart from whisky and cigarettes). And I eat what I like. I pay zero attention to diet fads.

        I pretty much only ever went to my GP to get sleeping tablets. In 2007, I found I could do without them, and that a whisky nightcap was just as effective.

      • Rose says:

        I used to eat very little salt, just because I didn’t really think of it.
        I wouldn’t have thought of it at all until the activities of Campaign for Action on Salt and Health (CASH) brought it to my attention around a couple of years ago.
        Having done a little research, now I make sure to eat salt regularly, especially in summer.

        …I never used to be this way.

  7. Dragonmum says:

    I’m told a cardiologist on the Jeremy Vine show (or some such show) blew apart all the propaganda about “saturated” fat being the enemy. Nasty word that, saturated. The body has evolved to deal with animal fat but not with refined sugars and trans-fats that extend the shelf-life of rubbish products. Right on cue “The Ministry” was on TV next day determined to make war on saturated fat! Countries are no longer run by governments they are just manipulated for the benefit of all the huge conglomerates in whose pockets those governments dwell.
    As for the greatest miracle of the 21sr century, the electronic cigarette which has the potential to save millions of lives world-wide at no cost to the tax-payer – we are having to fight those politicos, Charities and Medics bought and paid for by the Pharmaceutical giants, which means pretty much everyone. Totally agree with Stewart and Nightlight – consider their agendas, listen to what they recommend then do the opposite!

    • nisakiman says:

      …the electronic cigarette which has the potential to save millions of lives world-wide…

      I would take issue with that.

      You are accepting the assumption that smoking tobacco in itself kills millions of people annually. That is a soundbite of the Tobacco Control Industry, a set of theoretical figures churned out by SAMMEC, their computer model software. And as they say, GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out. The death certificates ascribing ’cause of death’ to smoking certainly don’t number in their millions. Nor thousands. Nor hundreds. Any death may or may not have been exacerbated by smoking, but they can’t be sure. There is no disease that is exclusive to smoking, and all ‘smoking related’ diseases are multifactorial.

      I’d write more (I may yet!) but dinner calls.

      • beobrigitte says:

        …the electronic cigarette which has the potential to save millions of lives world-wide…

        xxx I would take issue with that. xxx

        So would I. The so called ” smoking related diseases are nothing more than age related diseases MOST of us will encounter at a certain age. Nature made us that way!
        Which “millions of lives” would e-cigarettes then “save”?

        I personally wish the manufacturers of e-CIGARETTES (it should really be called “miniature water pipe) who sell their product along the anti-smoker lines to be put out of business by tobacco control and the pharmaceutical industry.
        Unfortunately there are some who don’t. And we are supposed to live in a “free market”…………..

    • Jonathan Bagley says:

      Can you remember exactly when it was DM. I’d really like to listen to it. I suffered two days of the BBC’s ignorant acceptance that saturated fat is something to be avoided.

  8. Rose says:

    I first heard about ban on smoking at the same time as I heard about the ban on herbal medicines, though I don’t take herbal remedies or vitamin supplements and never have.
    Perhaps I should.

    2002
    “Drug companies have a proven track record in trying to legislate the natural health business out of existence.

    In 1996, for example, the Ecologist magazine revealed that, when the Codex Alimentarius (the World Trade Organisation body that sets international standards for drugs, food, supplements, etc) met, the German delegation put forward a proposal, sponsored by three German pharmaceutical firms, that no herb, vitamin or mineral should be sold for preventive or therapeutic reasons, and that supplements should be reclassified as drugs.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2002/sep/14/medicineandhealth.lifeandhealth

    Nil by mouth – 2004

    “Nor does it stop at nutrients. The Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD), now working its way through the EU machine, promises to provide for a ‘simplified pharmaceutical registration’ for ‘herbal medicines’ – but only for substances that have been in safe use for 30 years, 15 of them within the EU, singly or in the same combinations. Thus, medicinal herbs in centuries-long use outside the community cannot benefit from the fast-track licence procedure.

    The THMPD is a part of the existing Pharmaceuticals Directive, currently being amended to widen the scope of drug classification. According to the amendment, anything that ‘restores, corrects or modifies physiological function’ in the body will be deemed a drug.”
    http: //www.theguardian.com/society/2004/feb/29/health.shopping

    As you might expect

    2008
    Vitamin supplements may increase risk of death
    http: //www.theguardian.com/science/2008/apr/16/medicalresearch

    Europe to ban hundreds of herbal remedies – 2010

    Safety concerns sparked drive to outlaw products
    http: //www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/europe-to-ban-hundreds-of-herbal-remedies-2171781.html

    Unsurprisingly

    Now they want control of all the plants.

    08 May 2013
    “Under the new rules, which form part of a revision of EU law that aims to cut 70 pieces of food safety legislation down to just 5, it will become illegal to grow, reproduce or trade any vegetable seed or tree that has not been tested and approved by the new EU Plant Variety Agency, which will be formed to handle the regulations.

    The agency will require an annual fee for regulating and approving seeds; if this is not paid, permission to grow seeds will be withdrawn”.

    “On Monday last-minute alterations were made to the draft legislation, which reduced the potential impact of the new laws. The concessionary measures include:

    “An allowance for home gardeners to save and swap unapproved seed without breaking the law.”
    http://www.farming.co.uk/news/article/8341

    We’ll see how long that lasts.

    “The new regulations are due to enter into force in 2016.”

  9. Pingback: Big Pharma as Organized Crime

  10. Right on the money, Frank. Pharma are a mob using tobacco control as their hired goons, they have been since the late 70s but their input increased dramatically from around 1999 onwards.

    This is why I have always considered e-cigs to be a significant development. Once they started to really gain traction 5 or 6 years ago, a war was always on the cards. The recent huge flurry of pharma activity in trying to get them closed down has been astonishing. They are so terrified by the incredible rise of e-cigs that they are not even taking the usual precautions to keep their names out of it.

    What’s more, the worldwide moves to ban e-cigs are being seen as ludicrous by people who have no idea of the background to the whole anti-smoking juggernaut. Their lies over SHS took about 20 years or so to gain a foothold, but now they’re expecting the public to believe – wholesale – dangers from e-cigs in a very short space of time, or else vaping will be so big that the NRT market will implode like the demand for Betamax video recorders.

    If doctors get caught up and exposed shilling for a discredited industry, more fool them. They should also be very worried about the “date of guilty knowledge” as I’ve mentioned a few times before. It has just about passed, and will cost them far more than a loss of respect if they don’t stop dancing to the pharma tune sharpish.

    Interesting times. ;)

  11. garyk30 says:

    The mafia seldom tells their ‘customers’ a lie.
    Equating the Mafia with drug companies is defaming the Mafia.

    • garyk30 says:

      As for doctors, they are human and make mistakes.
      I try to avoid people whose mistakes can kill or injure me.

      • garyk30 says:

        Being a patient in a hospital/nursing home is about 3.7 times more deadly than smoking.

        There are about 35 million hospital admissions per year and about 1.5 million nursing home patients for a total of 36.5 million people receiving hospital/nursing home care.

        Iatrogenic =induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures

        584,136 of those people will die from an iatrogenic death.

        The iatrogenic death rate for patients admitted into hospitals or treated by doctors in hospitals is about 160/10,000.

        393,000 smoking ’caused’ deaths per year per 91 million ever smokers is a rate of 43/10,000.

        http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/mar2004_awsi_death_02.htm
        Table 1: Estimated Annual Mortality and Economic Cost of Medical Intervention
        Condition………………………Deaths

        Adverse Drug Reactions……..106,000
        Medical error ……………………98,000

        Bedsores ………………………115,000

        Malnutrition…………………….108,800

        Infection ………………………….88,000

        Unnecessary Procedures…….37,136

        Surgery-Related ………………..32,000

        Total……………………………584,136

      • beobrigitte says:

        Infection ………………………….88,000

        This might have been correct in 2004; ever since this number has sharply increased and MRSA , a (mostly, not exclusively, though) ‘hospital acquired’ infection is being held mostly responsible.
        There is little to read about the overprescription of antibiotics by the medical establishment over a number of years back; surely the scientists working for a pharmaceutical company could see that this would lead to an increase of antibiotic resistance in bacteria – by then it was quite well known that plasmids exist and that they can duplicate in 20 minutes, (this increases the adaption rate to ‘threats’ disproportionally to our defense) so antibiotic resistance was on the cards from the word “go”.
        The Methocycillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is probably the best example but even back in the 90s we could watch “documentaries” about tuberculosis in Russia. Here the patients were blamed for ‘not taking the full dose’ of antibiotics prescribed – now contributing to the spread of this disease. Omitted was that even for viral infects a massive dose of a ‘broad acting’ antibiotic was prescribed and once the medic had reached a certain quota, a holiday for a week somewhere in the sun was on the horizon.

        Now there are very few antibiotics left effective for treating MRSA. The problem is that it will take time and a huge amount of money to research and develop more effective antibiotics. It takes little time and little effort to throw an ineffective placebo of smoking cessation product on the market; or, going through archives, finding a compound to which the (paid) volunteer guinea pigs declared: “I didn’t want to smoke”….
        The latter, within a short time on the market, has shown to be to increase depression (thus a non-productive existence of people being suckered into the health brigade’s “be healthy – give up smoking” lark, that costs the taxpayer a considerable amount of money – a ‘non-productive’ person still needs to eat and have a roof over his/her head!) or even lead to suicide.
        I believe the medical establishment is still happy to prescribe “Zyban” or “Champix”……

        The balance has been tipped; for a short term gain, on the long run the pharmaceutical industry – along with it’s friend Tobacco Control – has cut itself too deep into it’s own flesh to ever recover.
        No government survives without a PRODUCTIVE work force! Disgruntled or sickness benefit receiving citizen do not make up a productive work force!!

        (Apologies for my rant!!!)

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cafe Toxins Have Decreased by 90% Since the Smoking Ban

      • Incredible piece of nonsense from beginning to end. A 90% reduction in the “most critical components when it comes to toxicology..”

        And they then name nicotine, never noting that you’d have to hang out in a decently ventilated pub for tens of thousands of hours WITHOUT EVER GOING TO THE BATHROOM in order to get a toxic dose from the pre-ban levels. Oh, and you’d have to stop your body’s metabolism (i.e. be dead) so that it wouldn’t do that annoying thing of metabolizing the nicotine into cotinine and getting rid of it.

        Ahhh, but then they talk about the “high concentrations of benzopyrene (1 nanogram/m3) ” High concentrations. One NANOGRAM per cubic meter. Without going into the detailed math of it for the moment, I believe that level indicates you’d have to hang out in those polluted cafes for several MILLION (perhaps several TRILLION) hours to get the same amount of benzopyrene you’d get from BBQ’ng and eating a single hamburger or hot dog.

        Using language like “high concentrations” and “toxins” when describing exposures at such levels is no different than telling an outright lie. It’s like taking an around the world 24,000 mile taxi trip, and then accusing the cabbie of cheating you on the fare because he drove one lap around the block at the end to wave a victory wave to the crowds.
        Or, to look at it another way, there are about 20 drops to a gram of urine. One drop thus masses about 200 milligrams. An Olympic pool has about 2,500 cubic meters of water. To get that one nanogram/cubic-meter concentration, you would have to take (doing the math VERY roughly in my head… feel free to correct it!) divide it between about 100,000 Olympic swimming pools.

        I can assure you that just about anyone who has EVER gone swimming in a public pool with kids has bathed in urine concentrations at LEAST a billion or so times greater than than that without keeling over from urine poisoning.

        So would it be a lie if I warned you to stay out of a “urinated” pool because thirty years ago someone took their five year old in to play in it for a few minutes?

        – MJM

  12. smokingscot says:

    Completely O/T

    Dunfermline by-election 24 Oct. Results.

    Lab 42.45%
    SNP 30.58%
    LD 11.78%
    Con 8.30%
    UKIP 3.75%
    Green 2.45%
    Jacobites 0.66%

    Dunfermline returns to its roots. SNP gets hoofed. Swing to Labour 6.9%. UKIP have never stood in Dunfermline and the Tories actually managed to 1) retain their deposit and 2) increased their share of the vote by 1.2%.

    SNP’s majority in Holyrood May 2011 – 69 to SNP, 59 the rest. As at Oct 2013 – 65 to SNP, 63 the rest. Methinks the English people will be stuck with us lot for quite a while, with only 30% still keen on “independence”!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2476395/Alex-Salmond-suffers-crushing-election-defeat-leaving-SNP-wafer-majority-Scottish-Parliament.html

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Rand Paul Warns that Science, Abortion Leads to Eugenics

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/10/28/are-we-prepared-to-select-out-the-imperf

  14. enemy_guest says:

    Here’s one I think you’ll enjoy frank…..

    As drug industry’s influence over research grows, so does the potential for bias

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/as-drug-industrys-influence-over-research-grows-so-does-the-potential-for-bias/2012/11/24/bb64d596-1264-11e2-be82-c3411b7680a9_story.html

  15. enemy_guest says:

    Pig Pharma make Big Tobacco seem like saints in comparison!!

  16. Pingback: Big Pharma as Organied Crime

  17. Pingback: Pilant's Business Ethics Blog | Industry Buys Its Own Facts?

  18. Pingback: Harvard University: Big Pharma is Corrupted; | The GOLDEN RULE

  19. bettyhill says:

    It is no wonder why the giant pharmaceutical companies operate like they do as their genesis is based in unspeakable times – http://foolscrow.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/return-to-nuremberg-big-pharma-must-answer-for-crimes-against-humanity/ It is time that they emerged from this continual time capsule that preserves in many ways their roots. Sad but it seems true by their very actions and punitive fines where the ‘big 7’ have paid out around $14 billion in out of court settlements over the last 5-years alone for all sorts of illegal activities – many life threatening. The problem is that when you analyse the sales of the drugs that were involved, the $14 billion charge by regulators was a mere expense and where it estimated that GSK made $11 billion in profits after deducting $3 billion in fines. Therefore until the regulators really get to grips with the drug companies things will simple continue as they are, as even when they undertake bad practices/bribery et al, the profits are still mega to say the very least.

    Dr David Hill
    Chief Executive
    World Innovation Foundation

  20. Pingback: If Big Pharma Likes Your Healthcare Plan, You Can Keep It | pundit from another planet

  21. Pingback: Industry Buys Its Own Facts? - Pilant's Business Ethics | Pilant's Business Ethics

  22. Reblogged this on cynthia jeanne lee md and commented:
    I plan to read this book by Peter discussed here. Would that every legislator in the USA received a copy and read it. Before I spoke to the Sunset Commission of the Texas legislature in the fall of 2004, I gave them every copy of David Abramson’s book Overdosed America that I could find to purchase in Austin Texas.

  23. Pingback: [Press release] Are you big pharma’s new target market? « Health and Medical News and Resources

  24. Gurjendersihe2012 says:

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  25. Pingback: The Little Known Number One Killer in America. Prepare to Be Shocked | A Healthy Lifestyle Advice Blog

  26. Pingback: The Little-Known Number One Killer in the America | KOSA Acupuncture

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