Big Pharma Pays Yet Another Government Bribe
I recently wrote an article about all the bribes that drug companies pay out to the government in order to maintain their illegal business practices. Well, they’re not really bribes, but that’s what I’ve started calling the silly “fines” that they are forced to pay. Day after day, the nation’s pharmaceutical companies knowingly engage in illegal activities that endanger our lives and take money out of our wallets. I assert that they essentially pay bribes to make the government agencies get out of their way, and then continue to conduct the same illegal business practices time and time again.
In some cases, pharmaceutical companies have been found guilty of knowingly (and dangerously) marketing drugs for purposes other than that for which they were approved by the FDA. In other cases, they have been fined for overcharging for their drugs or failing to give the government required rebates that would ultimately bring down the costs of these drugs for consumers. Over the years, they have been found guilty of countless other deceptive and fraudulent business practices, from deliberately hiding research that shows drugs are dangerous to disseminating misleading information to doctors.
In the most recent example, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay a massive $1.2 billion fine to the state of Arkansas for illegally marketing the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal. The illegal activities included selling the drug for unapproved uses, bilking the state’s insurance program for millions of dollars and withholding the truth about the drug’s dangerous side effects. While $1.2 billion sounds like a lot to us, it’s just a drop in the bucket to Johnson & Johnson, and is simply an assumed cost of doing business. Do you think this will have any impact on their future business practices? History repeatedly tells us that the answer is a resounding “NO,” which is why I liken these fines to bribes.
We all know that the purpose of a fine is to serve as both a punishment and a deterrent. For example, if you get a $100 speeding ticket, the hope is that paying that fine will sting, and prevent you from speeding again. But if the punishment really isn’t felt by the perpetrator, and if they continue to commit the same crime again and again, the fine really serves no purpose.
For the average person, who just reads fractured news clips and hears short soundbites, the dollar amounts involved and the frequency of the fines must make it seem like the government is really cracking down on Big Pharma. With this flawed perception, everyone wins. The government comes across as an aggressive pursuer of justice, Big Pharma comes across as an apologetic industry that will cure “isolated” wrongdoings, and the general public feels warm and fuzzy inside thinking that things will get better. But if you dig in deeper into the real story – the story that neither the government or Big Pharma wants you to know about – you’ll quickly detect a chronic pattern of illegal business practices that are permitted by the government as long as frequent fines are paid. Let’s be clear about this – a bribe by any other name is still a bribe.
Beyond being deceptive and unfair to us as citizens, the real problem with this systemic fraud is the danger it imposes on our welfare. It’s estimated that properly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs kill 50,000 to 100,000 people very year, making it the fourth most common cause of death among adults. These death rates are equivalent to one or two Vietnam wars every year, year after year. But somehow in all of this, it’s the pharmaceutical industry that gets “most favored” status by our government and the mainstream medical system. Meanwhile, virtually every alternative means of disease prevention and treatment is ignored, demonized or outright outlawed. Is this warranted?
I’ll leave you with this: According to data compiled from both FDA and CDC studies, dietary supplements have averaged less than five confirmed deaths per year over the past 25 years.
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Joshua Corn – Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.