The drug company Wyeth used ghostwriters to emphasize the benefits and downplay the harm of hormone replacement therapy in medical journal articles.
Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, paid a company called DesignWrite $25,000 to ghostwrite articles on clinical studies, including four regarding Prempro, the company's combination estrogen-progestin therapy.
“... [T]he articles were intended to mitigate concerns that hormone replacement therapy raises the risk of breast cancer, and to support the unfounded idea that the drugs offer some protection against heart disease.”
Meanwhile, prescription drug use in the United States has been rising steadily over the past 10 years. The trend shows no signs of slowing.
A study published by the CDC states that the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug has risen from 43.5 percent to 48.3 percent.
According to WebMD:
“The use of two or more drugs increased from 25.4 percent to 31.2 percent over the same decade, and the use of five or more prescription medications jumped from 6.3 percent to 10.7 percent.”
There is also a new drug problem emerging in the United States -- a national epidemic of prescription drug abuse that has become so widespread it's being called "Pharmageddon." Some have defined Pharmageddon as “the prospect of a world in which medicines and medicine produce more ill-health than health, and when medical progress does more harm than good.”
In just 20 years, deaths from accidental drug overdoses have increased five-fold. Unintentional overdoses have now replaced car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
According to CBS News, there are definite signs someone could be addicted to prescription drugs:
“Activities abandoned or reduced ... Dependence on the drug ... Duration or amount greater than intended, intra-personal consequences -- that they can't cut down or control it. And when it becomes time-consuming.”
Americans are a pill-popping population, as nearly half are taking at least one prescription drug. Even children are taking their fair share, with one of every five U.S. kids using at least one prescribed medication.
Among seniors, as you might suspect, drug use is beyond epidemic. Nine out of 10 older Americans are taking at least one drug, with more than 76 percent over 60 using two or more and 37 percent using five or more!
The biggest issue here is what all of the drugs are doing to your health, but the cost cannot be ignored either. U.S. spending for prescription drugs more than doubled from 1999 to 2008 to just over $234 billion.
Unfortunately, the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on prescription drugs is not giving Americans the good health they desire. Instead we’re seeing massive increases in chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and obesity rates are at an all-time high.
As drug spending continues to increase, Americans’ health continues to decline, and that is not a coincidence.
Drug Companies are Not Looking Out for Your Health
Pharmaceutical companies have kept the wool pulled over Americans’ eyes for many years, and had many convinced that they were working fervently to develop safe medications that would cure and prevent virtually every disease plaguing the world.
But these modern-day messiahs are not the saints they would have you believe … not even close.
The drug companies that manufacture some of the best-selling drugs in the world have committed some of the greatest crimes against human health. For instance:
- Pfizer, maker of one of the biggest selling cholesterol drugs Lipitor, paid out the largest health care fraud settlement in history -- $2.3 billion -- for illegally promoting uses of four of its drugs. Pfizer engaged in illegally promoting one of these drugs, Bextra, for off-label use despite their knowledge that it was associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Another top seller, Plavix, which is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb and used to help prevent strokes and heart attacks, also has serious side effects you many not be aware of. When combined with aspirin, the drug nearly doubled the death rate from heart disease among patients who had not had heart attacks but were at risk for them.
- Diabetes drug Avandia, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is still on the market despite research showing a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death compared to patients treated with other methods.
- Merck, the maker of the painkiller Vioxx that killed 60,000 people, ignored research that reflected unfavorably on their drug, and they concealed heart attacks suffered by three patients during a clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000. They also deleted other relevant data before submitting their article for publication.
- Drug company Wyeth, who is now owned by Pfizer, paid ghostwriters to write articles promoting hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and downplaying its risks, for medical journals. Now it’s widely known that synthetic HRT increases risks of heart disease, breast cancer and other serious health problems.
The truth is, drug companies continuously display blatant disregard not only for federal laws but also for public health by aggressively developing and marketing drugs even when they know they will cause harm. They continue to do this because they are unlikely to suffer much of a consequence for their crimes.
Most people have no idea just how shielded these huge drug companies really are.
Even under the BEST circumstances -- such as with a drug that has gone through unbiased, stringent, long-term testing -- when it is released into the uncontrolled environment of your body, literally anything can happen -- and only a tiny fraction of the possibilities have been “tested for” in a lab.
Unfortunately, those circumstances are a rarity. Studies are frequently biased, results are skewed, and drugs are put on a fast-track to be approved long before anyone knows whether they’re safe -- and sometimes even when it’s known that they’re not.
“Pharmageddon” Overtaking U.S. Baby Boomers
The drug industry has successfully turned our society into a “pharmacracy” where every twitch and hiccup is deemed treatable with another prescription.
Unfortunately, treating disease symptoms with drugs will invariably create other health problems, which lead to yet another prescription to counteract the side effects from the first one, followed by another one, and another… It’s an evil circle that is now leading to a rash of prescription drug addictions and overdose deaths dubbed “pharmageddon.”
Pharmageddon is "the prospect of a world in which medicines and medicine produce more ill-health than health, and when medical progress does more harm than good" -- and it is no longer a prospect but fully upon us.
Those most at risk from dying from this new drug crisis are people you would least expect: baby boomers whose doctors are only too happy to prescribe multiple medications.
As a result, in the last 20 years deaths from accidental drug overdoses have increased five-fold and, as CBS News reported, unintentional overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
So we’re seeing a mounting death toll directly attributable to prescription drugs.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), adverse drug reactions from drugs that are properly prescribed and properly administered cause about 106,000 deaths per year, making prescription drugs the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S. Compare this to the death toll from illegal drugs -- which is about 10,000 per year -- and you begin to see the magnitude of the problem, and the magnitude of the coverup.
We are indeed a nation of drug addicts, and just like old-fashioned street junkies, we’re spending every penny we have to feed the beast. Unfortunately, now people are dying in droves because of our dependency on a quick, but dangerous, fix.
Should You Put Your Health in the Hands of the Drug Companies?
Drugs should typically not be your first choice when dealing with a health problem. I realize that it takes a massive shift in thinking to realize that your body can heal itself, and that often drugs only hinder the process.
But I can’t stress enough the importance of the most basic principle of HOW to resolve an illness: finding the underlying cause of the problem. Masking it with a drug that lessens your symptoms does not fix anything.
For example, all of the following conditions can be treated or prevented with LIFESTYLE CHANGES, yet if you go to a typical doctor, you will likely be prescribed a potentially dangerous drug instead:
Disease can only be resolved by addressing its root cause, so that is what you should strive for. Remember, leading a common sense, healthy lifestyle is your best bet to produce a healthy body and mind, and increase your longevity.
So first and foremost I encourage you to follow these basic health tenets if you want to avoid these and other terrible diseases.
Next, seek out a physician or health coach that understands your body’s innate ability to heal, who will provide guidance into natural and truly safe treatment methods that go above and beyond a bottle of pills.
In the event your doctor or coach suggests you take a drug, research it before you take it. Do not believe for one minute that your physician will have all the answers and all the latest research findings at his or her fingertips. They won’t. Most physicians will have little to offer you aside from the lines they learned from their drug reps.
Also, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the very real fact that drug companies are ALLOWED to continue making drugs despite being caught lying, defrauding, and even knowingly killing its customers time and time again.
Then take a look at the frequently devastating side effects that are listed on the drug’s label. Remember that even if it lists a side effect as rare, it can still happen to you.
Also remember that a large number of drugs are vastly over-prescribed and unnecessary. They’re frequently referred to as “blockbuster drugs.” If several people you know are on it, ask yourself, “why?” and “what alternatives do I have?”
More often than not, you will discover there are numerous non-drug alternatives to help you not only resolve your health complaint, but go on to reach true optimal health.