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Prescription for Profit

December 18, 2010

Congratulations to the pharmaceutical industry for toppling the military in defrauding the US government. You can read about it here.

According to Dr. Sid Wolfe, the drug industry “is just deliberately, maliciously overcharging the United States government through programs like Medicare and Medicaid and other kinds” to the tune of $20 billion. That’s quite a bit of money!

What’s more alarming though is that the US pharmaceutical industry has increased the number of foreign clinical trials. You can read about it here, here and here. That’s not the alarming part. The alarming part is that 20 years ago, 271 drug trials were conducted outside the U.S. By 2008, “the number had risen to nearly 6,500–many taking places in areas with poor and illiterate test subjects.”

So it seems that along with jobs, drug trials are now being outsourced. The reasons are not very far apart though. There’s less oversight in other countries, it’s cheaper and it’s easy to exploit the people there.

Pfizer is one of the major pharmaceutical companies known to have conducted foreign drug trials. One famous–rather infamous– case is the drug trials on 200 Nigerian children of the exprimental drug, Trovan. The results were less than flattering as “eleven children died” while “others suffered disabling injuries including deafness, muteness, paralysis, brain damage, loss of sight, slurred speech.”

You might be asking, “Why would any parent allow his or her children to be test subjects for an experimental drug?” That’s a very valid question. Unfortunately for the parents, “Pfizer did not tell their parents their children were getting the experimental drug” nor did researchers “obtain signed consent forms.” So as you see, the parents were in the dark about the entire thing because they thought Pfizer was there on humanitarian grounds.

Are pharmeceutical companies in business to make drugs to help people? It appears that they are more concerned with cutting costs during their drug trials, getting their product out there at any cost–even if it means hurting children, and making a huge profit. If they happen to help some people along the way through their product, then that’s good too.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ollie permalink
    December 20, 2010 6:10 am

    What can we do about this?
    Nothing?
    I agree with someone that said “Of course we have a health care crisis, we have a health crisis that needs to be addressed first”
    How could we at least start to remedy that? And ween ourselves away from drugs!
    Well, all sickness originates from technological advancement and the evolution of social society. Cancer was first found in England after the Industrial Revolution, a result of toxic industrial pollutants in large amounts.

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