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Drug companies engage in massive health care fraud, but are never held accountable

Thursday, August 19, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: drug companies, pharmaceutical industry, business ethics

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U.S. pharmaceutical companies are finding clever ways to avoid the consequences of a 1996 law that mandates their exclusion from federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid if they are convicted of felony health care fraud. According to news reports, since 2001 at least four major drug companies have been convicted of felony health care fraud but have been able to avoid the penalty of being banned from government health programs by constructing creative settlements with prosecutors.

In one case, a guilty plea was offered by an inactive subsidiary of a major pharmaceutical company that has no employees and sells no products. Even though this subsidiary pleaded guilty, and it alone cannot sell products to Medicare and Medicaid, it never sold any products in the first place, and its parent company is free to continue selling products to the federal government without any real consequence. Another company, Pfizer's Warner-Lambert division, agreed to $430 million in fines due to its alleged fraudulent marketing of the drug Neurontin. The company claimed that it was illegally marketing that drug only through August 20, 1996. The new law kicked in on August 21, 1996, and that's the day Pfizer claimed it stopped illegally marketing the drug.

The bottom line is that these pharmaceutical companies are structuring their fraud settlements with the federal government in order to avoid exclusion from federal health care programs. It's not that the law has taught them to stop committing fraud -- it's just that the law has forced them to get more creative in finding ways to simultaneously commit fraud while continuing to sell products.

So what does all of this mean? It means that the pharmaceutical industry is engaged in business as usual. They will go after profits using any means necessary, including fraud, criminal activities, deceit, lying to the public, hiding information from the FDA, bribing doctors, and so on. Regrettably, there are no consequences for these actions -- it's as if the entire nation has given the pharmaceutical industry an unlimited stack of "get out of jail free" cards and told them they could engage in any practices no matter how criminal or unethical, as long as they keep making money.

Part of the problem here, of course, is that many U.S. citizens remain invested in pharmaceutical companies. Virtually every mutual fund has some stock in at least one pharmaceutical company, and people seem to be quite pleased with the idea that they're making money, regardless of how many other people are being killed by pharmaceuticals or harmed by their dangerous side effects. People don't seem to have the capacity to look in the mirror and say, "Yes, today I may be $10 richer due to my stock ownership, but I'm also sicker because I'm on antidepressant drugs, and I'm on statin drugs that are making my muscles hurt and are giving me brain fog, and I'm on all sorts of other toxic drugs that are altering my body chemistry, reducing my lifespan, and worsening the quality of life I experience on a daily basis."

But this is a choice that American consumers have to make on their own. Yes, you can make money by being invested in a company that sells extremely profitable, ridiculously priced products to the public, even when those products cause untold harm, but as a whole, we are not better off, and until we start holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for the death and destruction they are causing, and until we stop being so greedy that we will look the other way as long as we're making a buck, then this situation will not change.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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