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Originally published July 9 2004

Massive medical fraud exposed: pharmaceutical company paid doctors to prescribe drugs and run sham clinical trials

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Here's a must-read article for anyone interested in learning how the pharmaceutical industry really operates. It's a case of aggressive marketing gone bad, with a mixture of corrupt physicians, underhanded payola and a near-total disregard for patient health. And yet it's business as usual in the pharmaceutical industry: drug maker Schering-Plough, one of the largest drug companies in the world, has been outright bribing physicians to prescribe drugs and operate sham clinical trials.

Here's how it would work: doctors who prescribed the drug company's products and avoided competing drugs were paid "consulting fees" of tens of thousands of dollars. And what kind of consulting did these doctors do? The kind of consulting that requires nothing more than signing a blank sheet of paper and cashing the check, of course. And thousands of doctors participated in this criminal scam, collecting untold sums of money in exchange for hyping Schering-Plough's pharmaceuticals to patients. (Medical ethics, anyone?)

Doctors were paid even more money to conduct fraudulent clinical trials that would require patients to take the drugs for twelve months at a time, which of course rang up even more drug profits for the manufacturer and resulted in more kickbacks to the doctors. That's right: they're literally playing doctor with your life while pocketing the drug money.

If all this sounds outrageous, think again: this is precisely the kind of criminal activity that now typifies the pharmaceutical industry and organized medicine in general. These companies will do anything to make a buck, including outright bribing doctors with lavish meals, free gifts and even trips to Hawaii and other exotic destinations, all under the guise of "continuing medical education" (CME) courses. It's all a scam, and the vast majority of physicians just go right along with it, pocketing the benefits and dosing up their patients with whatever drug they've been told to prescribe.

I've seen it myself: a room-full of doctors in Hawaii, ditching a drug company sponsored "education" event, where airfare and hotels were provided for free. Why were the doctors ditching the class? Because they wanted to have fun in Hawaii, and attendance wasn't required after the first hour. It's basically just a paid vacation scam, courtesy of the pharmaceutical company. And it's happening every day, right now.

Prescription drugs are so profitable -- some drugs are now sold at more than 500,000% markup over the actual cost of their raw ingredients -- that drug companies will do practically anything to sell more pills. They invent fictitious diseases and urge doctors and parents to dose their children with powerful narcotics. They conduct fraudulent clinical trials, making sure to bury any negative results that would show how dangerous their drugs really are. They buy the favor of the media by pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into magazine, television, newspaper and online advertising. They pressure the FDA into delaying the ban on extremely dangerous drugs in order to squeeze out another twelve months of profits even while patients are dying from drug-induced liver failure.

And the scam works: drug profits are up. Way up. Meanwhile, the American people are sicker than ever. Drugs aren't helping the population at large, all they're doing is turning the United States into a nation of chemical zombies who suffer from the extremely toxic side effects of taking dozens of prescriptions in combination.

It's the greatest con in American history. It's the racket of the millennium. The drug companies are running the show, cutting off drugs from Canada, monopolizing the U.S. market, running the FDA, bribing doctors and killing patients all the while. Even based on statistics from conventional medicine, prescription drugs are right now killing 100,000 Americans each year and injuring another two million. And that doesn't count the tens of thousands of additional deaths caused by NSAIDs and over-the-counter painkillers.

It's not an exaggeration to call this a medical holocaust. These drug companies seem determined to dose the entire population with as many simultaneous prescriptions as possible, as long as it generates profits for their shareholders. Business ethics are nowhere to be found in the pharmaceutical industry these days: it's all about money, profits, power and control.

And the funny part about all this is that these drugs are almost entirely unnecessary. There's not a single chronic disease that's actually cured or reversed from any prescription drug in existence. All these drugs do is treat symptoms and barely keep the patients alive long enough to write another check to cover their growing medical debt. Chemotherapy is a sham and has absolutely no scientific merit whatsoever. (Yes, it shrinks tumors, but it adds nothing to a patient's lifespan.) Statin drugs are a con, and yet they're being over-prescribed for all sorts of chronic disorders that actually need to be treated with nutrition and exercise, not drugs. And over-the-counter drugs are both extremely dangerous and highly ineffective. NSAIDs kill some 40,000 patients each year from intestinal bleeding -- and yet offer no real benefit to patients that couldn't be achieved from simple changes in diet and exercise.

The FDA, meanwhile, watches all this and focuses its own efforts on discrediting herbal supplements like ephedra. The agency seems determined to outlaw or regulate all nutritional supplements, thereby making vitamins illegal and practically guaranteeing another decade of outrageous profits for drug companies. It's no surprise: most FDA employees used to work for drug companies (or plan to in the near future). Many FDA employees maintain strong financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. They're simply out to crush the natural health industry and thereby boost their own personal profits from pharmaceuticals.

Modern medicine is in shambles, folks. It's a train wreck. We're sicker, fatter and more depressed than ever. And the really good advice that people need isn't reaching them. Good health is really simple, it turns out. Get lots of natural sunlight on your skin daily. Eat superfoods like chlorella and spirulina. Avoid all refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Ban soft drinks from your life. Never touch cigarettes. Pick up strength training, yoga, pilates, cycling, jogging or some other physical exercise activity. And breathe, people. Breathe consciously. Your body needs oxygen. Learn how to put yourself in control of your own health: read Take Back Your Health Power!

In a way, the massive fraud now being exposed in western medicine is a blessing in disguise. Big Medicine has gone so far over the top with aggressive marketing and downright evil (if not criminal) tactics that the whole profiteering orgy is going to come crashing down on them. Big Medicine will soon be history -- remembered as just a moment of insanity in the history of modern civilization. Some day, people will say, "Do you remember when the whole country was dosed up on chemicals?" They'll shudder with the thought of it -- how we were all duped by the drug companies, by our family doctors, and by the Bush Administration's complicity in the whole scheme. They'll ask, "How could an entire country go mad like this?"

And the answer, of course, is that the whole country was doped up on prescription drugs that alter brain chemistry, cloud the mind, and turn ordinary consumers into pill-popping zombies.

It was a brilliant scam. It generated billions of dollars in profits. And now the truth is starting to come out: Big Medicine is about to become another sad chapter in the history of human deception. Good riddance.

Highly recommended reading: Death By Medicine by Gary Null, Ph.D.

Now, here's the full article on prescription drug bribery originally published by the New York Times, included here for educational and discussion purposes only, under fair use consideration.


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