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Originally published February 7 2005

Drug companies allegedly defraud state Medicaid programs with 54,000% markups

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Where do you find a two-dollar bottle of sodium chloride selling for $928.51? In Big Pharma, of course, where 79 drug companies are now being accused of defrauding state Medicaid programs by artificially inflating the prices of drugs. According to the Department of Justice, the actual wholesale price of many drugs and medical supplies is a mere fraction of what is claimed by the drug companies. The difference -- the "price spread" -- is pure profit for drug companies who are profiting handsomely at the expense of taxpayers.

The scam is being described by the Alabama Attorney General as a "systematic" effort by pharmaceutical companies to defraud states of billions of dollars. It's yet another example of the widespread lack of ethics in the pharmaceutical industry, where seemingly any strategy that makes money is supported: scientific fraud, Medicaid fraud, censorship, bribery, intimidation... and that's just what we've seen in the national headlines in the last month!

You see, the drug racket isn't just about dangerous drugs like Vioxx being peddled to tens of millions of Americans, it's also about financial fraud designed to extract even more money from taxpayers. Like parasites that don't know when to stop, drug companies seemed determined to drain the economic life away from the country in any way possible.

What we're seeing today is unrestrained capitalism at its worst. The so-called "free market" system of organized medicine is really only free and open to those organizations that control the media propaganda, FDA decision makers, medical journal content and med school agendas. And, of course, those are the organizations with the big bucks. What we're increasingly learning is that they got the big bucks by defrauding customers and hyping drugs with fatal side effects that they knew were dangerous long before now. In other words, it's blood money. And you can go right down the line and name all the drugs that are killing people (or seriously harming them) right now: COX-2 inhibitors, antidepressants, statin drugs, NSAIDs, and many more.

Consider where we are today with organized medicine:

There's no doubt that the drug companies are after one thing only: profit. And they seem to be willing to trade anything for it: ethics, safety, honesty, humanity, compassion... you name it. As long as there's money to be made, they're the first in line, regardless of the tactics. This behavior even makes Enron look good. After all, Enron was a fiasco, but at least in the end it was only money, not lives at stake. But with Big Pharma, it's both.

Let's take a closer look at some of the actual figures that reveal just how egregious the drug companies have been in their overcharging of prescription drugs: (this is from the Office of Alabama Attorney General)

Where will all this go? Stay tuned to this site. We'll cover the lawsuit as it progresses and find out whether the drug companies will ever have to face the music on this one. Hopefully, this will have some real bite and not end up being settled behind closed doors with little more than a slap on the wrist.

It is the ongoing tolerance of this sort of behavior by drug companies that has allowed it to continue so far. And it will only be public outrage and legal action that will force changes to occur.

In the mean time, I have some salt... er, I mean sodium chloride on sale for just 1/10th the price being charged by one of the drug companies being sued here. Yep: just $90 per bottle. What a steal! Send me $900 and I'll send you ten bottles of salt!

And if you think that's stupid, just imagine: your state has been sending drug companies $900 checks for one bottle of what is essentially salt water. Those are your state tax dollars at work. Aren't you impressed by the financial efficiencies of state government? No wonder the states are suing over it.


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