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Monday, 9 July 2012

Fraud and corruption. The Media? Banking? Or Big Pharma? Which is worst?

Everywhere, Big Corporations seem to be under fire for corruption and fraud. 

The mainstream Media, and in particular News International, has been beset with difficulties arising from phone hacking scandals. The Banking industry is facing serious investigations into its business practices. And as a recent blog on this website has indicated, Big Pharma is facing serious problems relating to serious fraud and corruption.

So which is worse?
The Media has intervened in people's lives, and no doubt engaged in illegality in order to do so. The Regulatory Agency is accused of being weak and ineffective. But to my knowledge, no mainstream Media organisation is accused of actually killing anyone, and certainly not with the knowledge and connivance of the Regulator!

The Banking industry has brought the world's economy to the brink of bankruptcy through various nefarious activities designed to produce profit. Financial Regulatory bodies are being heavily criticised for failing to control the activities of Banks, that have led to the virtual bankruptcy of several states, the general destruction of economic activity, and the resulting tarnishing of the lives and livelihoods of countless millions. The stress this has caused has no doubt led to an increase in sickness, death, and suicide. But to my knowledge, no Bank has been accused of actually killing anyone directly, and certainly not with the knowledge and connivance of the Regulators!

The fraud and corruption of Big Pharma industry appears to be an entirely different case - and far, far more serious. It has come to light, in recent years, through many prosecutions in the USA courts.

* Eli Lilly, in January 2009, fined $1.42 billion for mis-selling its drug Zyprexa.

* Pfizer, in September 2009, fined $2.3 billion for defrauding and misleading promotion of its painkilling drug, Bextra (which was later withdrawn from the market for safety reasons).

* Astra Zeneca, in April 2010, fined $520 million for illegally promoting the anti-psychotic drug, Seroquel.

* Merck, in November 2011, fined $950 million for illegally promoting its painkiller, Vioxx, another drug that had to be withdrawn from the market for safety reasons.

* Abbott, in May 2012, fined $1.5 billion for its illegal promotion of its anti-psychotic drug, Depakote.

* GlazoSmithKline, in July 2012, fined $3 billion for its promotion of its drugs, and its failure to report safety data.

So why do these matters, and many, many similar matters, make Big Pharma fraud and corruption more serious than that found in Journalism or Banking?

First, not many people are aware of what the Pharmaceutical Industry is charged with, or what is happening to them as a result. It is surely quite amazing that when Big Pharma admits to these offences, which have killed people, that nothing beyond fines is done.

Whilst Governments and the Media rail against the Media, and the Banks, it is almost entirely quiet on this particular area of human activity. The reasons for this have often  been mentioned and discussed on this blog.

Second, there is no doubt that Big Pharma has become a major cause of disease and death, and that these outcomes have been directly caused by the products, and in particular the drugs, it sells to us. And it is undeniable that Drug Regulatory agencies, like the FDA, the MHRA, and the EDA, appear to be fully aware of this fact - but are doing little or nothing to prevent it, or to stop it happening, time and time again. See, for instance, this article on the FDA in the USA.

It also has to be questioned why it is that police authorities have never been asked to investigate who is criminally responsible when Big Pharma drugs have been found to have killed people. Is it the drug company, and its Executives who have marketed the drugs? Is it the Drug Regulator who have approved the drugs as being safe? Is it the Government, or the NHS, in passing these drugs to patients? Or is it the GP, who actually prescribed the drug?

So no criminal court has yet been asked to adjudicate on who is responsible for these regular deaths. No one, from Drug Company executives, to Drug Regulators, to the NHS, to the local GP, is being held accountable for their actions in producing, approving and prescribing these killer drugs.

So, as this article asks, are the drug companies literally getting away with murder?

This situation has been described as "The Moral Collapse of Western Medicine", and not without exaggeration. The fraud and corruption of Big Pharma does not just concern an industry bent on making profits, and apparently unaware or unconcerned with the damage it is doing to our health.

The situation surrounding Big Pharma, and drug-based medicine is by far the most serious case of corruption and fraud. And the reasons for this is because the situation also concerns, and implicates, many of the public agencies that are supposed to be advising, protecting, and looking after our best interests.

* It concerns our politicians who do not appear to be looking after our best interests when they allow increasing expenditure on drugs, whilst at the same time failing to offer patients real choice in the medical therapies they can select to use when they are ill.

* It concerns the Regulatory Agencies whose task it is to ensure that the drugs we are given are safe, but who have regularly failed to do this - both before, and often for many years after they have been known to be dangerous.

* It concerns the massive ConMed Establishment, which is apparently intent in increasing our use of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, and maintained drug-based medicine as a monopoly.

* It concerns the NHS, both its bureaucracy, and its front-line doctors and specialists, who advice us about our health, and prescribe medications that cause disease and death.

* It concerns the mainstream Media, and its failure to investigate what is happening to our health within drug-based medical practice.

It would seem that the only way we have to protect ourselves is to refuse drug-based medicine entirely, and look for safe, and more effective alternatives!