Drugging America to death
The pharmaceutical industry already kills well over 100,000 people every year from correctly prescribed drugs in hospitals alone.  This does not include deaths occurring outside the hospital or from incorrectly prescribed medications, or the millions of disabilities each year. To further put this in perspective, the death rate from illegal drugs is 20,000 per year; the initial death rate from the Union Carbide chemical disaster in Bhopal, India was 20,000; and 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War.
Contrary to what most people believe, drug companies, not the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or independent researchers, finance and control virtually the entire process of testing and bringing new drugs to market. Because pharmaceutical companies finance the vast majority of all drug trials, they design and structure the studies, select and pay researchers, choose the patients, analyze the test results, closely oversee the writing and publication of the final studies and release the drugs through their massive sales network to the medical profession. No independent source confirms or oversees the research, analysis or final conclusions. 
The subjects of drug trials are generally young healthy men, even though the target market for the drug may be women, children or the elderly. Many of the paid subjects are "regulars" who supplement their income by hiding their participation in multiple drug trials when not enough time has passed for the previous drugs to fully leave their systems. The fraud begins at the onset of the drug trial, as drug companies will frequently drop large numbers of subjects who show what the industry classifies as a "sensitivity" or "bad reaction" to the drug. In other words, test subjects who experience exactly the kind of toxic reaction the trial is supposed to be tracking are dropped from the results simply because it occurs early in the trial.
Drugs are frequently tested on much smaller numbers of people and for shorter periods than is generally thought. Psychiatric drug trials typically last only four to six weeks, and no psychiatric drug has ever been shown (i.e., tested) to be safe for long-term use. In many drug trials, only one or two dozen subjects actually finish the trial. Doctors who regularly prescribe Prozac believed that the drug had been tested on more than 10,000 patients before they prescribed it to their patients, a figure they had read in Eli Lilly marketing material. In fact, Dr. Peter Breggin went to great lengths to count the actual number of patients who had completed the trials and found the total number to be 286, a far cry from the thousands that the public had been led to believe. 
While most people believe that a drug that gains FDA approval has gone through many successful drug trials that have proven it to be substantially more effective than the placebo, in fact the entire drug trial system works on a simple "pass/fail" basis. When the company submits the trial results to the FDA and the FDA finds the drug insufficient or even harmful and rejects it, the company can simply drop and manipulate portions of data from the very same trial, submitting different permutations of the numbers over and over again until the FDA finally accepts the drug. It takes only two successful trials, even with small numbers of patients, and includes trials that had been previously rejected by the FDA but later passed with reworked numbers, for the FDA to approve a drug. And the drug does not have to show a substantial benefit over the placebo, only that it is "marginally" better than the placebo. 
Drug companies also systematically obscure adverse drug reactions and even deaths that occur during the trials by simply deleting or mislabeling them in the data submitted to the FDA. Suicides that occurred during the testing of Prozac were systematically mislabeled as "no drug effect" or "depression," so that when the FDA examined the drug data, patient suicides could not be found and counted.  Suicide was one of the first major problems encountered when Prozac was released on the market, leading to multiple deaths and lawsuits. Most of the very symptoms fueling the current debate about the dangers of anti-depressant drugs were known and documented by the drug companies during the trials, but the drugs were released anyway.
9 Jason Lazarou, Bruce H. Pomeranz and Paul N. Corey, "Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: A meta analysis of prospective studies," Journal of American Medical Association, April 15, 1998, 279(15): 1200—05. This study found more than 100,000 deaths per year and 2,000,000 severe side effects in U.S. hospitals alone. However, this study did not include deaths from pharmaceutical drugs that occur outside the hospital, or deaths from prescription errors by doctors or pharmacists. Additionally, because 90—99 percent of all adverse drug reactions are never reported (see footnote 18), this figure should be adjusted substantially upwards.
10 Thomas Bodenheimer, "Uneasy alliance-clinical investigators and the pharmaceutical industry," New England Journal of Medicine, May 18, 2000, 342(20):1539—44.
11 Dr. Peter Breggin, The Anti-Depressant Fact Book: What Your Doctor Won't Tell You About Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and Luvox (Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001), p. 148.
12 Dr. David Ginsberg, The Investigators Guide to Clinical Research, CenterWatch, Inc.; 3rd edition (January 2002); Dr. Jay Cohen, Overdose, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam (2001); Stephen Fried, Bitter Pills, Bantam (April 1998).
13 Breggin, p. 6.
18 David Kessler, " Introducing MedWatch: A new approach to reporting medication and device adverse effect and product problems," Journal of American Medical Association, July 2, 1993, 269(21): 2765—68.
this article originally posted;
The Other Drug War: Big Pharma's 625 Washington Lobbyists;
link to www.Citizen.org
Death by Medicine, by Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, Dorothy Smith PhD;
the ACLU comments on the repressive Model State Emergency Health Powers Act;
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