First published, 1993
Phone: +61 (0)2-4758-6822
The purpose of THE PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG RACKET is to alert readers to the poisonous nature of the vast majority of pharmaceutical drugs, the incalculable damage these dangerous substances are having on public health and the debilitating impact this is having on our economy. It also covers the unethical and criminal activities engaged by the drug companies and those in their employ in pushing their chemical-based "treatments" onto the unwary public.
THE PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG RACKET is separated into two booklets - Parts One and Two. The latter pays particular attention to exposing the massive fraud in drug testing that ensures the survival and proliferation of this very dangerous and profitable industry. Part Two also lists a number of fraudulently tested drugs that have injured and killed thousands of victims.
The information contained is by no means extensive - it would take a number of books to do this - it mainly serves to introduce readers to the issues and as an encouragement to follow-up the many cited books and other references.
Unfortunately, because of the massive suppression of relevant information that challenges or threatens the "sickness care" industry, most of the important publications cited are not available from "conventional" sources. However, the available books and video listed inside the rear cover are some of the most informative sources on the subjects. Knowledge is your safest health insurance against a medical system that has gone terribly wrong - a system that has long ago been taken over by the pharmaceutical drug industry - an industry that has repetitively demonstrated itself to be the most dangerous, corrupt and ruthless of all industries.
Part One - Contents
The Rocketing Cost of Health Care
Are We Consuming Too Many Drugs?
Drugs in the Food We Eat
How Common Are Drug Adverse Reactions?
Under-Reporting of Drug Reactions
Who Is to Blame for Drug Damages?
Doctors Strike: Death-Rate Drops
The Small Role of Medicine in Mortality
Drug Companies Bribing Doctors
University Scientists - The Willing Pawns
The Drug Story
The Not-so-Independent Media
Food and Drug Administration - Serving Whom?
The Undeclared War on Natural Medicine
Corrupt FDA Officials
American 'Murder' Association
The Masters of Government
Australia's Health System Under Threat from US Corporations
References and Notes
Part Two - Contents
Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Fraud in Drug Testing
University Scientists - The More than Willing Pawns
Inappropriate Clinical Trials
Companies Concealing and Misrepresenting Dangerous Drug Effects
In Whose Interests Are Drugs Tested?
Fraudulent Animal Testing
Fraudulent Acute Toxicity Tests
Fraudulent Teratogenic Tests
Birth Deformities on the Increase
Criticisms from Within
Animal Testing Gives Hints, Indications?
How Should Drugs Be Tested?
Why Do Drug Companies Use Animal Tests?
Doctors Agree: Vivisection is Scientific Fraud
Conclusion on Drug Testing
Drugs Are Poisons
How Many Drugs Do We Need?
Some Fraudulently Tested Drugs That Injured and Killed
Vivisection - The Distorted Issue
References and Notes
The Pharmaceutical Drug Racket - Part One
THE ROCKETING COST OF HEALTH CARE
"Medical 'ignorance' is costing us billions" reads a heading in the Daily Telegraph Mirror of February 24, 1991, over an article:
"Poor funding and a lack of knowledge about preventive medicine has led to a $2 billion blow-out in public health spending, experts say.
"These costs rose nationally from $26 billion to $28 billion [in one year] - an average of $1700 per person - according to figures to be released by the Australian Institute of Health."
Writing in an article in the Sunday Telegraph on October 27, 1991, the Federal Minister for Community Services and Health, Brian Howe, expresses his concern:
"Health care costs a huge amount of money: $1796 for every man, woman and child....
"The trouble is that if Medicare becomes too costly, this country can't afford to keep footing the bill: which means that individual Australians will have to foot the bill instead or go without the necessary health care.
"I believe the Federal Government should continue to pay much of the health care cost, but my concern has been that one day the Government will have to say it can no longer afford Medicare.
"Medicare is getting increasingly costly. Total government expenditure on Medicare benefits rose by 70 per cent between 1984-85 and 1989-90, and by another 11.2 per cent in 1990-91.
"Before the changes in the Budget were announced, Medicare benefits were expected to rise by another 28 per cent in real terms over the three years to 1994-95: that's approximately $1.3 billion...." (1)
The rocketing cost of health care in Australia is not unique to this country, but is typical of all industrial nations. In his book Limits to Medicine (1979), prominent medical historian, Ivan Illich, writes:
"During the past twenty years, while the price index in the United States has risen by about 74 per cent, the cost of medical care has escalated by 330 per cent. Between 1950 and 1971 public expenditure for health insurance increased tenfold, private insurance benefits increased eightfold, [2a] and direct out-of-pocket payments about threefold. [2b] In overall expenditures other countries such as France [2c] and Germany [2d] kept abreast of the United States. In all industrial nations - Atlantic, Scandinavian, or East European - the growth rate of the health sector has advanced faster than that of the GNP [gross national product]. [2e] Even discounting inflation, federal health outlays increased by more than 40 per cent between 1969 and 1974 [2f]." (2)
ARE WE CONSUMING TOO MANY DRUGS?
As was reported in the Bulletin, March 24, 1992, one of the fastest-growing components of Australia's costly health bill is the pharmaceutical drug trade, which accounts for $2 billion a year for prescription drugs. The Bulletin article reveals that "Australians are on a drug binge, consuming twice as many antibiotics per capita as Sweden and far more than the US and Britain". (3) The situation in the United States and Britain sixteen years ago was bad enough for Illich to write:
"In the United States, the volume of the drug business has grown by a factor of 100 during the current century: [4a] 20,000 tons of aspirin are consumed per year, almost 225 tablets per person. [4b] In England, every tenth night of sleep is induced by a hypnotic drug and 19 per cent of women and 9 per cent of men take a prescribed tranquillizer during any one year. [4c] In the United States, central-nervous-system agents are the fastest-growing sector of the pharmaceutical market, now making up 31 per cent of total sales. [4d] Dependence on prescribed tranquillizers has risen by 290 per cent since 1962, a period during which the per capita consumption of liquor rose by only 23 per cent and the estimated consumption of illegal opiates by about 50 per cent [4e]." (4)
At the time of Illich writing this (1976), it is estimated that 50 to 80 per cent of adults in the United States and the United Kingdom were consuming a medically prescribed chemical every 24 to 36 hours. (5) In his book Confessions of a Medical Heretic (1980), famed medical writer and paediatrician, Dr Robert Mendelsohn, accused doctors of having "seeded the entire population with these powerful drugs". Mendelsohn further states that "Every year, from 8 to 10 million Americans go to the doctor when they have a cold. About ninety-five percent of them come away with a prescription - half of which are for antibiotics." (6)
A recent report by the National Health Strategy (1992) has pointed out that 160 million prescriptions are being dispensed from Australian pharmacies every year, and an estimated further 20 million from hospital pharmacies. (7) This figure represents a 640 per cent increase since 1949, during which 280,719 prescriptions were dispensed. (8)
As reported in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (1976), a study in a large country town in Australia has revealed that people who reported no illness took as many drugs as those who reported a chronic and acute illness. The authors noted that "the rate of increase in drug usage at around 25 per cent per year can only be explained by increased drug usage of both prescription and OTC [over-the-counter] drugs by the majority of the population". (9) At the time of the report Australians were consuming half the number of prescription drugs compared to today. (10)
Recent figures of how many OTC or non-prescription drugs consumed by Australians are difficult to obtain. Industry sources are reluctant to divulge this information. However, a study by the Health Commission of NSW in 1979 that stated that "at present Australia has one of the leading rates of per capita consumption of analgesics in the world", quoted 1973 figures for sales of OTC medications at $166 million. (11)
It is estimated that in 1991 $1.4 billion was spent on OTC medications, (12) which when added to the $2 billion spent on prescription drugs, (13) totals a staggering $3.4 billion.
DRUGS IN THE FOOD WE EAT
Apart from the vast number of drugs taken directly, people are also unknowingly consuming large amounts of drugs and other chemical substances indirectly from the food they eat. Most food industries rely on chemical substances from soil to supermarket and the animal products industries are by far the most excessive users of these substances. (14) The avalanche of drug and chemical usage by these industries occurred with the shift in production methods from free-range farming to factory and feedlot farming in the last 20 to 30 years. (15)
Over 15 years ago, there were more than 1,000 drug products and as many chemicals in use by the livestock and poultry producers in the United States. (16) Also, more than 40 per cent of the antibiotics and other antibacterials produced every year in the US were used as animal feed additives and for other animal purposes. Almost 100 per cent of poultry, 90 per cent of pigs and veal calves, and 60 per cent of cattle have regular amounts of antibacterials added to their feed. (17) Seventy-five per cent of hogs have their feed supplemented with sulphur drugs (18) and almost 70 per cent of US beef is from cattle fed on hormones to promote growth. (19)
The amount of drugs and chemical substances used on farm animals in the industrialised nations is enormous.
As could be expected, one result of the vast over-consumption of drugs is the astronomical profits generated by the drug industry. Since the beginning of the sixties, drug industry profits (as a percentage of sales and company net worth) have surpassed all other manufacturing industries listed on the Stock Exchange. (20)
Another result is the inevitable deterioration of public health. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 1.5 million Americans were hospitalised in 1978 as a consequence of taking drugs and some 30 per cent of all hospitalised people are further damaged by their treatments. Every year, an estimated 140,000 Americans are killed because of drug taking (21) and one in seven hospital beds is taken up by patients suffering from adverse drug reactions. (22)
A report by the General Accounting Office in the United States revealed that 51.5 per cent of all drugs introduced between 1976 and 1985 had to be relabelled because of serious adverse reactions found after the marketing of these drugs. These included heart, liver and kidney failure, foetal toxicity and birth defects, severe blood disorders, respiratory arrest, seizures and blindness. The changes to the labelling either restricted a drug's use or added major warnings. (23)
HOW COMMON ARE DRUG ADVERSE REACTIONS?
According to the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee (ADRAC), the official federal government body responsible for monitoring the safety of drugs already in use: "There is a dearth [scarcity] of published information on the medical and economic importance of adverse drug reactions in Australia." (24) However, a recent study (1991), cited by the National Health Strategy report on drug use, claims that in 1987-88 there were between 30,000 and 40,000 hospital admissions in Australia because of drug taking and also that adverse drug reactions (ADRs) would have been a major factor for between 700 to 900 deaths a year. (25)
There are some who are highly critical of the official estimation of the extent of drug reactions within communities. Dr Julian Gold, head of the National Health Surveillance Unit of the Commonwealth Institute of Health, whose job as a medical epidemiologist is to collate information on the total health environment, estimates that up to 40 per cent of all patients in Australia may actually be victims of doctor induced (iatrogenic) illnesses. (26) A 40 per cent figure has also been estimated for the United Kingdom. (27) Generally of this amount, half are from drug reactions. (28)
UNDER-REPORTING OF DRUG REACTIONS
Many drug reactions go unnoticed. In Controversies in Therapeutics (1980), Dr Leighton Cluff comments:
"National Health statistics do not reflect the magnitude of the problem of drug-induced diseases. A death certificate may indicate that a person died of renal failure, but it may not state that the disease was caused by a drug." (29)
According to a US Senate Select Committee, hundreds of victims of the drug chloramphenicol died undiagnosed in the United States. (30)
Dr Leighton Cluff further states: "Physicians are currently not required to report observed cases of drug-induced diseases to a centralized registry." (31)
In Australia, the reporting by doctors of adverse reactions is voluntary. Postage-paid forms are provided to doctors who are asked to report adverse reactions to ADRAC. Due to complacency, ignorance, and perhaps guilt that their prescribed treatment has caused harm, most doctors fail to fill in these forms.
Even when doctors are willing to report ADRs, there are significant problems that add to the under-reporting of drug reactions. ADRs can sometimes be difficult to identify and Dr Judith Jones, Director of the Division of Drug Experience at the FDA in the United States, has listed three factors that inhibit detection:
1. Difficulty in distinguishing the reaction from underlying diseases, or negative placebo effects.
Only 5 to 10 per cent of actual cases are believed to be reported to ADRAC. (33) In the United Kingdom, which has a similar reporting system to ours, only 1 to 10 per cent of cases are revealed. (34) The inadequacy of the reporting system in the UK was demonstrated by the fact that only about a dozen of the 3,500 deaths, later linked with isoprenaline aerosol inhalers during the 1960's, were actually reported by doctors at the time. (35)
Because most adverse reactions to drugs go unreported, the official estimates must be only the tip of the iceberg.
WHO IS TO BLAME FOR DRUG DAMAGES?
Not only do health officials grossly underestimate the extent of drug reactions, they also try to convince the unwary public that drug-related illnesses are largely due to inappropriate drug usage. Officials try to place the onus on consumers and prescribing doctors, and reassure the public that problems rarely occur if drugs are used as prescribed. To protect the drug industry from blame, officials purposely ignore the fact that most drugs are harmful; even if used "appropriately".
On doctor or hospital induced illnesses, a once active member of the Doctors' Reform Society and author of the book Medicine Out Of Control (1979), Dr Richard Taylor, writes:
"In fact, because of the increasing complexity of medical technology and the increase in the variety of chemicals available for treatment, iatrogenic disease is on the increase....
"Unfortunately iatrogenic diseases may be self-perpetuating. Many iatrogenic complications require specific treatment, thus exposing the patient to the possibility of yet another iatrogenic disease. A patient may even experience an iatrogenic complication from a diagnostic test which was required to diagnose the initial iatrogenic disease. The situation in which an iatrogenic disease provokes a second iatrogenic complication could be termed second level iatrogenesis. In a hospital setting these situations are not uncommon. It is even possible for third and fourth level iatrogenesis to occur." (36)
Dr Beaty and Dr Petersdorf write in the Annals of Internal Medicine (1966):
"...it should be pointed out that iatrogenic problems are cumulative, and in an effort to extricate himself from complications of diagnosis and therapy, the physician may compound the problem by having to employ manoeuvres that are in themselves risky." (37)
Dr Taylor further explains:
"Every drug administered, every diagnostic test performed, every operative procedure entered into, carries with it the risk of iatrogenic complications. The more medication, tests and operations a patient experiences, the more likely he or she is to develop an iatrogenic disease. Because of the present fragmentation of medical care with each sub-specialist looking after his own particular organ system, the total risk to which the patient is exposed is often forgotten." (38)
Taylor, Beaty and Petersdorf are not alone in their criticisms of allopathic medicine, also known as "modern medicine". More and more physicians and other medical professionals are becoming increasingly disillusioned with their own profession. Allopathic medicine has become more of a band-aid treatment. In their attempts to "patch-up" symptoms of illnesses, doctors are known to use poisonous chemical-based drugs, radical surgical operations and dangerous radiation, which often cause more harm than the original problem.
Apart from introducing more illnesses, allopathic "treatments" mask symptoms of the underlying causes of the illness, which inevitably make it more difficult to detect and treat, and thereby causing it to become more chronic.
Allopathic medicine can be useful and sometimes life-saving for emergency situations (for example, car accidents), yet its harmfulness and ineffectiveness cannot be over-stated.
A prominent critic of allopathic medicine has been the late Dr Robert Mendelsohn, who exposed much corruption in American medicine. Dr Mendelsohn published the following best-selling books: Confessions of a Medical Heretic (39) (1980), Mal(e) Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women (40) (1982), and How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor (41) (1987). These books are highly recommended.
In Limits to Medicine, Ivan Illich warns:
"The pain, dysfunction, disability, and anguish resulting from technical medical intervention now rival the morbidity due to traffic and industrial accidents and even war-related activities, and make the impact of medicine one of the most rapidly spreading epidemics of our time." (42)
DOCTORS STRIKE: DEATH-RATE DROPS
With the above in mind, it is not surprising that during a one month physicians' strike in Israel in 1973, the national death-rate reached the lowest ever. According to statistics by the Jerusalem Burial Society, the number of funerals dropped by almost half. (43)
Identical circumstances occurred in 1976 in Bogota, the capital city of Columbia; where there, the doctors went on strike for 52 days and as pointed out by the National Catholic Reporter; during that time the death rate fell by 35 per cent. This was confirmed by the National Morticians Association of Columbia. (44)
Again in California a few years later, and in the United Kingdom in 1978 identical events have occurred. (45)
THE SMALL ROLE OF MEDICINE IN MORTALITY
It is important to understand that the vast majority of people are born healthy and, if not tampered with, are "equipped" to remain healthy throughout life. We seldom require intervention with illnesses because the body, as well as the mind, is usually able to defend and heal itself against disease and injury. Only infrequently do we require assistance.
Medical intervention is the least important of the four factors that determine the state of health. The Centers for Disease Control analysed data on the ten leading causes of death in the United States, and determined that lifestyle was by far the most important factor (51%), followed by environment (20%), biologic inheritance (19%), and lastly medical intervention (10%). (46)
According to a classic analysis by Professor Thomas McKeown of Birmingham University, medicine played a very small role in extending the average lifespan in Britain over the past few centuries, the major benefit to people having been improvements in nutrition and public sanitation. (47,48)
Researchers, John McKinlay and Sonja McKinlay came to similar conclusions. They showed that medical intervention only accounted for between 1 and 3.5 per cent of the increase in the average lifespan in the United States since 1900. (49)
The above statistics prove that health depends primarily on prevention, through hygiene and proper nutrition.
In the few instances, when therapy of any sort is warranted, it must deal with the whole person (the holistic approach), treating the actual cause rather than attempting to isolate and suppress symptoms. Allopathic medicine fails in comparison to the holistic approach, and in many instances damages the patient even more than the illness it intends to treat.
Natural medicines and therapies, such as herbalism, homoeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy and acupuncture, to name a few, work on the holistic approach, and are generally far superior in safety and efficacy than allopathic "treatments".
DRUG COMPANIES BRIBING DOCTORS
A major reason why health care is in such a shambles is that the medical establishment has allowed itself to be bought off by the pharmaceutical industry, whose prime motive is profit. In the book Dissent in Medicine - Nine Doctors Speak Out (1985), Dr Alan Levin writes:
"Health care in the United States has become a megabillion-dollar business. It is responsible for over 12 percent of the gross national product. Revenues from the health industry, which currently exceed $360 billion a year, are second only to those of the defense industry. True profits are much higher. [In 1991 the US had spent $750 billion on health care. It has been estimated that by the year 2000, annual health care costs in the US will have increased to at least 1.5 trillion dollars. (50)] It is not difficult, then, to see why this industry is so appealing to corporate investors. Many industrialists determined to profit from health-care products have encountered one major obstacle: Practicing physicians remain the primary distributors of health care products. Physicians, who have traditionally existed as independent entrepreneurs do not fit easily into the corporate mind-set. If corporations did not have control over their distributors (the physicians) they would not be able to guarantee profits to their stockholders.... Thus, we need not wonder why senior executives of major health care-oriented corporations have decided to woo physicians into their camps.
"Pharmaceutical companies have curried the favor of practicing physicians for many years... As the cost of development and marketing of pharmaceuticals increased [during the 1960's], the drug companies efforts to attract the allegiance of practicing physicians intensified.
"Not only did drug company operation costs increase markedly, but the rewards of the marketplace rose tremendously.... The increase in revenues brought competition which led to a nationwide increase in drug advertising. Advertisements in medical journals and public magazines were popularized by carefully controlled news releases associated with 'medical breakthroughs.'
"These advertising efforts, which began with gifts to practicing doctors and medical students, have become a massive campaign to mold the attitudes, thoughts, and policies of practicing physicians. Drug companies hire detail men to visit physicians' offices and to distribute drug samples. They describe the indications for these drugs and attempt to persuade physicians to use their products. Like any other salesman, they denigrate the products of their competitors while glossing over the shortcomings of their own. Detail men have no formal medical or pharmacological training and are not regulated by any state or federal agencies. Despite their lack of training, these salesmen have been very effective. Their sales campaigns have been so successful within the United States that the average physician today has virtually been trained by the drug detail man. This practice has led to widespread overuse of drugs by both physicians in their everyday practice and the lay public.... With the exception of heroin and cocaine, 85 percent of all drugs currently abused in the streets are manufactured by 'ethical' drug companies.... Gross sales forecasts from these 'ethical' drug companies deliberately include profits made from illicit sales to drug peddlers.
"The drug industry woos young medical students by offering them gifts, free trips to 'conferences', and free 'educational material.' [Emphasis added.] (51)
A double page article titled "$200m 'bribe' to lure our doctors", appearing in the Sun Herald (August 18, 1992), reported that:
"Drug companies spend a massive $200 million every year in Australia on marketing their products... That represents almost $10,000 a year spent attempting to woo each of Australia's 21,000 'actively prescribing' GPs, according to Dr Ken Harvey from La Trobe University."
The article cited Theo van Lieshout, secretary of the NSW Doctors' Reform Society as saying that 50 per cent of drugs on the market did not exist 10 years ago - and doctors had not learned about them in medical school. Busy physicians therefore rely mainly on drug company sales staff to tell them about new medications.
As reported in the Bulletin (March 24, 1991), Dr Ken Harvey stated: "The students concede concern. The problem is, after five years out in practice, with six drug reps a week coming in, they have gone away from prescribing sensibly and by scientific name to prescribing the brand promoted by the last rep who walked in." (52)
UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS - THE WILLING PAWNS
Drug companies employ many means in bribing doctors and medical institutions. Dr Levin writes:
"Young physicians are offered research grants by drug companies. Medical schools are given large sums of money for clinical trials and basic pharmaceutical research. Drug companies regularly host lavish dinner and cocktail parties for groups of physicians. They provide funding for the establishment of hospital buildings, medical school buildings, and 'independent' research institutes.
"The pharmaceutical industry has purposefully moved to develop an enormous amount of influence within medical teaching institutions. This move was greatly facilitated by several factors. The first was the economic recession, which caused a marked constriction in federal funding for research programs. Academic scientists lacked funding for pet research projects. The second was the tremendous interest that academic scientists held in biotechnology, the stock market, and the possibility of becoming millionaires overnight. The third is the fact that academic physicians tend to lack real clinical experience. In the university, the physician is an expert in esoteric disease, end-stage disease, and animal models of human disease. He or she has little or no experience with the day-to-day needs of the chronically ill patient or the patient with very early symptoms of serious illness. As the academic physician does not depend upon the good will of the patient for his or her livelihood, the patient's well-being becomes of minor consideration to him or her. All these factors make the academic physician a very poor judge of treatment efficacy and a willing pawn of health industrialists.
"Pharmaceutical companies, by enlisting the aid of influential academic physicians, have gained control of the practice of medicine in the United States. They now set the standards of practice by hiring investigators to perform studies which establish the efficacy of their products or impugn that of their competitors....
"Practicing physicians are intimidated into using treatment regimes which they know do not work. One glaring example is cancer chemotherapy....
"Your family doctor is no longer free to choose the treatment modality he or she feels is best for you, but must follow the dictates established by physicians whose motives and alliances are such that their decisions may not be in your best interests. [Emphasis added.]" (53)
Dr Alan Levin is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Immunology and Dermatology at the University of California. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the College of American Pathologists, and the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Dr Levin is also a recipient of fellowships and awards from Harvard Medical School and other medical institutions, and was Director of various research laboratories.
Ivan Illich echoes Levin's last comment: "The medical establishment has become a major threat to health. The disabling impact of professional control over medicine has reached the proportions of an epidemic." (54)
THE DRUG STORY
How the pharmaceutical industry took control of the hospitals, universities, research and other institutions in the early part of this century is amply demonstrated by world-famous medical historian and author, Hans Ruesch, in his devastating expose: Naked Empress or The Great Medical Fraud (55) (1992). The book is an absolute must to read. Naked Empress exposes massive corruption and fraud in medicine, science, industries, governments, media, and various organisations. The importance of this book cannot be overstated.
In Naked Empress, Ruesch cited another important expose titled The Drug Story (56) (1949), by American investigative reporter, Morris A. Bealle. According to Bealle: "America's largest and most ruthless industrial combine, the Rockefeller Empire" (which was built on Standard Oil Company) in the early part of this century became interested in the drug trade after making breath-taking profits from palming off bottled petroleum called Nujol as a supposed cure for cancer and later constipation.
In 1939 the Drug Trust was formed by an alliance of the world's two greatest cartels in world history - the Rockefeller Empire and the German chemical company, I.G. Farbenindustrie (I.G. Farben). Drug profits from that time onwards curved upwards into gigantic proportions and by 1948 it became a 10 billion dollar a year industry. (57)
I.G. Farben's unsavoury past is highlighted by the fact that during the Second World War it built and operated a massive chemical plant at Auschwitz using slave labour. Approximately 300,000 concentration-camp workers passed through I.G. Farben's facilities at Auschwitz and at least 25,000 of them were worked to death. (58) Also, others were brutally killed in I.G. Farben's drug testing programs. (59) Twelve of I.G. Farben's top executives were sentenced to terms of imprisonment for slavery and mistreatment offences at the Nuremberg war crime trials. (60)
Hoechst and Bayer, the largest and third largest companies in world pharmaceutical sales respectively, are descended from I.G. Farben. In September 1955, Hoechst appointed Friedrich Jaehne, a convicted war criminal from the Nuremberg trials, as Chairman of its supervisory board. Also, a year later, Bayer appointed Fitz ter Meer, another convicted war criminal, as Chairman of its board. (61)
On the Rockefellers' moves towards "influencing" medical colleges and public agencies in the United States, Bealle writes:
"The last annual report of the Rockefeller Foundation itemizes the gifts it has made to colleges and public agencies in the past 44 years [from 1948], and they total somewhat over half a billion dollars. These colleges, of course, teach their students all the drug lore the Rockefeller pharmaceutical houses want taught. Otherwise there would be no more gifts, just as there are no gifts to any of the 30 odd drugless colleges in the United States." (62)
The Rockefellers did not restrict their "educational" activities to the US alone. In 1927 they formed the International Education Board which "donated" millions of dollars to foreign universities and politicos, with all the usual strings attached. (63)
As these huge amounts of money were being "donated" to drug-propagandising colleges, the Rockefeller interests were expanding world-wide. It was large enough 40 years ago for Bealle to state:
"It has long been demonstrated that the Rockefeller interests have created, built up and developed the most far reaching industrial empire ever conceived in the mind of man. Standard Oil is of course the foundation industry upon which all of the other industries have been built....
"The keystone of this mammoth industrial empire is the Chase National Bank with 27 branches in New York City and 21 in foreign countries [now renamed the Chase Manhattan Bank with over 200 branches in the US and abroad]. Not the least of its holdings are in the drug business. The Rockefellers own the largest drug manufacturing combine in the world, and use all of their other interests to bring pressure to increase the sale of drugs." (64)
THE NOT-SO-INDEPENDENT MEDIA
Instrumental in Rockefellers' moves towards making the world drug-dependent is their enormous influence on the media. Commenting on this, Ruesch explains:
"So the stage was set for the 'education' of the American public, with a view to turning them into a population of drug dependents, with the early help of the schools, then with direct advertising and, last but not least, the influence the advertising revenues had on the media.
"A compilation of the magazine Advertising Age showed that as far back as 1948 the larger companies spent for newspapers, radio and magazine advertising the sum total of $1,104,224,374, when the dollar was still worth a dollar. Of this staggering sum the interlocking Rockefeller-Morgan interests (gone over entirely to Rockefeller after Morgan's death) controlled about 80 percent, and utilized it to manipulate public information on health and drug matters - then as now.
"Anybody who tries to get into the mass media independent news, contrary to the interests of the Drug Trust, will sooner or later run into an unbreakable wall....
"For big advertisers it is easy not only to plant into the media any news they wish to disseminate, but also to keep out the news they don't want to get around. A survey in 1978 by the Columbia Journalism Review failed to find a single comprehensive article about the dangers of smoking in the previous seven years in any major magazine accepting cigarette advertising....
"Even the most independent newspapers are dependent on their press associations for their national news. And there is no reason for a news editor to suspect that a story coming over the wires of the Press, the United Press or the International News Services is censored when it concerns health matters.
"Yet this is what happens constantly." [Emphasis added.] (65)
Ruesch showed how the above-mentioned international media were taken over by the Drug Trust and he further explains:
"So this sews up the press associations of the Rockefeller Drug Trust, and accounts for the many fake stories of serums and medical cures and just-around-the-corner-breakthrough-to-cancer, which go out brazenly over its wires to all daily newspapers in America and abroad....
"Thus newspapers continue to be fed constantly with propaganda about drugs and their alleged value, although 1.5 million people landed in hospitals in 1978 because of medication side effects in the U.S. alone, and despite recurrent statements by intelligent and courageous medical men that most pharmaceutical items on sale are useless and/or harmful." (66)
Among the many publications owned by the Rockefeller Drug Trust, there are: Fortune, Life, Time, Readers Digest and Newsweek magazines, and the Encyclopedia Britannica. These publications are constantly pushing drugs.
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION - SERVING WHOM?
Leaving no stone unturned, Ruesch shows how the Drug Trust, in securing their drug interests, planted stooges into senior positions of colleges, universities, and government bodies. About the Food and Drug Administration, Ruesch charges:
"When a good law was enacted many years ago for protecting the American public from spoiled food and poisonous drugs, the Drug Trust lost little time to get its hooks into the government bureau that was charged with enforcing the law." (67)
Ruesch cited Morris Bealle who wrote that the FDA "is used primarily for the perversion of justice by cracking down on all who endanger the profits of the Drug Trust". (68) Ruesch further states:
"Apparently, the FDA doesn't only wink at the violations of the Drug Trust whose servant it is (such as the mass deaths in the ginger jake and sulfathiozole cases), but it is particularly assiduous in putting out of business all competitors of the Drug Trust, like the vendors of natural therapeutic devices that improve the health of the public and thus decrease the profits of the Drug Trust....
"And the situation is practically identical in all the other industrialized countries, notably Great Britain, France and West Germany." (69)
THE UNDECLARED WAR ON NATURAL MEDICINE
The Civil Abolitionist carried an article rightly titled "FDA: The American Gestapo Prosecutor or Persecutor?", which reported that on May 6, 1992, the clinic of Jonathan Wright MD, a highly regarded nutrition specialist, was assailed by 22 armed men because the doctor had been treating his patients with safe natural substances that didn't meet the FDA's approval. During the SWAT type attack the front door was kicked open, guns were pointed directly at staff and the shocked patients were herded into a room. Also patient records, equipment, business records and vitamin supplies were confiscated. At the time of the article, the FDA had not as yet filed charges against Dr Wright. (70)
During last year, similar actions have taken place against three manufacturers of vitamin supplements (Allergy Research, Thorne Research and Highland Laboratories). (71)
The Nexus magazine, reporting in their Aug.-Sept. 1992 issue, writes: "This undeclared war on 'unconventional' medicines has been followed up with the introduction of bills in Congress which are making it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain vitamins, minerals and herbs, and which legalise their search-and-seizure techniques." It revealed that:
"There is a bill currently pending in the House called H.R. 3642 (written and sponsored by FDA allies Representative Henry A. Waxman, and Representative John Dingell) that would:
* Make vitamins, minerals and herbs unavailable except through prescription from Medical Doctors.
Nexus was recently contacted by an international businessman who mentioned that a bill identical in nature to the one above has been passed in the UK, that one similar was on the table in several European countries and Canada, and that one was being discussed for Australia." (72)
In Australia, a repeal of Schedule 1, Exemptions of the Therapeutic Goods Act, scheduled for January 1994, would minimize access to natural therapy remedies by natural therapists and would threaten the existence of the natural therapy profession and manufacturers of natural therapy remedies. (73)
CORRUPT FDA OFFICIALS
Nexus reported that it is a matter of public record that the FDA indulges in the following practices:
* Many of the so-called "research grants" that the FDA receives are "donated" by the very drug companies they were supposed to be regulating.
AMERICAN 'MURDER' ASSOCIATION
The AMA, once openly declared by Dr Richard Kunnes at an AMA convention that it shouldn't be the acronym for American Medical Association but for American "Murder" Association, is, according to Morris Bealle, the front for the Drug Trust. (75) When the FDA has to put an independent operator out of business, they get the AMA to furnish quack doctors to testify that while often knowing nothing about the product involved, it is their considered opinion that it has no therapeutic value.
Bealle cited an example in which the AMA furnished ten medicos to testify in court that "vitamins are not necessary to the human body", in order to close down an independent distributor of natural vitamins. (76)
J.W. Hodge, MD, of Niagara Falls, New York, writes about the AMA:
"The medical monopoly or medical trust, euphemistically called the American Medical Association, is not merely the meanest monopoly ever organized, but the most arrogant, dangerous and despotic organization which ever managed a free people in this or any other age. Any and all methods of healing the sick by means of safe, simple and natural remedies are sure to be assailed and denounced by the arrogant leaders of the AMA doctors' trust as 'fakes, frauds and humbugs.' Every practitioner of the healing art who does not ally himself with the medical trust is denounced as a 'dangerous quack' and impostor by the predatory trust doctors. Every sanitarian who attempts to restore the sick to a state of health by natural means without resort to the knife or poisonous drugs, disease imparting serums, deadly toxins or vaccines, is at once pounced upon by these medical tyrants and fanatics, bitterly denounced, vilified and persecuted to the fullest extent." (77)
It comes as no surprise that the Australian counterpart, the Australian Medical Association, in conjunction with the Royal College of General Practitioners, as reported in the Australian (July 21, 1992) are pushing for legislation that would cause medical doctors using natural therapies to lose Medicare status. This would mean that their patients would not be able to have bills rebated by Medicare. (78)
THE MASTERS OF GOVERNMENT
If to you it seems inconceivable that governments have allowed a ruthless industry to dictate health matters, consider what Woodrow Wilson stated during his first presidential campaign in 1912:
"The masters of the government of the United States are the combined capitalists and manufacturers of the United States. It is written over every intimate page of the record of Congress, it is written all through the history of conferences at the White House, that the suggestions of economic policy in this country have come from one source, not from many sources. The benevolent guardians, the kind-hearted trustees who have taken the troubles of government off our hands have become so conspicuous that almost anybody can write out a list of them... The big bankers, the big manufacturers, the big masters of commerce, the heads of railroad corporations... The government of the United States at present is a foster child of the special interests." (79)
"Woodrow Wilson's words have remained as true today as they were when he pronounced them from his campaign train. The American Presidents, unless they want to end up like John Kennedy, do not rule their country anymore than the official governments of the other so-called democracies, for the big boys in industry and finance have long since taken over that task." (80)
Morris H. Rubin, Editor and Publisher of The Progressive, writes in an article in January 1977:
"Corporate power has become the dominant force in our society... All attempts to check the mounting power of the corporate giants have failed. Consider the two most important instruments forged by the progressive forces of the country in their crusade to curb the march of monopoly: the regulatory system and the antitrust program...
"The regulatory system lies in shambles, and the corporations which were intended to be regulated in the public interest now dominate these regulatory agencies. The betrayal of the public trust is virtually complete... The antitrust laws are virtually dead letters. It is clear from recent disclosures that the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department is almost immobilized because of deals made over its head and behind its back in the White House and other corridors of power..." (81)
"The oil lobby, perhaps the most powerful lobby on earth, is almost matched by hospital owners and doctors." - President Carter, 1979. (82)
Incidently, in 1980, Exxon became America's largest corporation. Exxon is the new name for the old Rockefeller Standard Oil Trust.
For a further insight on how the cartels have turned democracies into private oligarchies, the books Naked Empress by Hans Ruesch and None Dare Call It Conspiracy (83) (1971) by investigative journalist, Gary Allen, are highly recommended.
AUSTRALIA'S HEALTH SYSTEM UNDER THREAT FROM US CORPORATIONS
Because the Australian Government can no longer afford to fund our ailing public health care system, privatisation is inevitable. A major concern is that the ruthless US corporations will be the principal buyers. An article appearing in the Daily Telegraph Mirror (October 1, 1992), titled "U.S. Giants 'Threat To Hospitals'", reports:
"Huge American corporations soon will control Australia's public hospitals forcing health care costs to double, a leading health expert claims.
"Dr Ron Williams says the public health care system is facing a bleak future because governments can no longer afford to fund it.
"And as they are forced to sell off hospitals to private interests, American corporations will step in and take over, leaving ordinary Australians unable to afford skyrocketing health care costs.
"'I see little but doom and gloom,' says Dr Williams, who has spent 11 years researching the Australian and American health care systems.
"'I wish I could say that if we all pulled together we could avert the coming brutality... but today's reality is that for the health industry, compassion will give way at an increasing rate to profit....
"'As public hospitals are sold to privates, and as nursing homes join national chains, as nurses move out of government employment on to contract, as individual doctors lose ever more control over their practices; no government will say that the processes it is promoting might lead to disaster.'" [Emphasis added.]
Copyright 1993, 1995 by the Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research, P.O. Box 234, Lawson NSW 2783, Australia. Phone +61 (0)2-4758-6822. www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr
The above article may be downloaded, copied, printed or otherwise distributed without seeking permission from CAFMR. However, printed acknowledgement is required when this is done.
REFERENCES AND NOTES
1. Brian Howe, "The cost of health care is rocketing", Sunday Telegraph, 27 Oct. 1992.
2. Ivan Illich, Limits to Medicine - Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health, Pelican Books, 1979, pp. 57-8.
2a. Robert W. Hetherington, Carl E. Hopkins, and Milton I. Roemer, Health Insurance Plans: Promise and Performance, Wiley, New York, 1975. Cited in ref. 2, p. 57.
2b. Martin S. Feldstein, The Rising Cost of Hospital Care, Information Resources, Washington, D.C., 1971. Cited in ref. 2, p. 57.
2c. CREDOC (Centre de recherches et de documentation sur la consommation), Evolution de la structure des soins medicaus, 1957-1972, Paris, 1973. Cited in ref. 2, p. 57.
2d. "Krankheitskosten: 'Die bombe tickt'; Das westdeutsche Gesundheitswesen", 1. "Der Kampf um die Kassen-Milliarden"; 2. "Die Phalanx der niedergelassenen Arzte", Der Spiegel, no. 19, 1975, pp. 54-66; no. 20, 1975, pp. 126-42. Cited in ref. 2, p. 57.
2e. R. Maxwell, Health Care: The Proving Dilemma; Needs vs. Resouces in Western Europe, the U.S., and the U.S.S.R., McKinsey & Co., New York, 1974. Ian Douglas-Wilson and Gordon McLachlan, eds, Health Service Projects: An International Survey, Little, Brown, Boston, 1973. Cited in ref. 2, p. 57.
2f. Louise Russell et al., Federal Health Spending, 1969-74, Center for Health Policy Studies, National Planning Association, Washington, D.C., 1974. Cited in ref. 2, p. 58.
3. "Drug doctors under fire", Bulletin, 24 Mar. 1992, pp. 20-1.
4. Illich, op. cit., pp. 77-8.
4a. John M. Firestone, Trends in Prescription Drug Prices, Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington, D.C., 1970. Cited in ref. 4, p. 77.
4b. Edward M. Brecher and Consumer Reports Editors, Licit and Illicit Drugs: The Consumers Union Report on Narcotics, Stimulants, Depressants, Inhalants, Hallucinogens and Marijuana - Including Caffeine, Nicotine and Alcohol, Little, Brown, Boston, 1973. Cited in ref. 4, p. 78.
4c. D.M. Dunlop, "The use and abuse of psychotropic drugs", in Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine (1970) 63: 1279. G. L. Klerman, "Social values and the consumption of psychotropic medicine", in Proceedings of the First World Congress on Environmental Medicine and Biology, North-Holland, Haarlem, 1974. Cited in ref. 4, p. 78.
4d. James L. Goddard, "The medical business", Scientific American, no. 229, Sept. 1973, pp. 161-6. Cited in ref. 4, p. 78.
4e. Drug Use in America: Problem in Perspective, Second Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972, 1973, 1974, 4 vols, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., stock no. 5266-0003. National Commission for the Study of Nursing and Nursing Education, An Abstract for Action, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1970. Cited in ref. 4, p. 78.
5. Illich, op. cit., p. 36.
6. Robert S. Mendelsohn, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, Warner Books, New York, 1980, p. 56.
7. National Health Stategy, Issues in Pharmaceutical Drug Use in Australia, Issues Paper no. 4 (Prof. R. Harvey, Chairman), National Health, Housing and Community Services, Canberra, June 1992, p. 50.
8. "The alternatives to pill-popping", Sydney Morning Herald, 2 July 1988.
9. D. Wade, "The background pattern of drug usage in Australia", Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, vol. 19, May 1976, pp. 651-6.
10. Calculated by comparing statistics provided in refs 7 & 8.
11. Australian Consumers' Association, "Pills for Pain", Choice, ACA, Marrickville, NSW, June 1991, p. 11.
12. In 1973, $166 million was spent on OTC drugs (see ref. 11) and $240 million was spent on prescription drugs (Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Guild Digest, 1991, tables 27 & 31). From this it was calculated that in 1973 the cost of OTC was 69% of the cost of prescription drugs. If the rate of increase of OTC drugs is proportional to the rate of increase of prescription drugs, then it could be estimated that OTC drugs in 1991 would amount to 69% of $2 billion (cost of prescription drugs in 1991. See ref. 3), which equals to $1.4 billion.
13. See ref. 3.
14. Jim Mason & Peter Singer, Animal Factories, Crown Publishers, New York, 1980, p. 56.
15. John Robins, Diet for a New America, Stillpoint Publishing, Walpole, 1987, p. 109.
16. Bureau of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, FDA 76-6012, "Drug use guide: swine", B.V.M., Industry Relations Branch, Rockville, Md., May 1976, p. 1.
17. Drugs in Livestock Feed, vol. I, Technical Report, Office of Technology Assessment, Washington, D.C., June 1979, p. 3.
18. Food Safety and Quality Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Industry-government 'self-help' sulfa campaign underway", Northeast Regional Information Office Newsletter, New York, 15 June 1978, p. 1.
19. Drugs in Livestock Feed, op. cit., vol. I, p. 3.
20. Illich, op. cit., p. 79.
21. Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress or The Great Medical Fraud, CIVIS (Latin acronym for International Center of Scientific Information on Vivisection) Publications, POB 152, Via Motta 51, CH-6900 Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, 1992, p. 12.
22. R.D. Mann, Modern Drug Use, an Enquiry on Historical Principles, MTP Press, 1984.
23. FDA Drug Review: Postapproval Risks 1976-1985, U.S. General Accounting Office, April 1990.
24. Adverse Drug Reaction Advisory Committee, The New Epidemic: A Collection of Case-Studies by ADRAC, AGPS, Canberra, 1987, p. 3.
25. I. Lamour, R.G. Dolphin, H. Baxter et al., "A prospective study of hospital admissions due to drug reactions", Australian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 1991, vol. 21(2), pp. 90-95.
26. "A crisis of confidence", Australian Penthouse, April 1983, p. 39.
27. R.D. Mann, op. cit.
28. Richard Taylor, Medicine Out of Control - The Anatomy of a Malignant Technology, Sun Books, Melbourne, 1979, p. 46.
29. Leighton Cluff in Controversies in Therapeutics, ed. Louis Lasagna, Saunders, 1980, p. 44.
30. U.S. Senate, Select Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Monopoly, Competitive Problems in the Drug Industry, 90th Congress, 1st & 2nd Sessions, 1967-8, pt. 2, p. 565.
31. Leighton Cluff, op. cit.
32. Arabella Melville & Colin Johnson, Cured to Death - The Effects of Prescription Drugs, Angus & Robertson Publishers, London, 1982, p. 123.
33. Health Care Reform Group, Compulsory Immunisation - A Statement of Concern, HCRG, Glebe, NSW, 1991, p. 13.
34. New Scientist, no. 218, 17 July 1980.
35. W.H. Inman in Monitoring for Drug Safety, ed. W.H. Inman, MTP Press, 1980.
36. Taylor, op. cit., pp. 46-7.
37. H. Beaty & R. Petersdorf, "Iatrogenic factors in infectious disease", Annals of Internal Medicine, 1966, vol. 65, p. 641.
38. Taylor, op. cit., pp. 47-8.
39. Robert S. Mendelsohn, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, Warner Books, New York, 1980.
40. Robert S. Mendelsohn, Mal(e) Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women, Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1982.
41. Robert S. Mendelsohn, How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor, Ballantine Books, New York, 1987.
42. Illich, op. cit., p. 35.
43. Ruesch, op. cit., p. 13.
46. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Ten Leading Causes of Death in the U.S., 1977, July 1980.
47. T. McKeown, The Role of Medicine, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1979.
48. T. McKeown and C.R. Lowe, An Introduction to Social Medicine, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1976.
49. J.B. McKinlay & S. McKinlay, Health & Society, Millibank Memorial Fund, 1977, pp. 405-28.
50. Wisconsin Action Coalition and Citizen Fund of Washington, D.C., Milwaukee Sentinel, 30 Apr. 1990.
51. Alan S. Levin, "Corruption in American medicine", in Dissent in Medicine - Nine Doctors Speak Out, The New Medical Foundation, 36th Floor, 115 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603, publ. by Contemporary Books, Chicago, pp. 78-80.
52. See ref. 3.
53. Levin, op. cit., pp. 80-4.
54. Illich, op. cit., p. 11.
55. Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress or The Great Medical Fraud, CIVIS Publications, Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, 1992.
56. Morris A. Bealle, The Drug Story, Biworld Publishers, Orem, Utah, 1949 (original edition titled as The Super Drug Story, publ. by Columbia Publishing Company, Washington, D.C.; also retitled as The New Drug Story) , Cited in ref. 55, pp. 98-9.
58. Joseph Borkin, The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben, Free Press, New York, 1978, p. 127.
59. John Braithwaite, Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1984, p. 4.
60. Borkin, op. cit.
62. Bealle, op. cit., reproduced in ref. 55, p. 100.
63. Ruesch, op. cit., p. 116.
64. Bealle, op. cit. repr. in ref. 55, pp. 100-1.
65. Ruesch, op. cit., pp. 101-2.
66. ibid., pp. 103-4.
67. ibid., p. 105.
68. Bealle, op. cit., repr. in ref. 67.
69. Ruesch, op. cit., pp. 105-6.
70. Bina Robinson (ed.), "FDA: The American gestapo protector or prosecuter?", Civil Abolitionist, P.O. Box 26, Swain, New York 14885, vol., IV, no., 3, Summer 1992, ps 1 & 7.
71. Duncan Roads (ed.), "Alternative medicine beware", Nexus New Times, vol. 2, no. 8, June-July 1992, p. 9.
72. Duncan Roads (ed.), "Natural medicine in the USA - a warning to Australia", Nexus New Times, vol. 2, no. 9, Aug.-Sept. 1992, p. 9.
73. Freedom of Choice in Health Care, circular, FCHC - P.O. Box 2651, Alice Springs, NT. 0870, 1992.
74. See ref. 72.
75. Ruesch, op. cit., pp. 108-9.
76. ibid., p. 106.
77. J.W. Hodge quoted in ref. 75.
78. "Unorthodox medicos to lose rebates", Australian, 21 July 1992, p. 3.
79. Woodrow Wilson in The New Freedom, Doubleday & Co., New York, 1913, pp. 57-8. Repr. in ref. 55, p. 117.
80. Ruesch, op. cit., p. 118.
81. Morris H. Rubin (ed.), The Progressive, Jan. 1977. Repr. in ref. 55, p. 119.
82. Jimmy Carter in AMA News, 8 June 1979.
83. Cary Allen, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, Concord Press - P.O. Box 2686, Seal Beach, California 90740, 1971.
The Pharmaceutical Drug Racket - Part Two
CORPORATE CRIME IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
The sordid behaviour of today's pharmaceutical corporations has been further demonstrated by Dr John Braithwaite, now a Trade Practices Commissioner, in his devastating expose, CORPORATE CRIME IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY (1) (1984).
International bribery and corruption, fraud in the testing of drugs, criminal negligence in the unsafe manufacture of drugs - the pharmaceutical industry has a worse record of law-breaking than any other industry. Describing many examples of corporate crime, which shows the depth and seriousness of the crime problem in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Braithwaite's revealing study is based on extensive international research, including interviews of 131 senior executives of pharmaceutical companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico and Guatemala.
The book shows how pharmaceutical multinationals defy the intent of laws regulating safety of drugs by bribery, false advertising, fraud in the safety testing of drugs, unsafe manufacturing processes, smuggling and international law evasion strategies.
At the time of researching the subject, Braithwaite was a Research Criminologist at the Australian Institute of Criminology and a Fulbright Fellow affiliated to the University of California, Irvine and the United Nations Center on Transnational Corporations.
FRAUD IN DRUG TESTING
"Data fabrication is so widespread", says Dr Braithwaite, "that it is called 'making' in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry, 'graphiting' or 'dry labelling' in the United States." He further states:
"Pharmaceutical companies face great temptations to mislead health authorities about the safety of their products. It is a make or break industry - many companies get virtually all their profits from just two or three therapeutic winners.
"Most of the data that the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee relies upon in deciding questions of safety and efficacy is data from other countries, particularly the US. Inquiries into scientific fraud in the US have shown there is a substantial problem of fraud in safety testing of drugs in the US, just as has been documented in Japan." [Emphasis added.] (2)
In his book Braithwaite cited former FDA Commissioner Goddard expressing his concerns over research dishonesty at a Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Meeting in 1966:
"I have been shocked at the materials that come in. In addition to the problem of quality, there is the problem of dishonesty in the investigational new drug usage. I will admit there are grey areas in the IND situation, but the conscious withholding of unfavourable animal clinical data is not a grey matter. The deliberate choice of clinical investigators known to be more concerned about industry friendships than in developing good data is not a grey matter. The planting in journals of articles that begin to commercialize what is still an investigational new drug is not a grey matter area. These actions run counter to the law and the efforts governing drug industry [sic!]." (3)
Goddard's immediate successor at the FDA, Dr Ley, spoke before the US Senate hearings of a spot check that showed up the case of an assistant professor of medicine who had reputedly tested 24 drugs for 9 different companies. "Patients who died while on clinical trials were not reported to the sponsor", an audit revealed. "Dead people were listed as subjects of testing. People reported as subjects of testing were not in the hospital at the time of tests. Patient consent forms bore dates indicating they were signed by the subjects after the subjects died." (4)
Another audit looked at a commercial drug-testing firm that had apparently worked on 82 drugs and 28 sponsors:
"Patients who died, left the hospital or dropped out of the study were replaced by other patients in the tests without notification in the records. Forty-one patients reported as participating in studies were dead or not in the hospital during the studies.... Record-keeping, supervision and observation of patients in general were grossly inadequate." (5)
Between 1977 and 1980 the FDA have discovered 62 doctors who had submitted manipulated or downright falsified clinical data. (6) A study conducted by the FDA has revealed that one in five doctors investigated, who carry out field research of new drugs, had invented the data they sent to the drug companies, and pocketed the fees. (7)
Citing case examples, Dr Braithwaite states:
"The problem is that most fraud in clinical trials is unlikely to even be detected. Most cases which do come to public attention only do so because of extraordinary carelessness by the criminal physician..." (8)
According to Dr Judith Jones, Director of the Division of Drug Experience at the FDA, if the data obtained by a clinician proves unsatisfactory towards the drug being investigated, it is quite in order for the company to continue trials elsewhere until satisfactory results and testimonials are achieved. Unfavourable results are very rarely published and clinicians are pressured into keeping quiet about such data. (9)
It is very easy for the drug company to arrange appropriate clinical trials by approaching a sympathetic clinician to produce the desired results that would assist the intended application of the drug. (10) The incentive for clinical investigators to fabricate data is enormous. As much as $1000 per subject is paid by American companies, which enables some doctors to earn up to $1 million a year from drug research, (11) and investigating clinicians know all too well that if they don't produce the desired data, the loss of future work is inevitable.
UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS - THE MORE THAN WILLING PAWNS
Braithwaite cited an FDA survey of safety testing violations that have shown that university laboratories had the worst record for violations than all other laboratories in the survey. (12) Braithwaite writes:
"As one would predict from the foregoing discussion of how contract labs can be used by sponsors to abrogate responsibility for quality research, contract labs were found to have a worse record of GLP [Good Laboratory Practices] violations than sponsor labs. The worst record of all, however, was with university laboratories. One must be extremely cautious about this finding since there were only five university laboratories in the study. Nevertheless, it must undermine any automatic assumption that university researchers, with their supposed detachment from the profit motive, are unlikely to cut corners on research standards." (13)
INAPPROPRIATE CLINICAL TRIALS
Even if data obtained from clinical trials is not falsified, it is of little worth, because they are not performed appropriately. Trials involve relatively small numbers of people; so many harmful effects of a new drug appear only when it has been marketed and widely used.
Furthermore, the subjects taking part in the trial usually do not represent those who will use the drug after its approval. Very young or elderly people, women of child-bearing age and people with liver or kidney disease are usually not included in clinical trials, although such people may be given the drug after it is marketed. Also, optimal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of what is most effective for an average size adult. Many adults differ from this average, and about 45 per cent of ordinary adults are probably going to respond atypically to some classes of drugs. (14)
DRUG COMPANIES CONCEALING AND MISREPRESENTING DANGEROUS DRUG EFFECTS
Dr Braithwaite cited a number of cases where drug companies concealed and misrepresented dangerous effects of drugs noted by their own investigators. Braithwaite writes:
"In 1959 Wallace and Tiernan put a new tranquilliser, Dornwal, on the market despite the strenuous objections of its own medical director. Other company experts warned that Dornwal could cause serious and possibly fatal blood damage. They were right. Wallace and Tiernan failed to send to the FDA reports of side-effects which induced nine cases of bone marrow disease and three deaths from using the drug (Johnson, 1976) [15a] ....
"One could list a number of similar types of cases. Johnson and Johnson's subsidiary, McNeil Laboratories, was denounced by the FDA for concealing information on side-effects of Flexin which according to Johnson (1976) included the drug being associated with 15 deaths from liver damage. Such more blatant cases are merely the tip of an iceberg of selective misinformation.
"The most dramatic recent case has been the disclosures in the British Parliament and US Congress that Eli Lilly and Co. knew of the dangers of Opren, an anti-arthritic drug associated with 74 deaths in Britain alone, 15 months before the drug was withdrawn (Sunday Times, 27 February 1983)....
"The problem is not restricted to Anglo-Saxon countries. In November 1982, a Japanese company, Nippon Chemiphar, admitted to presenting bogus data to the Japanese Government with its application to market a pain-killer and anti-inflammation drug under the brand name of Norvedan. The company submitted cooked up data to the Government in the name of Dr Harcio Sampei, chief of plastic surgery at Nippon University. The good doctor had accepted 2.4 million Yen in cash from the company in return for permission to use his name. More disturbing are similar allegations on another Nippon Chemiphar product. The company denies cooking data on this second product. But the worrying aspect of the second scandal is that a former company researcher claims to have submitted a written report alleging fraud in drug testing by Nippon Chemiphar to the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry; Ministry officials, he alleges, chose to ignore the report (Japan Times, 23, 24, 25 November 1982)." [Emphasis added.] (15)
IN WHOSE INTERESTS ARE DRUGS TESTED?
The testing procedures of drugs are primarily performed to ensure the approval and marketing of these substances; despite the fact they are usually unsafe and ineffective. If drug companies were truly ethical and responsible, the vast majority of drugs would not have been allowed on the market in the first place.
West Germany's prestigious weekly, Der Spiegel (June 24, 1985), carried a most revealing article titled, "How The Pharmaceutical Industry Bought Bonn". The article, which featured on the front page and covered several pages, contributes to the real motives behind drug testing. In essence, the article could just as well apply to the United States, Britain and most other industrial nations. The following is a brief excerpt:
"As a rule, the drug companies didn't pour millions into the coffers of the political parties, but gave money to individual politicians and public officials selected among those that determine the health policy. With the help of congressmen in their employ, they acquired uniquely favorable marketing conditions that would insure them durable profits. The pharmaceutical industry, which is worth billions, has bought up, as it were, the legislature, as the uncovered documents reveal...
"The approval of drugs should henceforth depend on two conditions: evidence of their 'efficacity' and of their 'innocuity', provided by chemo-physical tests, animal experiments, and clinical assays and opinions." [Emphasis added.]
Many of the politicians and public officials who contributed to the acceptance of these guidelines were named in the article, and the bribes they pocketed were itemised.
FRAUDULENT ANIMAL TESTING
The most blatantly fraudulent procedure of drug testing is the testing of these substances using animal models; a practice often termed "vivisection". To begin with, many of the most common or life-threatening side-effects cannot be predicted by animal tests. For instance, animals cannot let the experimenter know if they are suffering from headache, amnesia, nausea, depression and other psychological disturbances. Allergic reactions, some blood disorders, skin lesions and many central nervous system effects are even more serious examples that cannot be demonstrated by animal models. (16)
According to one of the world's best known toxicologists, Professor Gerhardt Zbinden, from Zurich's Institute of Toxicology; "Most adverse reactions that occur in man cannot be demonstrated, anticipated or avoided by the routine subacute and chronic toxicity experiment." (17) Professor Zbinden has shown that of the 45 most common adverse reactions only 3 may possibly be predicted, and of the remaining 42, "only in exceptional cases can they be predicted from routine toxicologic tests". (18)
Apart from the effects that cannot be demonstrated in animals, another very fundamental problem exists with testing substances using animals. Each individual species of animal has a unique genetic make-up. Any genetic differences predetermine massive variations in histology (structure, composition and function of tissues), biochemistry (chemistry of living organisms), morphology (structure of organisms), physiology (function of living organisms), and other species characteristics. Because each animal species is different, substances that are tested on them for "safety" and "effectiveness" will have a different effect on each individual species. This has been amply demonstrated by Professor Pietro Croce, former animal experimenter, and world renowned author and medical researcher, in his revealing treatise, VIVISECTION OR SCIENCE - A CHOICE TO MAKE (19) (1991).
Morphine sends cats into a frenzy of excitement yet it calms and anaesthetises humans. The amount of opium that can be eaten without discomfort by the hedgehog would keep the most hardened addict happy for a fortnight. Arsenic kills humans but is harmless to guinea-pigs, chickens and monkeys. Chloroform, used successfully for decades in human surgery, is poisonous for dogs. Digitalis, which dangerously raises the blood pressure of dogs, is used to lower blood pressure for humans. (20) The list can be lengthened at will, but these few examples should be sufficient to demonstrate that there could not be a more unreliable test for new drugs than animal experimentation.
There are five basic stages in which a drug has an effect when taken internally. These are: absorption into the bloodstream, distribution to the site of action, mechanism of action, metabolism, and excretion. Considering that people of different sexes, ages, health and genetic make-up may react quite differently; it is obvious that other species often react very differently. Even a minor change, repeated at each stage, can accumulate, resulting in a major change of effect. One of the most important factors is the speed and pattern of metabolism, or the way in which a drug is broken down by the body. (21) Scientific reports show that variation in drug metabolism between species is the rule rather than the exception. (22,23)
Toxic drug effects not predicted by animal testing may be seen in people if their metabolism is slower, with the potentially dangerous result from longer exposure. The anti-inflammatory drugs phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone, which have been responsible for an estimated 10,000 deaths worldwide, (24) takes 72 hours for people to metabolise. However, phenylbutazone is metabolised by rhesus monkeys, dogs, rats and rabbits in eight, six, six, and three hours, respectively. (25) Oxyphenbutazone takes only half an hour for dogs to metabolise. (26)
Another fundamental problem that makes animal testing a flawed process concerns the etiology (cause) of the disease that the drug under test is supposed to treat. Because animals don't suffer the same diseases as humans, experimenters attempt to artificially re-create spontaneous human diseases (naturally occurring diseases that arise from within) in healthy animals, and then they use these "models" to attempt to determine the efficacy (effectiveness) of the drug in question. This is totally illogical because the artificially re-created animal disease can in no way approximate a naturally occurring human disease (nor of the same animal species for that matter). Once a disease is "re-created", it is artificial and is no longer the original, natural disease. Sometimes it is possible to re-create some of the symptoms of the disease but never the disease itself. (27,28) The only exception to this rule is in the case of infectious diseases, but animal infectious diseases are not the same as human infectious diseases. (28)
As well as the routine subacute and chronic toxicity tests (which involve poisoning by a substance being taken in normal quantities over a long period of time), drugs are also tested on animals for acute toxicity (poisoning due to a large amount of substance taken in a short period of time) and teratogenicity (ability to cause fetal malformations).
FRAUDULENT ACUTE TOXICITY TESTS
The LD50 is an acute toxicity test designed to indicate the human lethal dose that results from accidental or intentional overdose. The standard LD50 tests consist of forcing massive amounts of the test substance down the throat of a large number of animals to discover at what dosage-level about 50 per cent of them will die. Even if the substance is not poisonous to the animal, it will cause damaging effects by overpowering the animal's ability to cope with the sheer quantities. (29)
Most toxicologists and clinicians agree that these tests are scientifically indefensible. Professor Zbinden writes: "For the recognition of the symptomatology of acute poisoning in man, and for the determination of the human lethal dose, the LD50 in animals is of very little value." (30) D. Lorke, from the Institute of Toxicology, Bayer AG, Germany, states that "even if the LD50 could be measured exactly and reproducibly, the knowledge of its precise numerical value would barely be of practical importance, because an extrapolation from the experimental animals to man is hardly possible". (31)
Despite the fact that the these tests have no scientific validity, they are used as a crude index of acute toxicity, demanded by government regulations. According to one of Britain's largest contract laboratories, Huntingdon Research Centre; "Approximately 90 per cent of LD50 tests which are performed by this Contract Research Centre, and probably by others also, are purely to obtain a value for various legislative needs." (32)
FRAUDULENT TERATOGENIC TESTS
Supposedly to safeguard pregnant women from the exposure of potentially teratogenic drugs, these substances are tested on various species of pregnant animals before being marketed. However, these tests are also worthless, because as Dr Robert Sharpe explains in his book, THE CRUEL DECEPTION (1988):
"In pregnant animals, differences in the physiological structure, function and biochemistry of the placenta aggravate the usual differences in metabolism, excretion, distribution and absorption that exists between species and make reliable predictions impossible." (33)
The ineffectiveness of the teratogenic tests is demonstrated by the fact that the malformations caused by thalidomide (a drug prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness that caused over 10,000 grotesque birth deformities) proved very difficult to duplicate on animals, despite being tested on a large range of species. Writing in his book DRUGS AS TERATOGENS, J.L. Schardein comments:
"In approximately 10 strains of rats, 15 strains of mice, eleven breeds of rabbit, two breeds of dogs, three strains of hamsters, eight species of primates and in other such varied species as cats, armadillos, guinea pigs, swine and ferrets in which thalidomide has been tested teratogenic effects have been induced only occasionally." (34)
Further, medical historian, Hans Ruesch points out in his book, SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT (1991):
"Only when the white New Zealand rabbit was tested, a few malformed rabbit babies were obtained, and subsequently also some malformed monkeys - after years of tests [where researchers were constantly increasing the doses that were force-fed], hundreds of different strains and millions of animals used. But researchers immediately pointed out that malformations, like cancer, could be obtained by administration of practically any substance in high concentration, including sugar and salt, which will eventually upset the organism, causing trouble." (35)
BIRTH DEFORMITIES ON THE INCREASE
As a result of the thalidomide tragedy, there has been a massive increase in the use of test animals but this has failed to prevent further deformities. On the contrary, the malformations have increased, and more than twenty years later, on July 19, 1983, a headline in the New York Times revealed: "Physical and Mental Disabilities in Newborns Doubled in 25 Years." Furthermore, it has recently been uncovered that every year more than a quarter of a million babies (1 in 12) are born with birth defects in the United States. (36)
CRITICISMS FROM WITHIN
Because animal testing gives false and misleading data on the "safety" and "efficacy" of dangerous drug substances, many toxicologists and clinicians have expressed much criticism. To quote some of them:
"Even when a drug has been subjected to a complete and adequate pharmacologic investigation on several species of animals and found to be relatively non-toxic it is frequently found that such a drug may show unexpected toxic reactions in diseased human beings. This has been known almost since the birth of scientific pharmacology." (37)
"...most experts considered the modern toxicological routine procedure a wasteful endeavour in which scientific inventiveness and common sense have been replaced by a thoughtless completion of standard protocols." (38)
"Normally, animal experiments not only fail to contribute to the safety of medications, but they even have the opposite effect." (39)
ANIMAL TESTING GIVES HINTS, INDICATIONS?
In support of animal testing vivisectionists say: "We don't expect final answers from animal experiments, but just hints, indications, which encourage us to continue in a particular direction." This is, of course, sheer nonsense; Professor Pietro Croce explains:
"But what's an indication? An approximate information, merely orientative. And as the compass card shows, an orientation can point in the right direction, of which there is only one, or to one of the many wrong directions. And an animal experiment only very rarely points to the right direction, and when it does, it is due to coincidence, and at any rate verifiable only after the fact. Experimenting on animals to do medical research is like playing roulette." (40)
HOW SHOULD DRUGS BE TESTED?
Vivisectionists would have the public believe that animal testing is an essential part of drug testing and evaluation, and that these tests cannot be dispensed with. This is also nonsense, as true scientific methods that are accurate and reliable are available and in current use.
Drug testing and evaluation should include: the use of human tissues, cells and organs (In vitro cultures); (41) chromatography and mass spectrometry (which separate drug substances at their molecular level to identify their properties); (42) quantum pharmacology (using quantum mechanics to understand the molecular structure of chemicals); (43) properly carried out human clinical trials; (44) and thorough reporting of drug side-effects by post-market surveillance. (45) The Ames test used in conjunction with in vitro tests is very effective in determining teratogenic and carncinogenic (cancer causing) properties of substances. (46)
WHY DO DRUG COMPANIES USE ANIMAL TESTS?
Although the previous methods have a demonstrated proven worth, drug companies still insist on using misleading animal tests, because they argue that government regulations demand them. But why would they?
Bearing in mind the drug companies' criminal reputation in fraudulent drug testing and other illegal activities, with the collaboration of corrupt government and medical officials (as demonstrated by Ruesch and Braithwaite, among others), the following analysis by Hans Ruesch comes as no surprise:
"It is not only scandalous but also tragic that the Drug Trust is permitted to flood the market with its products on the grounds that they have been thoroughly tested for effectiveness and safety on animals, and that the Health Authorities, meaning the Government, abet this deception, which is nothing but confirmed fraud. For both sides are well aware that animal tests are fallacious and merely serve as an alibi - an insurance against the day when it is no longer possible to conceal the disastrous side effects of a drug. Then they can say that 'all the required tests have been made' - that they have obeyed the Law.
"But they don't say that they themselves have imposed those laws, because the Lawmaker has no choice in all medical questions but to submit to the dictates of the 'medical experts'. And who are they? Agents of the Chemo-Medical Syndicate, whose links to the Health Authorities are so close that they usually overlap. So they, and no one else, impart binding orders to that mysterious and omnipotent individual, identified anonymously as 'The Lawmaker'." [Emphasis added.] (47)
To back his conclusions, Hans Ruesch has assembled massive damning evidence against the perpetrators of the phoney drug testing fraud. This has been well documented in his book SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT, and its sequel, NAKED EMPRESS OR THE GREAT MEDICAL FRAUD (1992). The documentary film, HIDDEN CRIMES (48) (1986), which is based on Hans Ruesch's books and is produced by Javier Burgos, gives a visual account of the vivisection fraud.
Ruesch cited a criminal trial involving Chemie Grunenthal, the German manufacturer of Thalidomide. They were incriminated for having marketed a harmful drug. Writes Ruesch:
"In December 1970, the longest criminal trial in Germany's judicial history - two and a half years, 283 days in court - ended with the acquittal of Chemie Grunenthal, after a long line of medical authorities had testified that the generally accepted animal tests could never be conclusive for human beings. This was unprecedented, for the testimonies came from an impressive array of individuals whose careers and reputations were practically built on animal experimentation..." (49)
Another example to illustrate the above point; Ruesch cites the case of Opren (the arthritis drug responsible for a number of deaths), as reported in the February 12, 1983 issue of Britain's Economist:
"The Labour member of parliament, Mr Jack Ashley, is campaigning against the refusal of Eli Lilly [drug company] to pay compensation to the families of Opren's victims. Eli Lilly says that it complied with all pre-marketing testing requirements and cannot therefore be held liable through negligence." [Emphasis added.] (50)
The following statements from doctors, not bound to commercial interests, contribute to the real motives behind the vivisectionists' methods of drug testing:
"Results from animal tests are not transferable between species, and therefore cannot guarantee product safety for humans... In reality these tests do not provide protection for consumers from unsafe products but rather are used to protect corporations from legal liability." (51)
"Toxicologists are...pursuing an illusion of safety using animals to fulfil political and legal obligations. As if to confirm our suspicions, some drugs are marketed and clinical procedures undertaken despite 'failing' animal tests!...
"But if animal tests are sometimes ignored, they can also be used to imply certain advantages of a company's new product over existing drugs....
"On the other hand the fact that animal tests are misleading can form the basis of a company's defence against claims about one of its products....
"So, if animal experiments are misleading, they are at least flexible: they can be deemed inapplicable when necessary, ignored when convenient and used to imply important advantages over competing products." [Emphasis added.] (52)
"Another basic problem which we share as a result of the regulations and the things that prompted them is an unscientific preoccupation with animal studies. Animal studies are done for legal reasons and not for scientific reasons. The predictive value of such studies for man is often meaningless - which means our research may be meaningless." (53)
"There are many ways of producing 'irrefutable' facts in support of any argument, using different kinds of animals: one just has to choose the right one. For example:
"Do we want to show that Amanita phalloides is an excellent edible toadstool? Then we have only to feed it to the rabbit....
"Do we want to discourage people from eating parsley? Let us give it to the parrot which will probably be found lying stone-dead under its perch the next morning.
"Should we wish to rule out penicillin as a therapeutic drug, we have only to give it to the guinea-pig which will be dead in a couple of days....
"If we wish to convince the consumers of tinned food that botulin poison is harmless let us give it to the cat and it will lick its lips. Let us give it instead to the cat's traditional prey, the mouse, and it will die as if struck by lightning....
"If we need to show that Vitamin C is useless we withhold it from the diet of the most readily available animal: the dog, the rat, the mouse, the hamster...they will continue to thrive because their bodies produce Vitamin C of their own accord. But let us not eliminate it from the diet of guinea-pigs, primates, or humans or they will die of scurvy....
"To sum up, one has only to know how to choose the proper animal species to obtain the desired results... This is a kind of science which one can knead like dough. The trouble comes in believing that with dough one can produce health for human beings." [Emphasis added.] (54)
"Relying on animal tests means that new products which are thought to be safe are mass-marketed far too quickly and are prescribed by general practitioners and hospital doctors for thousands or even millions of patients without ever being properly assessed. It is hardly surprising that when problems occur - as they do all too frequently these days - they occur on a massive scale. Animal experiments allow drug companies to mass-market new drugs without testing them to see if they are safe and they encourage complacency among prescribing doctors who are not as alert for side effects as they should be because they have been told that the drugs they are prescribing are safe.
"The consequence of our reliance on animal testing is that new and untried drugs and procedures are being tested on vast numbers of people simply so that those making those drugs or pieces of equipment can make massive profits as quickly as possible." (55)
"The great majority of perinatal toxicological studies seem to be intended to convey medico-legal protection to the pharmaceutical houses and political protection to the official regulatory bodies, rather than produce information that might be of value in human therapeutics." (56)
"The extensive animal reproduction studies to which all new drugs are now subjected are more in the nature of a public relations exercise than a serious contribution to drug safety... The illogicality of the situation is demonstrated by the continued use of well-established drugs which are known to be teratogenic in some mammalian species (e.g. aspirin, penicillin/streptomycin, cortisone). Conversely a new drug which comes through its animal reproductive studies with flying colours may nevertheless be teratogenic in man." (57)
"The virtue of animal model systems to those in hot pursuit of the federal dollars is that they can be used to prove anything - no matter how foolish, or false, or dangerous this might be. There is such a wide variation in the results of animal model systems that there is always some system which will 'prove' a point. Fraudulent methods of argument never die and rarely fade away. They are too useful to promoters..." (58)
"The richest earnings occur when a new variety of a drug is marketed before competing drugs can be discovered. Under this system it is impracticable to do tests extending over a long period to establish the range of usefulness and potential dangers from toxicity... Thus after extensive laboratory tests on toxicity and pharmacological properties, but sometimes with a minimum of clinical trial, a drug may be marketed." (59)
CONCLUSION ON DRUG TESTING
The inescapable conclusion is that drug companies choose animal tests over scientific methods because of the utter unreliability of animal tests. Because each animal species is unique in its physiological, biochemical, histological, morphological and other characteristics, and consequently reacts differently to substances, drug companies can produce results favourable to their interests by simply choosing the appropriate species.
If their product is harmless, fine, money rolls in. If it's harmful, no problem, accusations are disposed of on the grounds that it was tested and found to be "safe" on animals.
If drugs were tested properly using true scientific methods, the vast majority of them would not be allowed onto the market because their harmfulness and ineffectiveness would be all too apparent. The constant stream of new drugs would slow to a trickle and within a few years most drug companies would go bankrupt.
DRUGS ARE POISONS
The problem is that virtually all drugs are toxic to some degree, and as Eli Lilly once said, "a drug without side effects is no drug at all". (60) No drug can be pinpointed to affect only the organ it is designed to treat, and most drugs have broad effects and some affect virtually every organ system in the body. (61)
Drugs are toxic because they are generally composed of artificial chemical compounds that have been synthesised in the laboratory. (62) In the past, before drugs became big business, nearly all medicines were composed of natural plant-derived ingredients that were far safer than today's drugs. Unfortunately, the drug companies today choose to chemically synthesise the ingredients instead, because they are cheaper to produce and can be patented, giving the companies monopoly rights on their sales. (63)
For some insight into the toxic nature of the next drug your doctor tries to prescribe for you, the authors recommend that you ask him or her to look up the drug for you in their copy of MIMS ANNUAL or MIMS bi-monthly (64). These books, which doctors have at their disposal, give disturbing details on the toxic effects of individual drugs. You will discover that your doctor would more than likely be reluctant, because he or she knows that after seeing the details for yourself you would most probably refuse the drug. However, be warned, the information in MIMS is only what the drug companies supply and is not a true account of how dangerous these chemical substances really are.
HOW MANY DRUGS DO WE NEED?
Already over 30 years ago, Dr Walter Modell of Cornell University's Medical College, whom Time had described as "one of America's foremost drug experts", wrote in CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS:
"When will they realize that there are too many drugs? No fewer than 150,000 preparations are now in use. About 15,000 new mixtures and dosages hit the market each year, while about 12,000 die off... We simply don't have enough diseases to go around. At the moment the most helpful contribution is the new drug to counteract the untoward effects of other new drugs." (65)
Since 1961, the number of drug preparations marketed world-wide has increased to 205,000 with a proportional rise in new maladies.
Further, Ruesch reveals:
"In 1980, the Geneva based World Health Organisation (WHO) published a list of 240 drugs that were considered 'essential' or sufficient for Third World needs. Since the Third World's health has been touted as being very much in need of Western help, the 240 drugs should more than suffice for Western populations as well.
"Considering WHO's report, how come have an estimated 205,000 drugs and combinations thereof been produced - most of which have long since been withdrawn?...
"On October 14, 1981 the Swiss weekly Weltwoche reported that UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) had set up in collaboration with WHO a list of merely 26 drugs that were considered indispensable for the Third World....
"The UNIDO report emphasized that of the 26 'indispensables', 9 should have special priority.
"And which drug topped the list of these 9 that were considered even more indispensable than all the other indispensables? Acetylsalicylic acid, meaning our good old Aspirin, which was discovered almost 100 years ago and has proved itself less harmful than most other drugs. Perhaps because it is one of the few still in use today that had not been developed by animal tests?
"Some people think that even the list of 9 more indispensable than others is too long." (66)
SOME FRAUDULENTLY TESTED DRUGS THAT INJURED AND KILLED
Paracetamol (painkiller) - 1,500 people had to be hospitalised in Great Britain in 1971.
Orabilex - caused kidney damages with fatal outcome.
MEL/29 (anti-hypertensive) - caused cataracts.
Methaqualone (hypnotic) - caused severe psychic disturbances leading to at least 366 deaths, mainly through murder or suicide.
Thalidomide (tranquilliser) - caused 10,000 malformed children.
Isoproterenol (asthma) - caused 3,500 deaths in the sixties.
Stilboestrol (prostate cancer) - caused cancer in young women.
Trilergan (anti-allergic) - caused viral hepatitis.
Flamamil (rheumatism) - caused loss of consciousness.
Eraldin (heart medication) - caused severe eye and digestive tract damage, and many deaths.
Phenformin (diabetes) - caused 1,000 deaths annually until withdrawn.
Atromid S (cholesterol) - caused deaths from cancer, liver, gall bladder and intestinal disease.
Valium (tranquilliser) - addictive in moderate doses.
Preludin & Maxiton (diet pills) - caused serious damage to the heart and the nervous system.
Nembutal (insomnia) - caused insomnia.
Pronap & Plaxin (tranquillisers) - killed many babies.
Phenacetin (painkiller) - caused severe damages to kidneys and red blood corpuscles.
Amydopyrine (pain killer) - caused blood disease.
Marzine (nausea) - damaged children.
Reserpine (anti-hypertensive) - increased risks of cancer of the brain, pancreas, uterus, ovaries, skin and women's breasts.
Methotrexate (leukaemia) - caused intestinal haemorrhage, severe anaemia and tumours.
Urethane (leukaemia) - caused cancer of liver, lungs and bone marrow.
Mitotane (leukaemia) - caused kidney damage.
Cyclophosphamide (cancer) - caused liver and lung damage.
Isoniazid (tuberculosis) - caused liver destruction.
Kanamycin (tuberculosis) - caused deafness and kidney destruction.
Chloromycetin (typhoid) - caused leukaemia, cardiovascular collapse and death.
Phenolphthalein (laxative) - caused kidney damage, delirium and death.
Clioquinol (diarrhoea) - caused blindness, paralysis and death.
DES (prevent miscarriage) - caused birth defects and cancer.
Debendox (nausea) - caused birth defects.
Accutane (acne) - caused birth defects.
Kanamycin (tuberculosis) - caused deafness and kidney destruction.
The preceding list, taken from VIVISECTION - SCIENCE OR SHAM (67) (by Dr Roy Kupsinel, 1990) and NAKED EMPRESS (68), is just a very small sample of a far greater number of therapeutic disasters that have taken place.
"In fact, the therapeutic disasters, steadily on the increase today, did not exist before the imposition of the safety-tests done on animals. They are a direct result of widespread animal experimentation." (69)
VIVISECTION - THE DISTORTED ISSUE
The issue of animal experimentation has been a very contentious one for well over a century - since the time the French physiologist, Claude Bernard (1813-1878), founded the modern vivisectionist method.
Defenders of animal experimentation, through their aggressive campaigns, with the help of the industry-beholden media, have largely succeeded in convincing the public that vivisection is responsible for any medical progress and that the only possible objection is solely based on animal welfare.
On the contrary, medical historians, such as Hans Ruesch, (70) Dr Beddow Bayly, (71) Dr Robert Sharpe, (72) and Dr Brandon Reines, (73) to name a few, have repeatedly demonstrated that important discoveries were made through human clinical research, observations of patients and human autopsies among other human-based research methodologies, and that vivisectionists have distorted medical history in their favour. Animal experimentation has served primarily to "prove" in animals what had already been demonstrated in people.
Also, contrary to what the proponents of vivisection would have the public believe; the stongest objection to vivisection has been from the medical and scientific community. The book, 1000 DOCTORS (AND MANY MORE) AGAINST VIVISECTION (74) (1989), by Hans Ruesch, highlights this fact. 1000 DOCTORS is a compilation of an impressive collection of anti-vivisection statements made by doctors and scientists from around the world. The professional verdicts that start as far back as 1824, are a reminder of the fact that there have always been members of the scientific and medical profession strongly opposed to vivisection on scientific and medical grounds.
With today's medical research being heavily based on fraudulent animal experimentation, is it any wonder that diseases remain uncured and are on the increase: diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, birth defects, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, leukaemia, all kinds of mental disease, Alzheimer's, and the latest tragedy, AIDS.
Copyright 1993, 1995 by the Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research, P.O. Box 234, Lawson NSW 2783, Australia. Phone +61 (0)2-4758-6822. www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr
The above article may be downloaded, copied, printed or otherwise distributed without seeking permission from CAFMR. However, printed acknowledgement is required when this is done.
References and Notes
1. John Braithwaite, Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1984.
2. "Staff shortages hamper evaluation work", Sydney Morning Herald, 18 Jan. 1989.
3. Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Preclinical and Clinical Testing by the Pharmaceutical Industry, 1976, U.S. Senate, Washington D.C., 1976, pt II, p. 157. Repr. in ref. 1, p. 51.
4. U.S. Senate, Competitive Problems in the Pharmaceutical Industry, 1969, pts 6, 7 & 10. Repr. in ref. 1, pp. 51-2.
6. Braithwaite, op. cit., p. 53.
7. Science, 1973, vol. 180, p. 1038.
8. Braithwaite, op. cit., p. 54.
9. Arabella Melville & Colin Johnson, Cured to Death - The Effects of Prescription Drugs, Angus & Robertson Publishers, London, 1982, p. 119.
11. Braithwaite, op. cit., p. 105.
12. Carl F. Blozan, Results of the Nonclinical Toxicology Laboratory Good Laboratory Practices Pilot Compliance Program, Food and Drug Administration, Washington, D.C., 1977. Cited in ref. 1, p. 82.
13. Braithwaite, op. cit., p. 82.
14. David M. Jackson & Rayner Soothill, Is The Medicine Making You Ill?, Australian Consumers' Association, Angus & Robertson Publishers, North Ryde, NSW, 1988.
15. Braithwaite, op. cit., pp. 56-7.
15a. Anita Johnson, Research Conducted by the Drug Industry: A Conflict of Interest, Public Citizen's Health Research Group, Washington, D.C., 1976.
16. Robert Sharpe, The Cruel Deception - The Use of Animals in Medical Research, Thorsons Publishing Group, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, 1988, pp. 85-6.
17. Gerhardt Zbinden, Applied Therapeutics, 1966, vol. 8, pp. 128-33.
18. Gerhardt Zbinden, The Handbook of Biochemistry and Biophysics, World Publishing Company of Cleveland, Ohio, 1966.
19. Pietro Croce, Vivisection or Science - a Choice to Make, CIVIS (Latin acronym for International Center of Scientific Information on Vivisection) Publications, POB 152, Via Motta 51, CH-6900 Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, 1991, pp. 13-38.
20. ibid., pp. 22-4.
21. Sharpe, op. cit., p. 92.
22. Gerhardt Zbinden, Advances in Pharmacology, 1963, vol. 2, pp. 1-111.
23. R. Levine, Pharmacology: Drug Actions & Reactions, Little, Brown and Co., 1978.
24. Sidney Wolf (director of the Ralph Nader Health Research Group) in Lancet, 11 Feb. 1984, p. 353.
25. See ref. 23.
26. T. Koppanyi & M.A. Avery in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 1966, vol. 7, pp. 250-270.
27. SUPRESS, Animal Experimentation: No Lie Can Live Forever! (brochure), Pasadena, California, 1992.
28. Croce, op. cit., pp. 31-7.
29. Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, CIVITAS Publications, POB 491, Hartsdale, NY 10530, 1991, p. 116.
30. Gerhardt Zbinden & M. Flury-Roversi in Archives of Toxicology, 1981, vol. 47, pp. 77-91.
31. D. Lorke in Archives of Toxicology, 1983, vol. 54, pp. 275-87.
32. R. Heywood in The LD50 Test: Evidence for Submission to the Home Office Advisory Committee, prepared by the Committee for the Reform of Animal Experimentation, Aug. 1977.
33. Sharpe, op. cit., p. 107.
34. J.L. Schardein, Drugs as Teratogens. Repr. in Drugs and Pregnancy - Human Teratogenesis and Related Problems, D.F. Hawkins (Ed.), Churchill Livingstone, 1983.
35. Ruesch, op. cit., p. 361.
36. Statistics from the March of Dimes organisation.
37. E.K. Marshall in Journal of the American Medical Association, 28 Jan. 1939, p. 353.
38. Gerhardt Zbinden in "The LD50 test. A critique and suggestions for alternatives", by Andrew N. Rowan in Pharmaceutical Technology, Apr. 1981.
39. Kurt Fickentscher in Diagnosen, Germany, Mar. 1980.
40. Pietro Croce, "That's why I am against vivisection" in International Foundation Report, Hans Ruesch (Ed.), CIVIS, Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, Autumn 1989, nr 7, p. 1.
41. Croce, Vivisection or Science, op. cit., pp. 164-70.
42. Roy Kupsinel, Vivisection: Science or Sham, People for Reason In Science and Medicine, PO Box 2102, Anaheim, California 92814, 1990, p. 15.
43. G. Richards, Quantum Pharmacology, Butterworth, 1980.
44. Croce, Vivisection or Science, op. cit., pp. 129-32.
45. Medical Research Modernization Committee, A Critical Look At Animal Research, MRMC, New York, N.Y., 1990, p. 9-10.
46. Croce, Vivisection or Science, op. cit., pp. 212-3.
47. Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress or The Great Medical Fraud, CIVIS Publications, Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, 1992, p. 9.
48. Students United Protesting Research on Sentient Subjects, Hidden Crimes, produced by Javier Burgos, SUPRESS, PO Box 2560, Pasadena, California 91102, 1986.
49. Ruesch, Naked Empress, op. cit., p. 361.
50. Economist, Britain, 12 Feb. 1983. Repr. in ref. 47, p. 183.
51. Herbert Gundersheimer. Repr. in 1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection, Hans Ruesch (Ed.), CIVIS Publications, Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, 1989, p. 29.
52. Sharpe, op. cit., pp. 112-4.
53. James Gallagher in Journal of American Medical Association, 14 Mar. 1964.
54. Croce, Vivisection or Science, op. cit., pp. 22-4.
55. Vernon Coleman, Why Animal Experiments Must Stop, Green Print, London, 1991, p. 51.
56. D.F. Hawkins, Drugs and Pregnancy - Human Teratogenesis and Related Problems, Churchill Livingston, 1983.
57. R.W. Smithells in Monitoring for Drug Safety, W.H. Inman (Ed.), MTP Press, 1980.
58. Irwin Bross, "Animals in cancer research: a multi-billion dollar fraud" in Fundamental and Applied Toxicology, Nov. 1982,
59. William Bean. Repr. in 1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection, Hans Ruesch (Ed.), CIVIS, Switzerland, 1989, p. 87.
60. Repr. in ref. 61.
61. Robert S. Mendelsohn, Mal(e) Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women, Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1982, p. 197.
62. Ruesch, Slaugter of the Innocent, op. cit., pp. 269-70.
63. Sharpe, op. cit., pp. 137-8.
64. Intercontinental Medical Statistics (Australasia), MIMS Annual and MIMS (bi-monthly), IMS Publishing, Crows Nest, NSW.
65. Walter Modell in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, repr. in Time, 26 May 1961; and ref. 47, p. 9.
66. Ruesch, Naked Empress, op. cit., ps 12 & 191.
67. Kupsinel, op. cit., p. 8.
68. Ruesch, Naked Empress, op. cit., pp. 15-28.
69. ibid., p. 14.
70. Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, op. cit.
71. Beddow Bayly, Clinical Medical Discoveries, National Anti-Vivisection Society, London, 1961.
72. Sharpe, op. cit.
73. Brandon Reines, Masked Men of Medicine, Paragon House, New York, 1990.
74. Hans Ruesch, 1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection, CIVIS Publications, Switzerland, 1989.