From the January 2005 Idaho Observer:
Pharma facade cracking over controversies
President weighs in to help minimize faltering public perception of the profit-driven pharmaceutical industry
A little more than one year ago the LA Times broke a huge story about the incestuous relationship between scientists at the National Institutes for Health, officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical company executives. Rep. James Greenwood (R-PA) noted that, "This is not a matter of a revolving door where NIH people go from the federal agency to the private sector. This is a question of a swivel chair where they sit at one desk and do both jobs."
Also a little more than a year ago it was learned that upwards of 50 percent of articles published in the British Medical Journal and attributed to researchers and physicians were ghostwritten by pharmaceutical company employees—sometimes without the credited physicians’ knowledge.
It has been established beyond doubt that drug approval and marketing processes prioritize profits at the expense of safety. The proof was published in Death by Medicine by Gary Null, Ph.D., et. al., whose detailed survey of hospital records show that, in the last decade, organized medicine’s "mistakes" have killed 7.8 million Americans.
Over the last several months, we have been watching as, one-by-one, drugs mass-marketed to "relieve" one symptom or another are responsible for harming—even killing—the people who take them as recommended by the manufacturer and prescribed by their physicians. Further investigation reveals that many of these drugs were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration even though their potential to cause harm was known prior to approval.
Big Pharma is faltering. It is becoming increasingly difficult to hide the fact that millions of Americans are getting sicker by the day and most of them have something in common: They are under the care of doctors who prescribe to them pharmaceutical drugs of known toxicity that have been clinically determined to cause the very harmful side-effects epidemic in America today.
President backs bill to hide drug makers’ damage liability behind federal statutory fence
by The Idaho Observer
In a nationally-televised press conference January 4, 2005, President Bush announced his support of a bill that would prevent consumers from seeking punitive damages for injuries caused by the prescribed use of pharmaceutical drugs. The president also stated his support for capping awards for damages at $250,000 if prescribed medications cause pain, suffering or death.
The key to drug makers being protected from liability is their compliance with federal drug-approval standards and requirements. "If you have done everything the law requires, why should you be punished?" asked Victor E. Schwartz of the American Tort Reform Association.
The "medical malpractice" bill is reminiscent of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act (VICA) passed in 1986. By 1986, juries were awarding millions of dollars for injuries and deaths attributed to the administration of federally-recommended vaccines. Vaccine manufacturers lobbied Congress for passage of a bill that would protect them from being held liable for damages caused by their products.
Under VICA, vaccine manufacturers that conform to federal standards cannot be sued directly if their vaccines cause death or injury. Instead, injured parties must petition the government to be compensated for vaccine-related injuries per VICA. In essence, VICA shifts the burden of compensation for vaccine damage from the vaccine manufacturers to the taxpayers.
The result has been a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines administered to children per government recommendations and epidemic incidence of developmental, learning and behavioral disorders among America’s children. Vaccine manufacturers enjoy zero liability for permanent and even lethal side-effects of their vaccines.
That the announcement to pass a bill protecting the manufacturers of drugs like Vioxx, Celebrex and Aleve from damages indicates the industry is seeking to extend VICA-type protection for all pharmaceutical drugs.
If the influential pharmaceutical lobby has its way, injured parties will be forced to petition the government for damages attributed to the prescribed use of government-approved drugs which, again, removes the burden of drug damage liability from the manufacturer to the taxpayer.
Bill proponents claim that defendant drug manufacturers are at a disadvantage with the current system because plaintiffs can threaten to seek $multi-million awards for damages as a means to force large, out-of-court settlements.
If the bill becomes law, drug companies, including Vioxx maker Merck and Celebrex maker Pfizer, will be shielded from punitive damage awards for injuries caused by their drugs if they can prove they met U.S. FDA standards to achieve their approval.
As the system begins to unravel, it will cause us to rethink our deepest, gradeschool-level beliefs about the inner workings of this world. When pharma and organized medicine fail, as they inevitably must, we will either rethink the inner workings of our own bodies, or perish
for lack of knowledge.
10 questions to ask your doctor before taking a prescription drug
1. How many fatalities associated with the use of the drug you are prescribing for me have been reported?
2. How long do you anticipate I will be taking this drug?
3. Would you prescribe this drug for yourself or one of your family members if they displayed a similar medical condition?
4. Does prescribed use of this drug have any known side-effects?
5. Do you receive any direct or indirect compensation for prescribing this drug?
6. Have pharmaceutical company representatives visiting your clinic fully informed you of the adverse reactions possible with the prescribed use of this drug?
7. Have you personally, or anyone in your office, been prosecuted for malpractice at any time?
8. Does my bill contain any surcharges that we have not discussed?
9. Since you have informed me of my medical condition and the risks and benefits associated with treatment, would you please describe to me treatment options that do not include pharmaceutical drugs?
10. Would you be willing to accept liability for all damages should the drug you have prescribed for me cause any one or more of the known side-effects? Doc Witort, a naturopath from Chicago, developed the 10 questions above and an acceptance of liability form to be signed by physicians who prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. The purpose of asking the 10 questions and requesting the physician to accept liability for damages caused by known drug side-effects is to facilitate the highest possible level of communication and confidence between patient and practitioner.
By engaging in this level of dialogue, the patient becomes involved in treatment and is fully aware of the potential side-effects of each drug prescribed. Both doctor and patient will be able to determine whether one prescribed drug will adversely interact with another. If at any time the physician’s answers to the 10 questions are not satisfactory or he refuses to accept liability for damages his drugs may cause, the patient has just received all the clues he needs to seek medical attention elsewhere. Further, should the physician answer the patients’ questions and sign an acceptance of liability form while intentionally falsifying, misrepresenting or withholding information, and the patient suffers injury as a result, he will have signed evidence of his perjury and malpractice.
Doc Mike encourages people to actively participate in their recovery from illness and to understand the risks and benefits of various forms of treatment. People who inquire this deeply into treatment for their illnesses will discover alternatives to drug therapy. To consult with Doc Mike, call him at (708) 562-8512 or see his website at www.wakeupwell.com.
It may seem as if The IO ought to rename itself The Health Observer. We make no apologies: Chronically sick people cannot help us affect positive change; personal freedom and property rights are of no concern to the dead. The first order of business is to prevent them from tricking you into killing yourself before the real battles begin. We love you too much and need you to be fit and available when the time comes. Goodness will triumph, but it will take all of us—and they know that.
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