Over 180,000 people die each year from side effects attributed to legal pharmaceuticals, a disturbing fact that has many concerned about the prevalence of prescription drug use in the United States.

According to Gwen Olsen, a former sales rep in the pharmaceutical industry and author of Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher, “There is no such thing as a safe drug.”  She reveals that pharmaceutical sales reps are routinely trained to misinform the public by minimizing the side effects of drugs being sold.

In fact, the pharmaceutical industry routinely keeps harmful information about drugs from the public.  For example, Merck was involved in a multi-million dollar lawsuit because the company withheld vital information regarding heart attack risk from Vioxx, a now-banned cox-2 inhibitor.  In addition to withholding information, the pharmaceutical industry actually misleads the public.

A few years back, the FDA warned U. S. citizens against purchasing medicine from Canada because it could be tampered with by terrorists.  This fear-inducing strategy produced a monopoly on prescription drugs which allowed big U. S. drug companies to fix medication prices.

What the FDA doesn’t tell you is this:  Most pharmaceuticals sold in the U. S. are NOT manufactured here – many come from China or Puerto Rico.   Big drug companies are merely importing pharmaceuticals from other countries, just like a consumer who drives across the border to purchase medications.

Here are some other troubling facts about big pharmaceutical companies:

  • It has been speculated that one in seven scientists know colleagues who have “invented” positive results of tested medications, and roughly 46% know of fellow scientists who have engaged in questionable practices like altering the conclusions of drug studies due to funding pressures.
  • The FDA and big drug companies regularly tout the safety of pharmaceuticals while warning of the dangers of herbs and supplements.   Yet companies that sell nutritional supplements test for contamination in their products much more frequently than the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Because 93% of companies manufacturing drugs outside the U. S. are never inspected by the FDA, many brand-name drugs are tainted with metal shavings, chemicals, paint chips and other contaminants.  Also, inspections are limited on the drugs coming into the country – there are more inspections required for imported orchids than there are for imported medications!
  • Big drug companies are not required by law to state where their medications are made.  Just look on the label of many pain relievers – it will say “distributed from (a U. S. city)” but will not give information as to where the medicine was manufactured.
  • The pharmaceutical industry is currently urging the Supreme Court to grant them blanket immunity for any drugs sold which would do away with all testing requirements and quality control measures.
  • The FDA has never tested the long-term effects of taking multiple prescription drugs in combination.  Many of these combinations taken on a regular basis are extremely toxic to the liver, kidneys and other organs.   There is no evidence to support safe, long-term use – yet many in the U. S are regularly consuming these dangerous drug cocktails.

The bottom line – big drug companies are not concerned with curing disease – this would put them out of business!  With 1,600 pieces of legislation lobbied between 1998 and 2005 – the pharmaceutical industry spent more than any other industry on lobbying - roughly $900 million dollars!  Today, there are at least 1,200 registered pharmaceutical lobbyists in Washington D.C. alone.