“Our health care system needs change. Instead of real health care, we have only sick care. Instead of natural foods, we have processed, chemicalized foods. Instead of nutrition and natural supplement research, we have only studies paid for by the drug companies. Our commitment to you is to find the answers to your wellness questions through scientific research and public education.”
– Al Sears, MD, Founder
Did you know…?
- Drug companies give doctors nearly $11 billion worth of free samples every year representing the newest, most expensive drugs in 2001. Drug prices climb even higher when those promotional costs are added on.
- Close to 100,000 drug sales representatives visited doctor’s offices in 2001 to hand out free samples, personal gifts and product information.
- Well-known drug companies have offered doctors valuable bribes to prescribe highly profitable drugs to increase their sales, profits and doctor/patient dependency.
- Well-known drug companies have been criminally prosecuted for offering educational grants to medical directors in charge of making pharmaceutical decisions in favor their products.
- The pharmaceutical industry is the largest lobby in Washington. In 2002, they employed 675 lobbyists (more than the number of members in Congress). Their reported cost for lobbying was $91 million.
- The FDA approved 78 new drugs in 2002. Only 17 of those drugs contained new active ingredients. Only seven of those drugs were classified by the FDA as improvements over older drugs.
- Drug companies spend much more money on marketing expenses than research and development expenses. Reported marketing figures vary between $802 million per drug to $1.7 billion per drug.
- The 10 U.S. drug companies on the Fortune 500 list spent about 14% on research and development while spending 31% on marketing and administration. Their profit margin was an enormous 17%. In 2002, their worldwide sales were $217 billion.
- Eight drug companies paid out $2.2 billion in fines and settlements between 2000 and 2003. Four of those companies also paid criminal fines. The highest offender collected more from Medicare revenues than it paid in fines.
Angell, MD, Marcia. (2004). The Truth about The Drug Companies, NY: Random House.
Faloon, William. “The FDA Versus The American Consumer,” Le Magazine, October, 2002.
Sears, MD, Al. (2004). The Doctor’s Heart Cure, St. Paul, MN: Dragon Door Publications.
The Truth about Medical Researchers
“The pharmaceutical industry has never been more powerful than now. The companies have made investments in the people who have power in Washington. And they’ve gotten a very good return on those investments.”
-Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles)
Researchers accept very large “consulting fees” from drug companies.
- Researchers in medical schools responsible for training new physicians are paid hundreds of millions of dollars annually to run clinical trials for drug companies.
- Researchers travel all around the world as paid consultants encouraging other doctors to prescribe specific medications.
- Paid medical researchers overstate test findings to please the study’s drug sponsor.
- These same researchers obstruct the release of test results that are negative.
- About 90% of our government’s financing of medical research goes to an elite minority of the country’s 125 medical schools.
- Studies funded by drug makers are more likely to find drugs safe and effective than studies financed by other sources.
- This drug sponsor bias remains when studies are published in the major medical journals as “scientific evidence used by physicians” according to the British Medical Journal.
Meier, Barry. “Contracts Keep Drug Research Out of Reach.” The New York Times, November 29, 2004.
Sears, MD, Al. (2004) The Doctor’s Heart Cure. MN: Dragon Door Publications.
Willman, David. “The National Institutes of Health: Public Servant or Private Marketer?” Los Angeles Times, December 22, 2004.