Big Pharma and Organized Crime — They Are More Similar Than You May Think

Big Pharma and Organized Crime They are More Similar Than You May ThinkBy Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

It is scary how many similarities there are between this [pharmaceutical] industry and the mob. The mob makes obscene amounts of money, as does this industry. The side effects of organized crime are killings and deaths, and the side effects are the same in this industry. The mob bribes politicians and others, and so does the drug industry …” ~ former Vice-President of Pfizer pharmaceuticals ¹

If you believe pharmaceutical corporations hold the health of the general public in high regard, it’s time to reconsider. The industry is filled with examples of wrongful death, extortion, fraud, corruption, obstruction of justice, embezzlement, fake journals, harassment and hit lists that would make even the most hardened Mafia godfather blush. Big Pharma has been fined billions by the U.S. Department of Justice, but these enormous fines don’t curb the corruption, it’s just looked upon as “the cost of doing business,” similar to paying the utilities.

As a physician and researcher, Peter C Gøtzsche has firsthand experience with the criminality behind the pharmaceutical industry — and subsequently exposed the massive fraud in “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare.

Dangerous Science

Dr. Gøtzsche has an impressive clinical background, as noted by The Nordic Cochrane Center — a not-for-profit organization that produces credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest:

Professor Peter C Gøtzsche graduated as a Master of Science in biology and chemistry in 1974 and as a physician 1984. He is a specialist in internal medicine; worked with clinical trials and regulatory affairs in the drug industry 1975-1983, and at hospitals in Copenhagen 1984-95. With about 80 others, he helped start The Cochrane Collaboration in 1993 with the founder, Sir Iain Chalmers, and established The Nordic Cochrane Centre the same year. He became professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis in 2010 at the University of Copenhagen.

Peter has published more than 70 papers in “the big five” (BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, Ann Intern Med and N Engl J Med) and his scientific works have been cited over 15,000 times. Peter is also author of:

  • Deadly Psychiatry and Organized Denial (to appear in September 2015)
  • Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare (2013)
  • Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy (2012)
  • Rational Diagnosis and Treatment: Evidence-Based Clinical Decision-Making (2007)

A large part of Dr. Gøtzsche’s academic career has focused on bias, trials and evidence synthesis.

In “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime,” Gøtzsche reveals the corruption behind exorbitant prices for branded drugs, bringing attention to the fact that drugs are not expensive because of development costs, but because of the political lobbying, marketing and excess profit taking. He also points out many trials are nothing more than smoke and mirrors, where pharmaceutical companies organize research in such a way that the best populations and comparison groups are selected for the very reason that they support the preferred outcome of the company; they control data and do analyses in-house and hire professional writers to write the papers. The pharmaceutical companies then cherry pick the results to suit their marketing needs, instead of what’s in the best interest of patients. Many times, academics are paid to be listed as contributors to the study, yet in reality, they had very little input and cannot substantiate the data. According to Gøtzsche, “The ‘best’ drugs may simply be those with the most shamelessly biased data.”

Moreover, Gøtzsche drives home the truth that pharmaceuticals are just plain dangerous for a variety of reasons:

“Our prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States and Europe. Around half of those who die have taken their drugs correctly; the other half die because of errors, such as too high a dose or use of a drug despite contraindications. Our drug agencies are not particularly helpful, as they rely on fake fixes, which are a long list of warnings, precautions, and contraindications for each drug, although they know that no doctor can possibly master all of these. Major reasons for the many drug deaths are impotent drug regulation, widespread crime that includes corruption of the scientific evidence about drugs and bribery of doctors, and lies in drug marketing, which is as harmful as tobacco marketing and, therefore, should be banned. We should take far fewer drugs, and patients should carefully study the package inserts of the drugs their doctors prescribe for them and independent information sources about drugs such as Cochrane reviews, which will make it easier for them to say “no thanks”.”²

Before you shrug-off Gøtzsche’s argument as simply one man’s view on a complex issue, consider pharmaceutical giant Merck’s tainted history.

Hit Lists, Fake Journals, Harassment and Big Money

During testimony in an Australian class action case, emails between Merck employees presented labels such as “neutralize,” “neutralized,” or “discredit” next to doctors’ names who criticized the drug Vioxx.

One email said:

We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live …

The court was told James Fries, professor of Medicine at Stanford University, wrote to the head of Merck in October 2000, complaining about the harassment certain members of his team were receiving who had criticized the drug.

Even worse were allegations of Merck damage control by intimidation,” he wrote, … “This has happened to at least eight (clinical) investigators … I suppose I was mildly threatened myself but I never have spoken or written on these issues.”

Jump to 2001 and the company was still engaging in unethical tactics. Merck apparently:

Produced a fake ‘peer reviewed’ journal under the name of “Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine” for the sole purpose of marketing pro-Vioxx articles.

Published an entirely ghostwritten journal article and had a doctor sign his name to it, even though a Merck employee felt the data presented was “wishful thinking.”

With this three-ring circus of corruption projected to become worse in the future, the American Medical Association (AMA) has — right on cue — brought forward new guidelines which will essentially place a gag order on any physicians who do not tow the party line, including those who speak out against pharmaceuticals.

“There’s a great deal of dissent among medical professionals when it comes to natural health, and many refuse to entertain the idea that healing involves more than pharmaceutical chemicals. The American Medical Association has recently set forth new guidelines that will: “create ethical guidelines for physicians in the media, write a report on how doctors may be disciplined for violating medical ethics through their press involvement, and release a public statement denouncing the dissemination of dubious medical information through the radio, TV, newspapers, or websites,”’ said Dr. Edward Group, founder of the Global Healing Center.

Incredibly, the AMA represents only 17% of medical doctors, many of which are medical students who were given a free membership. And yet, the organization is the fifth most powerful special interest group on Capitol Hill, paying out a staggering $19.7 million for lobbying efforts in 2014 alone.

Read more about the silencing of medical dissenters — and how to take action — here.

Article sources:

Previous articles by Carolanne Wright:

About the author:

Carolanne WrightCarolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


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  • The great mass of doctors and physicians, like their greater mass of patients in post modern society, seem to be like willing sheep led to the slaughter. In the future, there will be more misdiagnoses as there will be less and less focus on the patient and more on the procedures and feeding the hospital-industrial complex. The irony is that doctors have been forced to join these “hospital industrial complexes” as employees and not as responsible doctors. What is now in the offing in the minds of these “hospital industrial complexes” managers are the effective ban on physician-owned hospitals and regulatory overload on private practices, which provide superior health care services at significantly less cost.

    Doctor organizations were inept against this onslaught as their lack of business understanding, leadership, and sometimes inflated egos and arrogance only contributed to this disservice. Self-governance and independence of decision-making by doctors are infringed upon by hospital and insurance companies. As well, an all out effort is being made to silence the voice of any physician whistleblower.

  • George Ward

    I wonder if big Pharma consults with the Mexican Drug Lords

  • Matei Stefan

    … I agree, but I also tend to believe that the reality is more complex than that.
    I’ve always suspected this industry on my own, long before the Internet era, before reading any articles like this one. Of course there’s an interest to keep us alive long after the age of 35. Working power is needed. But, as I said, I think it’s similar to how George Carlin put it: “They need people smart enough to run the machine, and dumb enough to accept their jobs.” Same way, they need you to live long, but not well. You need to keep buying in order for the economy to work ‘n grow, and the basic needs make you spend the most and the fastest.

  • Lynne Heal

    MS is full of corruptions and greed to the core with MS drugs many are all part of

  • Marney Mathison

    If you have a serious disease that can’t be solved by Western medicine then you know that our current medical care isn’t for our benefit. I’ve had to search for alternative health care. If our system wanted to help people improve then our insurance companies and medicare would be about a holistic approach. But, that doesn’t include prescriptions and keeping the sick, sick merry go round. That would mean less profits. That is the #1 problem. Money and greed.

  • Vinod

    I don’t agree Rajiv.
    Am in the field since 31 years and it’s true. If not then why the Doctors don’t prescribe Generic Drugs or low price formulations.

  • Dan Scanlan

    In 1968/9 I was a reporter on a daily newspaper in Los Angeles. The biggest drug problem at the time centered on “downer” pills: Nembutal, Seconal and Tuinol–blues, reds and rainbows. I tired of reporting high school kids falling asleep on motor bikes and crashing to their deaths; falling out out of school desks; suffering leg amputations from freak accidents. I contacted the border patrol at San Ysidro CA and asked if the drugs they confiscated at the Mexican border had brand names. They did. And they kept a record of them. There were several “reputable” drug companies, Squibb and Lily among them. I called each drug company and no one would talk to me. Eventually I came across a federal agent who told me that drug companies were routinely overmanufacturing the pills and dumping the excess in Mexico as a charitable tax write off. They were then sold over the counter, brought back into the US and sold surreptitiously to high school (and perhaps grammar school) students. My article was eventually cited by the California State Assembly and read into the Congressional Record by Congressman Glenn Anderson. The practice was halted, but today the drug companies do effectively the same thing with legal imposition of their wares on arrestees and others deemed mentally ill. When we accept medical systems designed by Rothschild and Rockefeller, this is what we get.

    • ThriveLiving

      Incredible. And very sad.

  • Hazel Heal

    Gilead Sciences Ltd effectively said to me, your money or your life: I was seriously ill with HepC and US$84k could save my life. The analogy with organised crime or warlords is not even half a step from the reality. Lucky for me in the nick of time a Tasmanian doctor James Freeman stepped up and set up a global buyers club called fixhepc. For around $3k I was able to legally and safely import generics. Most countries can, look it up, please let people know, I have had it 30 years, now it’s gone and I feel incredible. I realise it is hard to distinguish this kind of thing from marketing, but I am a real person, I know there are people who need to hear this urgently.There is clinical research, a global trial, endorsements from the International Liver Congress. Extremely effective direct action.