T Articles by natural health author Tony Isaacs
|Home Article Directory Healthy Recipes Natural Remedies The TBYIL Supplement & Health Catalog Beating/Avoiding Cancer Pets/Animals Humor Diets/Weight Loss Natural Living Anti-Aging/Longevity Inspiration Contact Us|
Huge Fines, Settlements and Lawsuits are all Just Part of Doing Business for Big Pharma
by Tony Isaacs
(The Best Years in Life) In 2012, five pharmaceutical companies agreed to pay nearly $5.5 billion to settle allegations of fraud, including promotion of medicines for uses not approved by the FDA. The settlements represent the continued trend of record-breaking fines, settlements and lawsuits which have become a routine part of doing business for Big Pharma.
Between 2004 and 2010, major drug companies paid out $7 billion in fines, penalties and lawsuits for fraudulently marketing their drugs, making misleading claims about the drugs safety and hiding or altering studies which indicated evidence of harm. The threat of massive payouts does not appear to offer much deterrent.
Even the largest of settlements rarely dents the profits associated with the drugs involved. The largest fine ever imposed thus far - last July's $3 billion judgment against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for illegally marketing the antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin, withholding health risks data of the diabetes medication Avandia and other wrongdoings - accounted for just 11 percent of associated revenue. By contrast, in most individual cases of fraud all profits are typically confiscated and the fraudster goes to prison.
Recent year drug company fines and settlements include:
• In September 2009, Pfizer was fined $2.3 billion for misbranding the painkiller Bextra with "the intent to defraud or mislead".
• In November 2011, Merck agreed to pay a fine of $950 million related to illegal promotion of the painkiller Vioxx - which has been estimated to have caused up to 60,000 or more heart attack deaths.
• In July 2012, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay a fine of $3 billion to resolve liabilities regarding promotion of Paxil and Avandia and other drugs and failure to report safety data.
• In December 2012, Sanofi-Aventis agreed to pay $109 million to resolve allegations that the company got inflated prices from government programs by submitting false price reports for the drug Hyalgan.
• In January 2009, Eli Lilly was fined $1.42 billion to resolve a government investigation into the off-label promotion of the antipsychotic Zyprexa.
• In April 2010, AstraZeneca was fined $520 million to resolve allegations that it illegally promoted the antipsychotic drug Seroquel for unapproved uses.
• In May 2012, Abbott was fined $1.5 billion in connection with the illegal promotion of the antipsychotic drug Depakote.
• In October 2012, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to pay $95 million to resolve allegations that the company promoted several drugs - including Aggrenox, Atrovent and Combivent, and Micardis - for non-approved uses
• In December 2012, Amgen agreed to pay a $762 million fine to resolve charges that the company illegally introduced and promoted several drugs including Aranesp.
Risky drugs remain on the market
The FDA has approved an average of 24 drugs a year since 2000 - many of which pose health risks and serious long-term side effects and many of those risky drugs remain on the market. Drug companies greatly contribute to the problem when they conduct flawed or dishonest clinical trials.
Among the drugs still on the market which have been cited for significant risk are:
• Type 2 diabetes drugs Avandia and Actos.
• Antidepressants Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft and Lexapro.
• Mood stabilizer Depakote.
• Birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin.
• Acne medication Accutane.
• Blood thinners Pradaxa and Xarelto
• Osteoporosis treatment Fosamax
• Dialysis drugs GranuFlo and NaturaLyte
• Hair loss pill Propecia.
Side effects associated with the above drugs range from birth defects and liver damage to suicidal behavior, blood clots, bladder cancer, Crohn's disease, heart attacks, strokes, uncontrollable bleeding and heart failure.
As the New England Journal of Medicine recently editorialized: Fines against drug companies should be large enough that they can't be dismissed as merely "the cost of doing business"; whistleblowers should be offered more protections; and criminal charges should be filed against drug company executives for misconduct that could put them in prison.
Sources for this article include:
About the author
Tony Isaacs is a member of the National Health Federation and the American Botanical Council. He is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including "Cancer's Natural Enemy." Mr. Isaacs articles are featured at The Truth About Cancer, the Health Science Institute's Healthiertalk website, CureZone, the Crusador, Health Secrets, the Cancer Tutor, the Silver Bulletin, the New Zealand Journal of Natural Health, and several other venues. In addition, he hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup Health group of over 3500 members and the CureZone Ask Tony Isaacs - Featuring Luella May forum. He is also the local moderator of the CureZone Cancer Alternatives forum. Tony and his partner Luella May host The Best Years in Life natural health website where their motto is "It's never too late or too early to begin living longer, healthier and happier lives."
Your website hosts Tony Isaacs and Luella May
Misty & My Buddy the "found dogs" - Official Mascots of The Best Years in Life
For the best in health information, subscribe to The Best Years in Life Newsletter featuring articles by Tony M. Isaacs
100% Organic MicroComplexed™ IntraCELL™ Level IV Technology ~ 415 Nutrients All-In-One, Perfect Whole Foods & Phyto Nutrition ~ Super Energizing ~ All Natural Defense. The Most Scientifically Advanced, Clinically Proven, Health Promoting Organic Nutritional Supplement Available Today!
Supreme immune booster from the makers of Sutherlandia OPC with 100 mg of pure oleander
The Best Years in Life
P O Box 121 Cooper TX 75432 Phone: 903-886-2436 Fax: 903-829-3434 Email: Dquixote1217[at]gmail.com- (replace [at] with @)
Disclaimer: The information on this page and on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA. We do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent illness or disease - instead, we try to help people learn how to do so themselves. Anyone who believes they have a serious medical condition or health issue should seek diagnoses from a qualified medical professional before making any decisions on how to best address their health. We do not sell or advocate drugs, nor do we make any claims that anything advocated or sold on this website is a drug. Furthermore, anyone contemplating using any products or information on this website must accept such use as experimental and voluntary. No claims are made regarding the therapeutic use of the products or information on this website and all products featured or sold on this website must be considered nutritional supplements only.