Selling Sickness: Part 2 Profits Before Health


Peter Gotzsche, a Danish physician and medical researcher in his book ‘Deadly medicines and organized crime’ relates a story of his own grandfather, a doctor, who was introduced to a new synthesized Cortisone (Corticosteroids) given to 14 patients suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis in 1948, at the Mayo clinic and people believed that this was a cure because the effects were supposedly ‘miraculous’.

These drugs were also found to be effective for Asthma and Eczema, but smiles changed to grief when his grandfather who also had been taking the drug broke his hip in the mid 1960s and the fracture took 2 years to heal while laying immobilized in a hospital bed.  

Corticosteroids are prescribed to lower inflammation…stop right there..what..why would you take a chemical to interfere with the body’s natural healing process, part of which is to unduce inflammation as the first stage of repair from damage.  The body has its own inflammation regulatory hormones called Cortisol released from the adrenal gland which will function quite nicely without a synthetic drug.  Prednisone is an example of a synthetic Corticosteroid, so not only are you interfering with your body’s natural healing process but you also have to suffer the following side effects :

  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • severe depression, feelings of extreme happiness or sadness, changes in personality or behavior, seizure (convulsions);
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;
  • pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate);
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
    • sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes;
    • increased appetite, gradual weight gain;
    • acne, increased sweating, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;
    • slow wound healing;
    • headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
    • nausea, stomach pain, bloating; or
    • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

I have highlighted one side effect ‘slow wound healing’ which is why Peter Gotzsche’s grandfather took 2 years to heal from a hip fracture.

So ask yourself for the sake of suppressing inflammation which you should not be doing in the first place by taking such a destructive drug you are willing to risk experiencing some of the above side effects.

..swelling ???, isn’t this drug supposed to reduce this since inflammation causes swelling and redness ?. Pancreatitis ???, this means that the Pancreas becomes inflamed and damage occurs by the premature release of digestive enzymes before they are ready to be released into the intestine for final stage digestion, and as a result these enzymes begin attacking the pancreas itself.  Digestive enzymes sit in the pancreas in a pre-cursor form (inactivated), once they are released they activate and will consume anything in their path.

In the 1970s, Merck Pharmaceutical’s CEO remarked that is was unfortunate that the company’s potential markets were confined to sick people, why not make drugs for healthy people as well for preventative purposes.  

Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels, joint authors of the 2005 book ‘Selling Sickness’, wrote that drug companies were turning us all into patients’, informing us that the marketing arms of the pharmaceutical companies are targeting the healthy today and selling sickness, converting the anxious healthy into the anxious sick.

The advertising campaigns shown on mainstream TV promote their products by fear mongering saying that if you are over 50 go and visit your doctor to have your cholesterol checked, if you don’t and you don’t take any medication you are putting yourself at risk of having a heart attack.

With less than 5% of the global population, the US consumes almost 50% of the world’s prescription drugs.

The Cost of Doing Business

In 2014, General Motors (GM) recalled 800,000 vehicles that had faulty ignition switches, that would shut off the engine while driving, preventing air bag inflation.

The fault was brought to the attention of a Georgia lawyer who sued the company on behalf of a woman who had died in a crash which uncovered the problem.  

But the problem was much more widespread, since the litigation uncovered another 124 deaths attributed to the same defect, which GM eventually paid compensation for ($900 million), although GM only initially linked 13 deaths and 21 crashes.

It was discovered, during the court case, that GM knew about this problem for at least a decade before the recall ( as quoted from Wikipedia’s General Motors ignition switch recalls ).

If GM were aware of this problem, why was the recall not initiated earlier.  

In the movie ‘Class Action’ (1991) some 1985 station wagons were intermittently exploding because of a defect, and during the litigation the prosecution uncovered the employment of a ‘Bean counter’ working for the car manufacturers who was responsible for financially analyzing the cost and settlement of lawsuits from the results of the defect, comparing litigation costs to the cost of recalling millions of cars.

I am not saying that this happened in the case of GM but it’s food for thought.

In the previous article, I asked the question why are there over 2 million citizens suffering severe adverse drug reactions and 100,000 citizens dying from prescription pharmaceutical drugs annually.  

The Harvard University website, Center for Ethics, stated in 2014 that people have a 1 in 5 chance in suffering a serious reaction from prescription drugs.  

Their statistics are even more alarming, reporting that properly prescribed drugs (not caused by misprescribing, overdosing or self prescribing ) cause around 1.9 million hospitalizations/year and another 840,000 hospitalized patients.  Taking prescribed drugs cause around 2.74 million adverse reactions, and 128,000 die from prescription drugs.

They further state that prescription drugs are a major health risk, ranking 4th with stroke as a leading cause of death.  

The European Commission report 200,000 deaths/year in Europe from prescribed medicine.

The combined fatalities in both the US and Europe total 328,000 deaths/year from prescribed medicine which amounts to 0.018% of a total population of around 600 million.

“Is this the cost of doing business?”  

I suppose 0.018% does not sound a lot, but try telling the 328,000 families who have needlessly lost a loved one..somebody’s mother perhaps, the most important person on the planet, Mothers; I idolize my Mother..she is a God in my eyes..they sacrifice so much without asking for a thank you, and most mothers put their own life secondary to raising their children.  So all you people out there:



Profits Before Health

Why are the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies permitted to produce the same drug, inducing a competitive arena for these products?

I appreciate that competitiveness is necessary to suppress monopolistic practice, which is also unacceptable, since this leads to price gouging due to the absence of competition, but I say again these products are not sweets or soap powder they are drugs that are supposed to be part of the doctors health toolbox.  

If drugs had their worth I would prefer to see a regulator specify a market demand for particular drugs and a maximum of  two companies that would be allowed to manufacture them, because too much competition induces questionable practices and behavior in terms of sales and marketing and excessive government lobbying.

Independent marketers create elaborate schemes to sell medicines and create new diseases such as Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (AADD) or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PDD), matching existing drugs to new conditions, converting natural processes into medical problems.  PDD is supposed to be a more severe form of PMS (PreMenstrual syndrome), but the conventional treatment protocol is the same Antidepressants (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, others) and Sertraline (Zoloft), may reduce symptoms such as emotional symptoms, fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems, birth control pills.

Before you consider taking prescription medication , since the Premenstrual condition is estrogen dominance so you need to be taking Calcium, Magnesium and Iodine in some form since they all help regulate estrogen and Iodine and the thyroid are involved in neurotransmitters such a Serotonin which is essential for mood changes.  ADD type conditions are related to gut imbalance as I have written in other articles so some dietary changes need to be considered before taking prescription medicine.

Another example of selling worthless medicine is for Wrinkles, a natural aesthetic change in ageing caused by excess sun exposure and damaged DNA ( due to the lack of required nutrients) and loss of collagen production.

The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium Botulinum release a highly poisonous Neurotoxin which was used to develop an Antiwrinkle drug.

50 ng (0.000 000 005) killed half the monkeys during a toxicity test (so 1 gram could kill 10 million monkeys).

The drug was developed as an injectable medicine to get rid of wrinkles.

So now we are killing our animal cousins so vain wrinkly people can think they look younger risking their lives injecting this poison, when they can so easily ensure they are absorbing all the necessary nutrients to maintain DNA integrity, and one of the best foods is Beets.

What Went Wrong?

In their humble beginnings, these individual pharmaceutical companies were producing non dangerous substances, synthetic vitamins, infant formulae etc, so how did it morph into one company that committed the largest health care fraud in US history in 2011.

Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) pleaded guilty to marketing a number of drugs Wellbutrin ( an antidepressant ),  Paxil (an antidepressant ), Advair ( an asthma drug ), Avandia ( used for diabetes ) and Lamictal ( used for epilepsy) for off-label use.

They even peddled Avandia as a drug that provided cardiovascular benefits, but this drug was withdrawn from the market in 2010 because it increase the risks of cardiovascular death.

Their quality control failed in Puerto Rico in 2008 when drugs were shipped with wrong dosage and mixed drugs and fined $750 million.

The quality assurance manager raised her concerns to head office who ignored her and then fired her.

In 2004 the firm agreed to pay $3.1 million to the Italian authorities when the Italian police accused 4000 doctors and 73 Glaxo employees of running a € 228 million scheme that involved cash and other benefits  to entice doctors to use Glaxos products namely cancer drugs.

There exists within the department of justice, lawsuits called ‘Qui Tam’ (false claims) which are whistleblower civil lawsuits that are brought before the justice department, and if successfully served, can lead to the recovery of funds for the government, and the whistleblower is rewarded ( a bit like a Bounty hunter in the old west).  

Such a case occurred in 2010 when AstraZeneca was charged with Off-label drug marketing, meaning they were marketing a drug for purposes other than what the drug was originally approved for.  

The drug in question was Seroquel, an anti-psychotic medicine prescribed to treat Schizophrenia in adults and children (who are at least 13 years old), as well as Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression) for adults and children (who are at least 10 years old).

According to the drug profile (as stated on the website this drug increases the risk of death in older adults with Dementia, and in young people Suicidal thoughts.

Between 2001 through to the end of 2006 the company promoted their product to psychiatrists and physicians to treat Aggression, Alzheimer’s, Anger Management issues, Anxiety, ADHD, Dementia, Depression, Mood Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Insomnia.

Furthermore, the company promoted the unapproved purposes using company sponsored, continuing medical education programs, and sponsored physicians to give promotional speaker programs conducting studies on unapproved uses of the drug.

They also recruited doctors as authors of ‘Ghostwritten’ articles including studies that doctors did not conduct.

The justice department also accused AstraZeneca of violating the federal ‘Anti-Kickback statute by remunerating doctors it recruited as authors, as well as paying doctors to visit resort locations under the guise that they were there in an advisory capacity.  

AstraZeneca settled the case by paying $301 million for the civil suit and $218 million paid to the Medicaid program.

The Whistleblower came away with more than $45 million.

As in most of these cases, the government made AstraZeneca enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) between itself and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human services.

CIA is a 5 year program to ensure company compliance in which a board of directors committee review company compliance annually, in addition they excluded AstraZeneca from participating in Federal healthcare programs (Medicare and Medicaid).  

As it turned out the drug sales were in the order of $4.9 billion in 2009, so in the eyes of AstraZeneca the fine was worth paying.  

What was I saying about the possibility of bean counting practices.  

The justice department confirmed that total recoveries in FCA cases amounted to $3.75 billion since Jan 2009.  

Well I guess every body wins except for the elderly dementia patient who is risking his/her own life by taking this drug.

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries were ordered to pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil investigations involving off-label marketing and kickbacks to physicians and Pharmacists.

The drugs in question were Risperdal, Invega and Natrecor.  

Risperdal is an Antipsychotic drug used to treat Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Autistism to control irritability symptoms.

Like Seroquel from AstraZeneca it may increase the risk of death in older adults with Dementia, and it is also not known if this drug can harm an unborn child; I think you should avoid taking an antipsychotic drug medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy anyway, as well while breastfeeding.

Invega is also a  Anti-psychotic drug, and Natrecor is calcium channel blocker  used to lower blood pressure and to improve breathing for people suffering with congestive heart failure.

The charge against J&J involved Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of J&J that promoted Risperdal’s use to treat Anxiety, Agitation, Depression, Hostility and Confusion.

Potential targets for Risperdal and Invega for off-label use, were the nation’s most vulnerable patients including elderly nursing home residents, children, and individuals with mental disabilities, paying kickbacks to physicians prescribing these drugs.

The complaint also alleged that J&J were aware of the serious health risks associated with these drugs in terms of risk of strokes in the elderly, but ignored them and still promoted their use (Drugs,com specifically say on their website that both Risperdal and Invega  may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia).

It appears also that Risperdal administration increase the risk of diabetes, and in children a risk of elevated Prolactin (a hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production).  

Sales reps were also instructed to visit child psychiatrists and mental health facilities that treated children to promote Risperdal’s use in treating Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, same as ADD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Autism.  

I have to take note here that this behaviour on behalf of the Pharmaceutical companies driven by concocted ‘childhood’ behaviour such as ODD as abnormal, so documented in the DSM-5( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition ), the American Psychiatric Association’s ‘Bible’ of mental disease labels targeted by Anti-Psychotic prescription drugs.  In the article series ‘ The Destruction of Society’s Social Fabric and Anti-psychotic drugs’ we explain in more detail concerning the DSM, colloquially named the ‘Book of Woe’.

Janssen also paid speaker fees to influence doctors to prescribe these drugs.  

J&J were also alleged to have paid kickback payments to Omnicare Inc, the US largest pharmacy that dispenses drugs to nursing home patients.  

As is written in the complaint: 

‘it is the responsibility of consultant pharmacists to protect nursing home residents from the use of antipsychotic drugs as chemical restraints, and their behavior be based on independent clinical judgment, not the product of money paid by drug companies’.

Another subsidiary of J&J Scios Inc was also implicated in false and fraudulent claims to federal healthcare programs involving Natrecor in Aug 2001, where Scios began marketing this hypertension/congestive heart failure drug for outpatient infusion programs with less severe heart failure.

Scios also sponsored extensive speaker programs paying doctors to promote the benefits of outpatient use of the drug.


Are you speechless, are you ashamed or embarrassed to be on the same planet as these people who would blatantly peddle their mind altering drugs risking the lives of unsuspecting senior citizens living in nursing homes and mentally retarded children.  

First of all they are selling products that do harm and they are using unscrupulous practices to distribute these poisonous substances on top of it  

Would you trust their products, let alone trust the purveyors of such products.  

It is outrageous to the point of laughter that they have the gall to behave like this, except that it is not a laughing matter because people potentially could have ( and are) been killed.  

What about the regulators, the government bodies who are supposed to impose public safety, what are they doing ?, except waiting for the next scandal to be unleashed to the public eye.  

These large scale criminal practices are incessant,

Merck paid $670 over Medicaid fraud in 2007,

Eli Lilly paid $1.4 billion for illegal marketing in 2009,

Abbott paid 1.5 billion for Medicaid fraud in 2012.  

No wonder national health programs are going bankrupt, and the irony is that they don’t need these substances for health, just institute a nationwide nutrition program providing subsidized supplement programs, competent councelors for those that do have ingrained psychological issues from their upbringing to councel, not drug the patient, competent Naturopaths and Chiropractors..oh and a handful of surgeons just in case you hack your arm off felling a tree with a chainsaw, as health care interfaces to the general public.  

The money savings would be astronomical and maybe the US deficit could edge closer in the black.

I hope I can bring some better news in the next article..but don’t hold your breath.

Arthur “Ham” Hammond: So who has got away with murder? Not, of course, the British government. They merely covered up, as one does, the offensive corpses. Though not literally. That was done by person or persons unknown. So who has committed murder? Not, of course, the highly respectable firm of KDH Pharmaceutical, which has enjoyed record profits this quarter, and has now licensed ZimbaMed of Harare, to continue testing Dypraxa in Africa. No, there are no murders in Africa. Only regrettable deaths. And from those deaths we derive the benefits of civilization, benefits we can afford so easily… because those lives were bought so cheaply.

Birgit: [on drug trials] Put $50,000 in the right hands and you can test battery acid as skin lotion.

-Quotes from the Movie ‘The Constant Gardener’ 2005

Check out the Previous Article in this series:


  1. US Department of Justice:  Johnson & Johnson to Pay More Than $2.2 Billion to Resolve Criminal and Civil Investigation, Allegations include off label marketing and kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists
  2. US Department of Justice: Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to pay $520 million for off label drug marketing
  3. Seroquel,  Risperdal, Invega and Natrecor drugs profiles
  4. Deadly medicines and organised crime book 2013 Peter Gotzche
  5. Selling sickness, how drug companies are turning us all into patients Ray Moynihan & Alan Cassels
  6. Quotes from the movie ‘The Constant Gardener‘ 2005 IMDB

Author: Eric Malouin