Friday, December 18, 2009
Researchers: Merck knew – & did nothing - VIOXX! & more...Dangerous Drugs I
Vioxx Recall! or LifeKill Recall?
September 30, 2004—Merck & Co. announced an immediate recall of Vioxx after a clinical study indicated a significantly elevated risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious side effects.
Vioxx was approved in Canada in 1999 and was the most prescribed drug in Canada for the treatment of arthritis. More than 3.36 million prescriptions were filled in Canada in 2003.
For years, we've believed that the fat cats at Merck knew much more about the dangers of Vioxx far earlier than the rest of us – yet did nothing but cash the checks as patients cashed out and dropped dead.
That's not some far-fetched conspiracy theory. In fact, a new analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concludes that the company had enough warning signs to pull this bad med from the market nearly FOUR YEARS before they actually did.
Seems squeezing those extra dollars out of this deadly drug was far more important than keeping customers alive. After all, they'd need that cash to help pay settlements when they were sued over this killer painkiller later on.
But the Big Pharma phonies weren't fooling everyone. We knew when this scandal broke more than five years ago that Merck had the information long before they took action. Of course they knew Vioxx was causing strokes, heart attacks and deaths, even if they still pretend they didn't.
So it's old news to anyone who's been paying attention – but anything that puts Merck back in the spotlight for these heinous crimes is fine by me.
The new analysis looked at 30 clinical trials between 1996 and 2004, when the drug was "voluntarily" pulled from the market. Twelve of these studies were secret – we only know about them because of documents revealed during Vioxx lawsuits.
Discussion of Vioxx and FDA Drugs as defective products with attorney Brenda Fulmer, pharmaceutical injury litigation expert and partner in the law firm Alley, Clarke, Griewe, and Fulmer in Tampa, FL. Produced by InjuryBoard.com
Vioxx and FDA Drug Injuries!
Most of these studies were concluded by 2001, and indicated a 35 percent increase in the risk of a cardiovascular event or death among users. And that risk only grew as more studies entered the mix over time.
Some of these studies were done even earlier – leading researchers to conclude that Merck knew as early as 2000 that Vioxx was costing folks their lives ... yet continued to sell this evil poison until September 2004.
That's four more years of bad reactions. Four more years of illness and death. Four more years of shattered lives.
from afp: The risk of death linked to Merck's anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx was minimized in trial studies the company made public, according to a study... in the April 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Merck minimized the true risks of vioxx!
Oh, and don't forget four more years of multibillion-dollar sales – because believe me, when the final settlement check is cut, I'm convinced they'll have still turned a massive profit on this prescription for death. That's literal blood money, and if you hold shares in Merck, feel free to let the company know how you feel about that.
Just don't expect these criminals to give a rat's tail about you and your silly ethics.
Jenny McCarthy (1 of 2): Take the Crap Out of Vaccines. Complete raw footage interview. Take the Crap Out of Vaccines and THEN MAYBE we will shut up!
McCarthy's Complete Interview Take the Crap Out. (1 of 2)
McCarthy's Complete Interview Take the Crap Out. (2 of 2)
Jenny McCarthy: Take the Crap Out of Vaccines and THEN maybe we will shut up!!!
Jenny McCarthy (1 of 2): Take the Crap Out of Vaccines!
Jenny McCarthy (2 of 2): Healing Autism.
Please Help the Walking Wounded: Merck Kills
Bill Maher on Big Pharma!
This clip is taken from Bill Mahers comedy special The Decider which aired live from the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. In the clip he lashes out on Big Pharma by bringing up some well known scandals like the Vioxx scandal and Patrick Kennedy's Capitol Hill Accident.
Vioxx Settlement Tribute!
"Why journalists keep getting it Wrong!"
rant by William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
"Lazy and looking for work? Try a career in news.
The real reason you can't trust anything you hear about the government or corporate America is that the so-called newshounds of the Fourth Estate have fallen asleep on the job.
A recent editorial in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows just how badly the press can botch even the simplest coverage.
Not long ago, a study came out on women, drinking and breast cancer. Maybe you remember some of the headlines: "A drink a day raises women's risk of cancer, study indicates" (Washington Post), "More evidence links alcohol, cancer in women" (MSNBC.com) and "Women's cancer risk may increase with just a few drinks" (CNN.com).
There's just one problem with all that easy fear-mongering: It didn't even come close to telling the whole story.
The study they were all reporting on found a 0.6 percent absolute increase in the risk of breast cancer. Women who consumed the most alcohol – 15 or more drinks per week – had a 2.6 percent increase in breast cancer, versus just 2 percent in women who drank the least over seven years.
But there's not much of a headline in that, and on a slow news day they need something to report – and breast cancer fear is one of their favorite places to turn.
Similarly, you may recall a flurry of breathless reports on a highly experimental cancer drug called olaparib. A very early and completely uncontrolled study showed some promise – but far more research is needed before anyone should even think of calling it a "miracle drug."
That didn't stop the lazy pups in the press, though.
They've already declared it "the most important cancer breakthrough of the decade."
But let's talk about the big picture here, because it's a lot worse than shiftless slobs in newsrooms feeding you bad info.
Far worse. Big Pharma knows how lazy journalists are. They know that all you need to do to win favorable coverage is write up a press release – and leave out all the bad stuff, no matter how ugly the research may be.
Reporters won't read the study – just the press release. That's what passes for "journalism" these days.
Big Pharma's spin doctors even know that the most dogged reporters might want to make a phone call to get a quote or two – but you can fix that by putting a couple of quotes into your press release that they can use. Make sure it's glowing, because it's going to appear in hundreds of newspapers from coast to coast... free of charge!
You can't buy better advertising.
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has posted a tip sheet online to help reporters understand research, statistics and more – but don't expect most of these hacks to use it.
That's a little too much like work.
Barking at the so-called newshounds,
William Campbell Douglass II, M.D."
Who's footing the bill for drug ads?
Who's paying for all those expensive and annoying TV drug ads?
Big Pharma's name may be on the bill... but you're paying the price. For years, the drug industry has made the ridiculous claim that the billions spent on drugs ads have nothing to do with the high price of meds.
But if increased sales are really paying for those prescriptions, why do drug prices keep shooting up – even when those sales fail to materialize?
You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to follow this money trail right to your own pocket... but a new study helps point out the obvious to anyone deluded by Big Pharma's stupid accounting tricks.
Researchers looked at the ad spending and drug sales of Plavix, which in many ways offered up a perfect crime scene, with enough forensic evidence to keep a CSI team busy for years.
That's because after not advertising this med at all in 1999 and 2000, Bristol-Myers Squibb launched a major ad campaign in 2001 – one that would cost $350 million over the next five years.
Under Big Pharma's logic, we'd see prices hold steady – maybe even decrease – as demand soared, right?
Problem is, the ads didn't increase sales. Turns out Plavix use grew at pretty much the same rate as it did before the ad campaign began... while the cost of Plavix prescriptions went up, up, up.
Researchers looked at 27 state Medicaid programs and found that during the ad campaign, the cost of Plavix increased by 25 percent more than inflation. That cost them an extra $207 million – and if I were on that CSI team, I'd name those ads as my only suspect for the price hike, case closed.
Remember, Medicaid money doesn't get plucked off Plavix trees... it comes directly from your wallet, Mr. and Mrs. American Taxpayer.
YOU paid for those ads.
Of course, not every med follows the Plavix model. Big Pharma spends billions on drug ads for one reason: They often work. But let's not get delusional about this – if an ad leads to higher sales, that extra money isn't used to offset the cost of commercials. It's used to pay for even more ads – and anything left over is used to line pockets (just not yours).
And if the ad doesn't result in more sales, they're not worried – because you're paying for it, not them. They even get to deduct the costs of those ads. Earlier this year, lawmakers said those deductions cost us $37 billion per year.
It's win-win for Big Pharma.
And as usual, the rest of us lose.