Sunday, April 10, 2016



According to Peter Gøtzsche, professor of research design and analysis at the University of Copenhagen, prescription drugs are the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

In an analysis published in the BMJ, he estimated that every year psychiatric drugs, including anti–depressants and dementia drugs, are responsible for half-a-million deaths in those aged over 65.

Between 2007 and 2012, the majority of the largest 10 pharmaceutical companies all paid considerable fines for various misdemeanours that included marketing drugs for off-label uses, misrepresentation of research results and hiding data on harms.

But as long as these criminal acts generate profit, they will continue unabated.

Medical journals and the media can also be manipulated to serve not only as marketing vehicles for the industry, but also be complicit in silencing those who call for more independent scrutiny of scientific data.   

Earlier this year, the editor of the Lancet, Richard Horton, wrote that possibly half of the published medical literature may simply be untrue and that science had “taken a turn towards darkness”.  

Corporate greed and systematic political failure have brought healthcare to its knees. There are too many misinformed doctors and misinformed patients. It’s time for greater transparency and stronger accountability, so that doctors and nurses can provide the best quality care for the most important person in the consultation room – the patient.

As John Adams, the second US president, said: “The preservation of the means of knowledge amongst the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country.” It’s time to restrain the harms of too much medicine.


A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good.

The number of people having in-hospital, adverse drug reactions (ADR) to prescribed medicine is 2.2 million.1

Dr. Richard Besser, of the CDC, in 1995, said the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections was 20 million. Dr. Besser, in 2003, now refers to tens of millions of unnecessary antibiotics.2, 2a

The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million.3

The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million.4 

The total number of iatrogenic deaths shown in the following table is 783,936.

It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

In 2001 heart disease annual death rate was 699,697; the annual cancer death rate, 553,251.5

Our estimated 10-year total of 7.8 million iatrogenic deaths is more than all the casualties from all the wars fought by the US throughout its entire history.

US health care spending reached $1.6 trillion in 2003, representing 14% of the nation's gross national product.(15)

Considering this enormous expenditure, we should have the best medicine in the world.
We should be preventing and reversing disease, and doing minimal harm.

Careful and objective review, however, shows we are doing the opposite. Because of the extraordinarily narrow, technologically driven context in which contemporary medicine examines the human condition, we are completely missing the larger picture.

Medicine is not taking into consideration the following critically important aspects of a healthy human organism: (a) stress and how it adversely affects the immune system and life processes; (b) insufficient exercise; (c) excessive caloric intake; (d) highly processed and denatured foods grown in denatured and chemically damaged soil; and (e) exposure to tens of thousands of environmental toxins. Instead of minimizing these disease-causing factors, we cause more illness through medical technology, diagnostic testing, overuse of medical and surgical procedures, and overuse of pharmaceutical drugs.

The huge disservice of this therapeutic strategy is the result of little effort or money being spent on preventing disease.

A survey of a 1992 national pharmacy database found a total of 429,827 medication errors from 1,081 hospitals. Medication errors occurred in 5.22% of patients admitted to these hospitals each year. The authors concluded that at least 90,895 patients annually were harmed by medication errors in the US as a whole.(37) A 2002 study shows that 20% of hospital medications for patients had dosage errors. Nearly 40% of these errors were considered potentially harmful to the patient. In a typical 300-patient hospital, the number of errors per day was 40.(38)
Problems involving patients' medications were even higher the following year. The error rate intercepted by pharmacists in this study was 24%, making the potential minimum number of patients harmed by prescription drugs 417,908.(39)


Scientists claimed there were never enough studies revealing the dangers of DDT and other dangerous pesticides to ban them. 
They also used this argument for tobacco, claiming that more studies were needed before they could be certain that tobacco really caused lung cancer. 

Even the American Medical Association (AMA) was complicit in suppressing the results of tobacco research. In 1964, when the Surgeon General's report condemned smoking, the AMA refused to endorse it, claiming a need for more research. What they really wanted was more money, which they received from a consortium of tobacco companies that paid the AMA $18 million over the next nine years during which the AMA said nothing about the dangers of smoking.(108)


Accidental prescription drug overdose is now the leading cause of acute preventable death for Americans.
Someone dies in this manner every 19 minutes.
That is more deaths than from car accidents.

Since 2003, more overdose deaths have involved opioid analgesics than heroin and cocaine combined.


From the Huffington Post:

Some 440,000 deaths a year are caused by hospital mistakes, and who knows how many more from outpatient mistakes.

Hippocrates must be spinning in his grave. We have lost track of what should be the most important dictum in medicine, his “First, do no harm.” Too many doctors, too many tests, too many procedures, and no one keeping track. Its a prescription for disaster, and the disasters keep happening.

The basic problem is that modern medicine consistently violates the ancient advice of Hippocrates: “It is better to know the patient who has the disease than the disease the patient has.”
The system is broken, and the incentives are all wrong.
And it is not likely to be corrected soon.

Too much money is being made by powerful corporations and institutions that profit from the current lack of coordination and sensible regulation.

Free-market medicine that treats health care just like any other business commodity just doesn’t work — because it puts profits before patients.


For now, the only protection is a well-informed consumer.
Read everything about your condition.
Ask lots of questions about the rationale, risks, and benefits of every test and treatment.
Expect clear and convincing answers.
When in doubt, get second and third opinions.

  • Of the 2,539 general hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 813 earned an “A,” 661 earned a “B,” 893 earned a “C,” 150 earned a “D” and 22 earned an “F.”
  • The states with the smallest percentage of “A” hospitals include New Hampshire, Arkansas, Nebraska and New Mexico. No hospitals in New Mexico or the District of Columbia received an “A” grade.
  • Maine claimed the number-one spot for the state with the highest percentage of “A” hospitals.
  •  Kaiser and Sentara were among the hospital systems that achieved straight “A” grades, meaning 100 percent of their hospitals received an “A.”


    Presenting a report he sponsored entitled "Abuse of Residents is a Major Problem in U.S. Nursing Homes" on July 30, 2001, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) noted that “as a society we will be judged by how we treat the elderly."

    The report found one-third of the nation's approximately 17,000 nursing homes were cited for an abuse violation in a two-year period from January 1999 to January 2001.(116) According to Waxman, “the people who cared for us deserve better." The report suggests that this known abuse represents only the “tip of the iceberg” and that much more abuse occurs that we aware of or ignore.(116a) The report found:

  • Over 30% of US nursing homes were cited for abuses, totaling more than 9,000 violations.

  • 10% of nursing homes had violations that caused actual physical harm to residents or worse.
  • Over 40% (3,800) of the abuse violations followed the filing of a formal complaint, usually by concerned family members.
  • Many verbal abuse violations were found.
  • Occasions of sexual abuse.
  • Incidents of physical abuse causing numerous injuries such as fractured femur, hip, elbow, wrist, and other injuries.

  • General Facts
    • In 1990, US life expectancy was 71.8 years for men and 78.8 years for women, among the lowest rates in the developed countries.

  • The 1990 US infant mortality rate in the US was 9.2 per 1,000 live births, in the bottom half of the distribution among all developed countries.
  • Health status is correlated with socioeconomic status.
  • Health care is not universal.
  • Health care is based on the free market system with no fixed budget or limitations on expansion.
  • Health care accounts for 14% of the US GNP ($800 billion in 1993).
  • The federal government does no central planning, though it is the major purchaser of health care for older people and some poor people.
  • Americans are less satisfied with their health care system than people in other developed countries.
  • US medicine specializes in expensive medical technology; some large US cities have more magnetic resonance image (MRI) scanners than most countries.
  • Huge public and private investments in medical research and pharmaceutical development drive this “technological arms race.”
  • Any efforts to restrain technological developments in health care are opposed by policymakers concerned about negative impacts on medical-technology industries.


    • Heart Pills -- In children, they can cause dangerously low blood pressure and heart rate, and even lead to shock.
    • Muscle Rubs -- Camphor is especially dangerous because ingesting it works so quickly; symptoms occur within 10-20 minutes, and often children can go into seizures without any warning.
    • Prescription Pain Medications -- For an infant, even half a tablet of hydrocodone can be lethal.
    • Aspirin and Oil of Wintergreen -- Oil of wintergreen is particularly hazardous because its pleasant smell tempts toddlers to ingest it, but one teaspoon of oil of wintergreen is the equivalent of nearly 90 baby aspirins -- a life-threatening dose for a toddler or child.
    • Antidepressants -- After pain medications, antidepressants are the second highest cause of accidental death from poisoning in children younger than 6.
    • Blood Pressure Patches, Eye Drops, and Nasal Sprays -- These medications, designed to be absorbed over time through your skin, can lead to serious consequences when ingested by a toddler. As little as 6 ml can lead to a coma.
    • Diabetes Drugs -- As these medications are more commonly prescribed, the incidence of pediatric poisonings has also increased, with over 2,500 occurrences in the United States in 2001.

    Your Anti-Anxiety Medication Could Kill You - Newsweek
    Feb 20, 2016 -
    Here's something else to be anxious about: You might overdose on your anxiety medication and die.

    As first reported by NBC News , a new study in the American Journal of Public Health found that, while the number of prescriptions for benzodiazepines (or “benzos”) like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan tripled between 1996 and 2013, the number of deadly overdoses from those drugs quadrupled over the same time period.


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