Consumers Against High Drug Prices
Exposing The FDA's Regulatory Quagmire
CoQ10 Wars
Assembly Line Medicine
Collapsing Within Itself
Intolerable Delays!
"Unsustainable" Cancer Drug Prices
How Government Treated Those For Whom We Now Celebrate Holidays
Horrific Conditions Inside Drug Factories
When "Rules" Are Broken
Federal Death Panels
Science by Ambush
The Looming Doctor Shortage
Former FDA Commissioner Admits Risk of Bureaucratic Delay
FDA Says Walnuts Are Illegal Drugs
The FDA's Most Heinous Drug Approval
No Real Healthcare Cost Crisis
FDA Delay of One Drug Causes 82,000 Lost Life-Years
Deadly FDA Neglect
How Much More FDA Abuse Can Americans Tolerate?
Drug Company Pleads Guilty to Health Fraud
Why American Healthcare is Headed for Collapse
The Generic Drug Rip-off
Ending the Atrocities
Millions of Needless Deaths
Would You Tolerate This Abuse?
The FDA Indicts Itself
The FDA's Cruel Hoax
Fish Oil Now Available by Prescription!
FDA Threatens to Raid Cherry Orchards
Inside the FDA's Brain
FDA Fails to Protect Domestic Drug Supply
FDA Permits New Fish Oil Health Claim
FDA Approves Deadly Drugs, Delays Lifesaving Therapies
The $50.00 Toll Bridge
Dangerous Medicine
Cardiologists Overlook Lifesaving Discovery
What You Don’t Know About Blood Sugar
Jerry Falwell Attacks Life Extension Foundation
Life Extension Achieves "Impossible" Victory in the U.S. House of Representatives
Fighting the FDA
Patient Advocates Sue FDA Over Drug Access
FDA's Lethal Impediment
Don't Blame the Doctors
One Man's Ten-Year Ordeal With Prostate Cancer
A New Day At FDA?
The FDA Versus the American Consumer
Supreme Court Roundup
The Lethal Information Gap
Consumer Rape
Dying From Deficiency
Are Offshore Drugs Dangerous?
Drugs the FDA Says You Can't Have
Does Cholesterol Cause Artery Disease?
What's Wrong with the FDA
FDA Suffers Second Massive Legal Defeat in Pearson v. Shalala
FDA Loses Case Against Compounding Pharmacies on First Amendment Grounds
Ending The Cancer Bureaucracy
Victory in the House and Senate
Life Extension Wins in the House and Senate
Congress Recognizes The Prescription Drug Problem
Americans are getting Healthier... But the FDA Remains a Major Impediment
Are We to Become Serfs of the Drug Monopoly?
A Glorious Victory Over FDA Tyranny
The Great American Rip-Off
The Plague Of FDA Regulation
Health Costs to Double Is there a free-market solution?
The FDA versus Folic Acid
They Want You Brain Dead
Life Extension vs. the FDA a Hollow Victory: Why the Agency's Approval of Ribavirin is Inadequate

Health Costs to Double
Is there a free-market solution?

image A new federal study says that heath care costs will double in the next nine years and prescription-drug costs will almost triple. This doesn't have to happen. A study just published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, 1998; 280: 1604-1609) compared saw palmetto extract with the prescription drug Proscar. Saw palmetto was shown to be as effective as Proscar in providing relief from the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. The authors of the study noted that, while Proscar costs about $66 a month, saw palmetto costs only $20 a month.

In a free market, competitive pressures relentlessly drive prices down, as can be seen in the case of saw palmetto, whose prices plummeted in 1998. The prescription drug business, however, is not an open market. The Food and Drug Administration provides a virtual monopoly to a select group of drug companies that have the political connections to push new drugs through an unpredictable, costly maze of regulations. Smaller companies cannot afford to compete and, as a result, prices for FDA-protected drugs increase each year at rates that greatly exceed the inflation index.

When lower-priced drugs are offered to consumers from other countries, the FDA takes extraordinary steps to deny these products to Americans under the guise of "consumer protection." While the FDA admits that none of those who have ordered a medication from another country has experienced a severe adverse reaction, it is an established fact that drugs the agency approves as being safe kill more than 125,000 Americans a year (JAMA, April 15, 1998).

Drug companies are now promoting expensive drugs that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by 26%. A review of the medical literature, however, shows that low-dose aspirin is at least as effective as these expensive prescription drugs. Up until just a few months ago, the FDA said it was illegal to promote low-dose aspirin for the prevention of heart attack. The FDA's 15-year delay in approving aspirin turned into a financial bonanza for the pharmaceutical companies, but consumers paid dearly as the proliferation of cardiovascular drug prices spiraled out of control.

Heart disease, stroke and other vascular disorders cause 44% of all deaths that occur in the United States. A 1997 estimate put the economic cost of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at a staggering $259 billion (Clinical Therapeutics 1998, 20 Suppl B pB2-17). One study in a conservative medical journal found that, if alternative medications were made available to cardiovascular disease patients, the annual cost savings would be $3 billion to $4 billion per year (Annals of Internal Medicine Sept. 15, 1996, 502-506). If the U.S. were liberated from the FDA's bureaucratic stranglehold, drug prices would inevitably drop to a fraction of their current levels.

Just look at the drug Proscar that costs $66.00 a month, whereas an herb (saw palmetto) that has been proven to work just as well for as little as $8.10 a month. That's eight times less expensive that the FDA-approved drug!

FDA over-regulation is a direct cause of inflationary drug prices, yet the government blames everyone but itself for this artificial problem. The American public already has rebelled by turning to low-cost herbal supplements in place of expensive FDA-approved drugs.

The front page of The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 16, 1998) featured an article called "Hard to Swallow... America's Soaring Drug Prices," that revealed how drug spending has soared over the last five years to a point where it is becoming the dominant cost in health care. An interesting quote from the article underscored one of the reasons drug companies get by with charging high prices for new drugs: "Americans are increasingly demanding the latest brand-name drugs in a ferocious attempt to preserve their health and their youth."

Freeing Americans from the death grip of the FDA/drug cartel will go a long way towards achieving better health and longer life.