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

Drug Company Pleads Guilty to Health Fraud

By William Faloon
William Faloon 
William Faloon

Life Extension® has spent the last three decades exposing horrific financial and scientific fraud perpetrated by the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA.

We have revealed how pervasive pharmaceutical deceit infiltrates government, academia, and the media, causing consumers to pay outrageous prices for dangerous drugs that provide little or no benefit.

In an unprecedented development, a pharmaceutical giant has pled guilty to a felony with the intent to defraud,and its parent has agreed to pay a record $2.3 billion to reimburse Medicare, Medicaid, and other agencies for drugs that were marketed in violation of various federal laws.1

For those who labor under the misconception that pharma-ceutical companies serve benevolent purposes, the multiple criminal counts you are about to read will eradicate this fallacy.

Lethal Drug Illegally Promoted at Higher than Allowed Doses

Most of you are familiar with the Vioxx® scandal, where pharmaceutical giant Merck has spent billions of dollars defending and settling lawsuits showing that the deadly dangers of this drug were known long before it was withdrawn.

A lesser-known arthritis drug in this category called Bextra® was also withdrawn because of increased risks of heart attacks and strokes, as well as deaths, in patients prescribed it.2-4

Lethal Drug Illegally Promoted at Higher than Allowed Doses

In a startling admission, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer has pled guilty to a criminal charge that it fraudulently sold Bextra® not to treat arthritis, but to be used in higher doses to relieve acute and surgical pain.5

Even at the usual dose, Bextra® inflicted fatal side effects. In a 2004 analysis presented at the American Heart Association, Bextra® was shown to more than double the risk of heart attack or stroke. The lead author of this study commented that "This is a time bomb waiting to go off."6

The record financial payout by Pfizer is not because Bextra® injured or killed arthritis patients. It is to settle government claims that Pfizer illegally promoted the sale of Bextra® for uses and dosages that the FDA specifically declined to approve due to safety concerns. Of the total settlement, $1.195 billion represents a fine for the fraudulent marketing of Bextra® the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the United States for any matter.

Life Extension® Members Learned of These Dangers Years Earlier

Years before the public learned about the dangers of Vioxx® and Bextra®, the Life Extension Foundation® warned its members that these drugs would create lethal havoc in the body.

The reason is that by selectively blocking the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme, an imbalance is created that results in increased amounts of thromboxane A2 and leukotriene B4 being produced.7-9

Life Extension® Members Learned of These Dangers Years Earlier

Thromboxane A2 promotes abnormal arterial blood clots, the leading cause of acute heart attack and stroke.10 Leukotriene B4 inflicts massive inflammatory damage to the arterial wall and other tissues of the body.11

COX-2 inhibiting drugs like Vioxx® and Bextra® can increase thromboxane A2 and leukotriene B4 unless healthy dietary changes are instituted. This means reducing or eliminating from one's diet arachidonic acid-rich foods (egg yolk, red meat, poultry, and dairy), high- glycemic index carbohydrates, and omega-6 fats. The adverse effects of COX-2 inhibiting drugs may also be mitigated by taking a low-dose aspirin tablet each day, along with fish oil and curcumin.12-14

Based on these deadly under-lying mechanisms, Life Extension knew that Vioxx®, Bextra®, and other drugs in this category would kill thousands of unsuspecting patients. Against us were pharmaceutical companies who spent billions of dollars misleading consumers and doctors into be-lieving these drugs were "safer" than aspirin.

We don't believe the government even realizes how many needless deaths may have occurred as a result of the unauthorized and illegal promotion of Bextra®. The government focused its criminal charges instead on paperwork violations and financial losses to Medicare-Medicaid, not the patients injured by the illegal sale of this lethal drug.

Cash Kickbacks Paid to Doctors to Prescribe Drugs

Part of the $2.3 billion settlement involves allegations that Pfizer paid doctors kickbacks to induce them to prescribe the following drugs:

Drug Indication
Aricept® Alzheimer's
Celebrex® Arthritis
Lipitor® High Cholesterol and LDL
Norvasc® Hypertension
Relpax® Migraine
Viagra® Impotence
Zithromax® Antibiotic
Zoloft® Depression
Zyrtec® Allergy

The government's complaint describes how Pfizer compensated doctors to prescribe these drugs in some instances by providing cash payments or so-called "gifts" such as travel, entertainment, and meals. Illegal remuneration was also allegedly paid to doctors in the form of speaker fees, mentorships, preceptorships, and journal clubs.

When one reviews the diverse list of drugs that Pfizer is claimed to have paid doctors to prescribe, it is no wonder they grew to become the largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

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