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

Jerry Falwell Attacks Life Extension Foundation

On July 8, 2003, an editorial by the Reverend Jerry Falwell was published in The Washington Times newspaper. The purpose of this editorial was to discourage lawmakers from passing a bill that would enable Americans to purchase lower-cost medications from countries that have safety standards comparable to those of the United States.

Since there is no logical basis for denying Americans identical FDA-approved drugs sold in other countries, the pharmaceutical industry (and Jerry Falwell) have launched a defamatory campaign against consumer advocates who support this drug importation bill.

In his editorial, Jerry Falwell makes allegations against The Life Extension Foundation that are blatantly false and misleading. Reverend Falwell's comments reveal just how desperate the drug cartel is to protect its monopoly on sales of over-priced pharmaceuticals to Americans.

Riots, Condemnation, Deaths and Apology
Follow Falwell's Anti-Islamic Comments

Jerry Falwell is famous for making ignorant and offensive pronouncements that are often followed by retractions and half-hearted apologies.

In an Oct. 6, 2002 interview on CBS news show 60 Minutes, Falwell said, "I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, (to know) that he was a violent man, a man of war."

The fallout from his remarks on 60 Minutes was severe. At least five people were killed and nearly 50 people injured when Hindu-Muslim rioting broke out at a protest in Sholapur, 225 miles south of Bombay.

Muslim clerics in Lebanon and Iran reacted with rage to Falwell's remarks, and encouraged acts of violence in retaliation. Hundreds of Muslim protesters gathered twice outside the CBS Broadcast Center in New York-on October 8 and October 13-to demand an apology from the media.

The Washington Post reported that Falwell's remarks might have contributed to Islamic parties winning more than 50 seats in the Pakistani parliament. An Islamic expert at American University stated, "All the predictions were that the mullahs would not get more than their usual four or five seats. Suddenly you get these [Falwell's] statements on the front pages. People are outraged. Ordinary Pakistanis say, 'A vote for the religious parties is a vote against the Americans.'" The article also said that the comments might have hurt U.S. chances of finding support from Islamic countries for its war on terrorism.

In the face of protests around the world, the Rev. Jerry Falwell issued an apology for comments he made about Muhammad during the interview on the CBS news program 60 Minutes, as follows:

"I sincerely apologize that certain statements of mine made during an interview for CBS's 60 Minutes, were hurtful to the feelings of many Muslims. I intended no disrespect to any sincere, law-abiding Muslim."

Jerry Falwell is the TV evangelist who set up an organization called "The Moral Majority." One purpose of this organization was to induce Congress to enact laws that would impose the "moral" standards of Jerry Falwell on the entire U.S. population. This group exerted a lot of pressure on Congress before it was disbanded in 1989.

One of Jerry Falwell's most famous attacks was on a children's TV show called "Teletubbies." In an article published in his own National Liberty Journal, Falwell announced that one of the Teletubby puppets was exhibiting homosexual behavior and that this was promoting a "gay role model." At the time, I had young children who watched Teletubbies, and my wife had to go to great length to show me which of the puppets was exhibiting this alleged homosexual behavior.

Upon being enlightened to the purported gay puppet, I became convinced that Jerry Falwell should move to Iran where his imaginative abilities might actually be appreciated. Not that the Iranian people could tolerate him, but perhaps the hard-line theocratic government of Iran might have used his edicts to create even more draconian laws against individual liberty.

Falwell has built a reputation of making ridiculously offensive statements. For instance, two days after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center, Falwell stated:

"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say: you helped this happen."

After withstanding a couple of days of public denunciations, Falwell issued a retraction as follows:

"I would never blame any human being except the terrorists, and if I left that impression with gays or lesbians or anyone else, I apologize."

What Jerry Falwell Said About Life Extension

We were unable to re-print Jerry Falwell's entire defamatory editorial because his media relations office denied us permission.

In lieu of re-printing Falwell's entire editorial, we have excerpted statements he made against Life Extension and followed them with our rebuttals. Falwell first sought to discredit the drug importation bill by attacking groups that support it. Falwell states:

"What's more, ratcheting open the walls that protect our market for medicines means that those who want to import bizarre and unethical medications will have that much more opportunity to do so. Consider those supporting drug importation off Capitol Hill, and that perverse motivation becomes clear."

What Falwell Says About Women FEMINISTS

The Moral Majority initially fought the Equal Rights Amendment tooth and nail. Falwell made the following degrading statement about women feminists:

"I listen to feminists and all these radical gals... These women feminists just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men; that's their problem."

The facts are that the drug importation bill only permits Americans to obtain identical FDA-approved prescription drugs. Jerry Falwell is using bogus scare tactics to imply that the American marketplace will be flooded with "bizarre and unethical medications". When the enormous profits of the drug industry are threatened, truth goes out the door.

Reverend Falwell then attacks Life Extension:

"For instance, drug importation advocates regularly cite research from the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in their arguments. But the so-called Life Extension Foundation (LEF), ironically, is a rabidly anti-life organization. It has cited RU-486 as an 'anti-aging' medication that once just missed its top 10 list of life-extending drugs."

The Reverend Falwell has problems getting his facts straight. He has confused The Life Extension Foundation (LEF) of Florida with another organization called the Alcor Life Extension Foundation of Arizona. LEF and Alcor are separate organizations involved in different activities, but when it comes to a political smear campaign, simple facts are apparently irrelevant to the Reverend.

RU-486 has demonstrated anti-aging and anti-cancer properties that could save lives.1-6

Since it is also used to induce abortions, however, it has become highly politicized and cancer patients cannot easily get it. A few gynecologists prescribe and dispense RU-486, but most American doctors prescribe a morning-after pill called Preven® that is sold at American pharmacies.

RU-486 is not freely sold anywhere that we could find. In most European countries, patients must consume RU-486 in front of their doctors, as it is not stocked in pharmacies. The bill that would enable Americans to import lower-cost FDA-approved prescription drugs would not provide greater access to RU-486 than already exists, but again, facts are of no concern to the self-righteous Falwell.

Reverend Falwell then states:

"LEF has demonstrated its disregard for human life not only by advocating cloning but embryonic stem cell research to reverse the signs of aging. Those who support taking the lives of unborn children to support the selfish desire to live a longer and fuller life are not the allies we hope to see advocating public policy changes for America."

Life Extension has long been a proponent of embryonic stem cell research. Stem cell therapies used today, however, do not involve "taking the lives of unborn children." Scientists are harvesting patients' own stem cells, growing them in the laboratory, and then injecting the stem cells into the specific organ affected by a disease process (see sidebar on next page). The proposed use of embryonic stem cells to treat aging involves pre-embryonic cells taken long before a child has been formed. None of this, of course, has anything to do with the right of Americans to access lower-cost medications. Falwell has attacked stem cell research in order to divert Congress' attention from the real issue of passing a bill that would greatly reduce the price of prescription medications.

To sidetrack members of Congress from the fact that Americans are grossly overcharged for their prescription drugs, Falwell is mischaracterizing the abortion issue, which has absolutely nothing to do with the drug importation issue.

The Reverend Falwell then attacks Alcor, which he again confuses with LEF:

"That is only the beginning, however. LEF also conducts bizarre cryogenics experiments. They are reported to have the body of baseball slugger Ted Williams frozen for eventual reanimation. The president of the organization, Saul Kent, likewise froze his mother's severed head, prompting a three-year investigation into the possibility that she was euthanized."

Saul Kent is not the President of Alcor. The Life Extension Foundation did not freeze Ted Williams' body. Saul Kent also did not kill his mother. None of this, of course, has anything to do with the artificially inflated prices Americans pay for their drugs. Nor does it have any relationship to the fact that identical drugs can be purchased for far less money from other countries. But again, facts and relevance mean nothing to Falwell, who argues that Americans should not be allowed to purchase lower-cost medications from Canada, Europe, and other countries, even though they have regulatory standards comparable to those of the United States.

Falwell's final mudslinging against LEF is as follows:

"And they traffic in untold numbers of questionable 'life-extending' medications that are the subject of numerous federal investigations - raising a significant question about their motivations for advocating drug importation."

The drug bill that Falwell is attacking would legalize the importation of FDA-approved prescription drugs only, not "questionable life extension medications," as Falwell erroneously asserts.

Falwell's statement that we are "the subject of numerous federal investigations" was news to us. That was until an FDA inspector showed up at our door eight days after Falwell's editorial was published. The FDA inspector commenced an intensive five-day dissection of our operations. As you will read in an article by Saul Kent that appears later in this issue, we believe the drug industry may be behind the FDA's sudden interest in Life Extension. Our attorneys have filed a Freedom of Information Act request to determine if a drug lobbyist urged the FDA to initiate this inspection. The drug cartel views The Life Extension Foundation as a threat to their profits. Drug companies routinely hire lobbyists to persuade the FDA to go after those who are a challenge to their multi-billion dollar annual earnings.

Long-time members know that Life Extension fought an 11-year battle with the FDA, which we won in 1996. Life Extension is currently supporting numerous First Amendment actions against the FDA that seek to force the agency to recognize health claims such as "omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease."

Who Is Behind These Attacks?

Life Extension members may wonder how Jerry Falwell could have written such an erroneous editorial and why The Washington Times would publish it. We think the answer lies in the massive lobbying campaign the pharmaceutical industry launched to stop the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003 from passing Congress.

According to Public Citizen's Congress Watch (a non-profit group founded by Ralph Nader), the drug industry hired 675 lobbyists from 138 firms last year. Since 1997, the drug industry has spent a whopping $650 million lobbying Congress, which includes hiring academics and funding non-profit organizations that support their causes. According to the June 23, 2003 Wall Street Journal, one of the drug industry's biggest issues is barring imports of lower-cost medications from other countries.

An example of drug company influence can be seen in the lobbying efforts of a religious group (other than Falwell's) that is attacking members of Congress who support the drug importation bill. This coalition represents some 43,000 churches and has distributed letters urging lawmakers to oppose the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003. It turns out the letters, written on this religious coalition's letterhead, were drafted by an attorney representing the drug industry.

The Washington Post (not The Washington Times) has been investigating drug company influence using non-profit organizations to front for their cause. Documents provided to The Post reveal the key role that drug lobbyists played in sending letters out to the constituents of members of Congress who support this bill. Representative Dan Burton and several other conservatives are blaming the drug companies for the dirty mail campaign to discredit the bill. The Washington Post quoted Representative Burton as follows:

"I do not understand . . . how a religious organization can be manipulated by the pharmaceutical industry to do this sort of thing. They are supposed to be moral people. And yet I am confident, in fact I am dead sure, that the Traditional Values Coalition did not have the money to mail this kind of trash out to congressional districts all across the country."

Why Drug Companies Want to Discredit Life Extension

Life Extension's drug price comparison charts (example on next page) have been enlarged and presented before Congress as evidence that Americans are overpaying for medications they need to stay alive. Since drug companies cannot argue against the irrefutable fact that identical drugs cost more in the United States than in other countries, they have made a concerted effort to paint the bearer of this information (The Life Extension Foundation) in a negative light.

As you will read later in this issue, the good news is that despite this intensive drug company lobbying campaign, the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003 passed in the House of Representatives. It now has to be voted on in the Senate. If the bill becomes law, the savings to Americans will be so substantial that today's health care cost crisis will be substantially mitigated.

The Life Extension Foundation is the only organization that has investigated, calculated, and published exactly what the active ingredients in prescription drugs actually cost (see chart on next page). This information reveals that if Americans could freely import their medications from other countries, the cost of some $300 prescription drugs could drop to under $10.


What drugs cost in Europe compared to the United States.
Prices vary depending on the European country. Some of these drugs
now have generic equivalents in the United States. These U.S. generics
are still much more expensive than their European counterparts.

0.6 mg
$ 28.32
$ 4.38
100 mcg
$ 23.32
$ 3.14
5 mg
$ 42.62
$ 4.71
14 20 mg $ 56.62 $14.80
20 20 mg $ 86.32 $10.24
Norvasc 30 5 mg $ 37.60 $19.88
Claritin 20 10 mg $ 63.88 $ 6.10
Augmentin 12 500 mg $ 52.62 $ 9.89
Zocor 28 20 mg $118.68 $48.36
Paxil 28 30 mg $ 83.36 $48.36
Zestril 60 5 mg $ 65.68 $ 9.73
Prempro 28 0.6 mg $ 32.52 $10.97
Glucophage 50 850 mg $ 74.32 $ 4.40
Cipro 20 500 mg $114.84 $21.00
Zoloft 100 50 mg $237.84 $69.92
Pravachol 28 10 mg $ 85.62 $27.00

The FDA Deceives Congress

There is no inherent reason why prescription drugs should cost so much in the U.S. The identical medications can be purchased in Europe and Canada at far lower prices. The trouble is that the FDA has fabricated sworn testimony to mislead Congress into believing that drugs from other countries are counterfeit, contaminated, or dangerous. Life Extension has shown that the FDA's assertions are baseless, false, and misleading (see "The FDA Versus The American Consumer," Life Extension magazine-October 2002).

On June 7, 2001, the FDA told Congress that it wants to halt almost all small shipments of foreign drugs mailed to consumers in the U.S. The only exemption would be for compassionate use, so that seriously ill patients who have exhausted all approved treatments could order drugs from overseas. The FDA told Congress:

"We need to be able to make a blanket assessment that these things are not safe for American consumers and should be turned back."

In response to the FDA's assertions, Life Extension sent Freedom of Information Act requests in June 2001 asking the FDA to substantiate its sworn testimony before Congress that drugs imported from other countries are dangerous.

Even though the FDA is legally mandated to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests, it has ignored our repeated written requests and phone calls to substantiate its sworn testimony about the supposed dangers of imported medications.

More than two years have now passed since the FDA told Congress that medications imported from other countries are counterfeit, contaminated, and dangerous. As more Americans learn they can obtain identical drugs from Canada and other countries at lower prices, the flow of imported drugs has grown enormously. Yet the FDA has yet to produce a single report of an adverse reaction from an imported prescription drug, despite being highly motivated to find just one "victim" to parade before Congress.

That does not mean there have not been any victims of prescription drugs ordered from other countries. The facts are that FDA-approved prescription drugs kill over 100,000 Americans every year. Since these same FDA-approved drugs are being imported from other countries in record amounts, undoubtedly some Americans have suffered adverse effects, just as they would have had they bought the same drug at their local pharmacy.

The undeniable fact, however, is that prescription drugs used by Canadians and Europeans are identical to those sold in American pharmacies. In fact, when regulators alleged that a generic European Hydergine product was "adulterated," Life Extension had the product assayed and proved that this European Hydergine was identical to the name brand (Sandoz) sold in the United States.

The FDA's assertion that prescription drugs imported from other countries are dangerous is a hoax that never had a credible basis. It is a scare tactic to protect the pharmaceutical industry's stranglehold over the American consumer.

Counterfeit Drugs Sold in American Pharmacies

Counterfeiters tend to copy expensive items. You don't find many fake $5 bills, but $100 bills have long been a favorite of those involved in criminal currency counterfeiting.

Prescription drugs sold in other countries don't cost a lot, so the incentive to counterfeit them is not great. These same drugs sold in the United States, however, are so expensive that counterfeit drugs are increasingly showing up in American pharmacies.

Procrit® is a drug used to treat anemia. Cancer patients often use Procrit® to guard against chemotherapy-induced hypoxia (a low oxygen environment that enables cancer cells to thrive). The CBS News program 60 Minutes reported on an epidemic of Procrit® counterfeiting that is occurring as illicit wholesalers sell bogus Procrit® to American pharmacies. The counterfeit Procrit® has little or no active ingredient and some batches are contaminated with bacteria that have made patients very ill. The startling part of this story was when CBS News asked the FDA about Procrit® counterfeiting, the FDA responded that this was a problem for state pharmacy boards to address and was not in the FDA's jurisdiction.

The FDA's statement that Procrit® counterfeiting is not its problem is grossly inconsistent and hypocritical, considering its vigorous opposition to American consumers importing lower-cost medications from other countries. Cancer patients who buy Procrit® from Canada often do so because they cannot afford to pay inflated American prices for this life-saving drug. The FDA seeks to deny these desperate people access to lower- cost Procrit® under the assumption that it might be dangerous, while virtually ignoring egregious counterfeiting going on in the American marketplace.

Growing reports of Procrit® counterfeiting have since motivated the FDA to take limited action. The FDA later stated that fake Procrit® poses a serious danger to patients and posted a warning on its website ( To help identify the dangerous counterfeit, the maker of Procrit® has posted pictures of the real and fake version on its website,

When American pharmacies recently became flooded with 130,000 bottles of counterfeit Lipitor®, the FDA did take more aggressive action. Lipitor® is the most popular cholesterol lowering "statin" drug. Since the active ingredient for 90 tablets (10 mg) of Lipitor® costs only $2.18, which American consumers then pay over $170 for, it is easy to see the economic motivation for counterfeiting this drug.

The Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003 requires all prescription drugs produced at home and abroad to use counterfeit-resistant packaging, similar to the technology used by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Pharmaceutical Market Access Act contains language written by the legal team at the FDA that requires wholesalers to test each pharmaceutical shipment, unless the packaging uses counterfeit-resistant technology. The FDA's strict language was written to provide for the safety of imported pharmaceuticals from anywhere in the world.

What this means is that if this drug import bill is passed, lower- cost medications imported from other countries would be subjected to better scrutiny than those produced in the United States. Drug company (and Jerry Falwell) propaganda that imported drugs are dangerous has no basis in fact. The unfortunate reality is that expensive prescription drugs sold in the United States are being counterfeited because the profit opportunity is much greater than in other countries.

If the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003 is not passed, however, we fear that there may be more counterfeiting as increasing numbers of Americans are economically forced to turn to offshore pharmacies in order to afford medications they need to stay alive. There are so many elderly Americans importing drugs from other countries, that the FDA has admitted it cannot possibly intercept them all. So if this bill is not passed, personal use drug importation will continue with no regulatory protections in place.

Some members of Congress are alleging that some counterfeiting of Canadian drugs is already occurring, but as we just discussed, this problem exists for drugs sold in American pharmacies as well. Failure to pass this bill will result in more counterfeiting, as Americans increasingly turn to lower-cost sources (both foreign and domestic) for their medications.

Brand Name Consumer Price
(For 100 tabs/caps)
Cost of Generic
Active Ingredient
(For 100 tabs/caps)
Celebrex 100 mg $130.27 $0.60 21,712%
Claritin 10 mg $215.17 $0.71 30,306%
Keflex 250 mg $157.39 $1.88 8,372%

Lipitor 20 mg
$272.37 $5.80 4,696%
Norvasc 10 mg $188.29 $0.14 134,493%
Paxil 20 mg $220.27 $7.60 2,898%
Prevacid 30 mg $344.77 $1.01 34,136%
Prilosec 20 mg $360.97 $0.52 69,417%
Prozac 20 mg $247.47 $0.11 224,973%
Tenormin 50 mg $104.47 $0.13 80,362%

Vasotec 10 mg
$102.37 $0.20 51,185%
Xanax 1mg $136.79 $0.024 569,958%
Zestril 20 mg $89.89 $3.20 2,809%
Zithromax 600 mg $1,482.19 $18.78 7,892%
Zocor 40 mg $350.27 $8.63 4,059%
Zoloft 50 mg $206.87 $1.75 11,821%

Taking on the Challenge

Since 1984, The Life Extension Foundation has battled against the high cost of prescription drugs. We long ago predicted that a health care cost crisis would erupt if Congress failed to rein in the artificially inflated prices that Americans pay for their medications.

Excerpt from CBS News' 60 Minutes Interview With The FDA

CBS News: As I understand it, your jurisdiction really stops when the drug leaves the
manufacturer, does it not?

FDA: States have the authority to regulate wholesalers,
and they are involved in the direct oversight and
licensing of various steps in this distribution chain.

CBS News: Which you are not.

FDA: Which we are not.

CBS News: And there are no federal requirements that drug wholesalers keep a full accounting of the distribution chain and no requirement that drugmakers notify anyone-
and we mean anyone-if
they find their drugs are being counterfeited.

FDA: Manufacturers are not required to tell us when there
is a problem.

CBS News: Is a manufacturer legally required to tell a

FDA: A manufacturer is not required to tell a drugstore.

CBS News: Is he required to
tell a patient?

FDA: No.

CBS News: So, in fact, there's not a requirement for a
company that discovers its drugs are being counterfeited to notify anyone?

FDA: That's correct.

Compare the FDA's position on proven counterfeit drugs sold in the United States to the charade of concern the FDA expresses about the possibility of counterfeit drugs being imported from other countries.

The bill that would give Americans access to lower-cost medications from other countries contains strict regulatory provisions that would probably make imported drugs safer than those made in the United States.

To expose the incestuous relationship that exists between the FDA and the pharmaceutical giants, we made hundreds of appearances on TV and radio shows, mailed out millions of pieces of mail, ran full-page newspaper ads, and set up anti-FDA websites ( We did this for the purpose of encouraging consumers to act against the blatant corruption that is bankrupting the nation's health care system.

As a result of our relentless attacks against high-cost prescription drugs, The Life Extension Foundation has become the target of a vicious propaganda campaign. Profit margins on prescription drugs have become so gargantuan that pharmaceutical companies will do almost anything to prevent foreign competition from developing.

Large drug companies intensely lobby Congress to pass laws that give them extended exclusivity; file lawsuits to delay generic competition; petition the FDA to stop the importation of lower-cost medications; and go as far as to pay off generic companies not to compete. By inducing a well-known member of the clergy (Reverend Jerry Falwell) to make blatantly false statements about medicines sold in other countries, the drug cartel may have sunk to its lowest level yet. Consumers are paying for these morally bankrupt schemes every time they buy an over-priced prescription drug.

Life Extension Will Not Capitulate

Several of our Directors thought it might be best to ignore Jerry Falwell's baseless attacks because of concerns that any rebuttal might offend some Life Extension members. I argued that to ignore these obvious lies would be an effrontery to all of those who support free choice as it relates to where Americans may purchase their medications.

If Life Extension has proven anything over our 23-year history, it is that we don't back down on irrefutable scientific, rational, or moral issues. We hear every day from our members about the outlandish prices they are paying for drugs that are much less expensive in other countries. Some of our less fortunate members cannot afford all the drugs their doctors prescribe. Life Extension is not going to backpedal from its multi-decade campaign to legalize the importation of lower-cost medications, despite Jerry Falwell's unfounded vilification.

The drug cartel has spent millions of dollars on pubic relations to distort the facts so that Congress would be dissuaded from passing the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003. One objective of this smear campaign has been to disparage members of Congress who support this legislation. Life Extension anticipates increased attacks as these public relations agencies seek to create the false impression that anyone who favors legalized prescription drug importation is involved in all kinds of unsavory activities.

Discrediting the Good Work of Others

Jerry Falwell's groundless attacks against the right of Americans to access lower-cost medications offends the integrity of the many honest clergymen seeking to make a positive difference in their communities. Falwell's shabby attempt to bring up totally unrelated issues (such as abortion) as reasons not to pass this drug importation bill adversely affects the credibility of those who make legitimate arguments to justify their positions.

The Reverend Falwell has inappropriately ventured into a political/scientific arena that has nothing do to with the benevolent purposes of his various organizations. This improper and deliberate abuse weakens the compassionate pillars on which his organizations were founded.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Drug company lobbyists are inundating the Senate to prevent the prescription drug importation bill from becoming law. Consumer groups are intimidated by the FDA's baseless assertions that imported drugs are somehow dangerous. The FDA has preyed on fear and uncertainty for decades, while American consumers are extorted into paying the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs.

Even Those With Insurance
Are Paying More

The high cost of prescription drugs used to be a problem only for people without health insurance. Those fortunate enough to have health insurance could obtain their drugs for a co-pay that ranged from $3 to $10 per prescription.

As Life Extension predicted several years ago, insurance companies can no longer afford to subsidize inflated drug prices. Co-pays are now as high as $40. For senior citizens taking five different drugs, that equates to $200 a month. In addition, they are paying much higher health insurance premiums.

Low-income people often have to make a choice between paying for their medicines or their food. The media are frequently reporting heart-wrenching stories of elderly people skipping doses of their medications in an effort to stretch out their supply, even when their health insurance partially covers the cost.

Health insurance companies are also reducing the number of drugs they pay for. The result is increased mortality unless the person can afford to pay for the drug out of his or her pocket. For example, when cancer cells are deprived of oxygen, they promote new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) as a survival mechanism. It is thus crucial for cancer patients to keep the oxygen-carrying capacity of their blood as high as possible in order to minimize tumor-growing angiogenesis. In order to contain costs, health insurance companies are denying cancer victims the blood-boosting drug Procrit® unless they become severely anemic. For many cancer patients, by the time they become severely anemic, they are terminally ill and it's too late for Procrit® to be anything more than palliative therapy. In June 2001, the American Cancer Society published a report that anemic cancer patients are 65% more likely to die than cancer patients with healthy blood.

This is not just an issue for individuals to be concerned with. There are dire predictions of severe economic upheavals in the United States if a solution is not found for the high cost of prescription drugs. Some of the largest corporations in America cannot afford to fund health insurance benefits for current and retired employees. Health insurance companies are going bankrupt because of astronomical drug prices. Medicare itself is predicted to become insolvent in the not-too-distant future.

The United States has been economically deteriorating as prescription drug prices skyrocket. In order to counter the influence peddling of the pharmaceutical behemoths, American consumers must become politically active. Consumers vastly outnumber drug industry lobbyists. Regrettably, ignorance and apathy have silenced many Americans and enabled drug money to create laws that favor outlandish pharmaceutical company profits at the expense of the consumer.

I encourage every patriotic American to enlighten their two Senators about the need to support the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003.

If this bill is passed into law, it will liberate the American consumer from being an economic serf to the pharmaceutical cartel. The next page provides a form letter that can be mailed or faxed to your two Senators.

For longer life,

William Faloon

Drugs Sold In U.S. Pharmacies
Are Often From Other Countries

A significant percentage of drugs sold in the United States contain active ingredients that are actually synthesized in other countries. Pharmaceutical companies import these active ingredients into the United States where they wind up in the expensive drugs you buy at your local pharmacy. While the FDA says you cannot trust drugs from other countries, the facts are that most of the drugs sold in the United States contain active ingredients manufactured in the very countries the FDA says you cannot trust.


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