Milestones of outrage
When we think back on 2011 we’ll remember the horrific tragedy of the Japanese tsunami, the end of Osama bin Laden, and…Biebermania?
Well…we’ll probably remember two out of those three.
As for mainstream medicine, 2011 brought two huge milestones — marking the end of two eras that prompted plenty of outrage.
As I mentioned just a few days ago, Merck executives have agreed to pay out nearly $1 billion in civil and criminal fines to finally settle the deadly controversy over Vioxx — the arthritis drug whose name will forever define Big Pharma greed and negligence.
The shame of Vioxx is obvious. Much less obvious is the shameful outrage of a nearly useless pill that produced billions of dollars for Pfizer and completely transformed the way doctors treat heart conditions.
I’m talking about Lipitor, of course.
Pfizer’s patent on their mother-of-all-blockbusters ended earlier this month, and the most successful drug in history will soon be available as a generic brand.
This is wonderful news for anyone who has bought the Lipitor hype that statin drugs are miraculous lifesavers.
In fact, the evidence shows that Lipitor only very slightly lowers risk of heart attack and stroke. And in return for this insignificant “protection,” countless patients have succumbed to Lipitor side effects that include liver damage, muscle damage, kidney failure, memory loss, cataracts, and type 2 diabetes.
Vioxx and Lipitor — two outrageous milestones that should remind every consumer to withhold trust in all future “miracle” drugs from Big Pharma.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of other offenders to keep us outraged in 2011…
Worst of the worst
Zinc in denture cream can produce irreversible neurological problems for denture-wearers who use too much of the product. So why was that information delayed getting to the public for several years, possibly causing enormous, unnecessary harm to millions of people who wear dentures? The blame lies mostly with one person. And the motive? Of course, as always, there was a payday involved.
A new clue may help unravel the mystery of a grave health crisis that ruins lives and breaks the hearts of parents every day. Further research is essential, but for now this clue provides a vital warning that every first-time parent must see BEFORE their child is born. The good news — AND the outrage — is that this danger is completely avoidable.
We’ve seen scams worse than this, but not by much. This one involves a diagnostic tool that’s commonly used with older patients. For several years, many doctors and hospitals have double-dipped in thousands of cases when the procedure was used, letting Medicare foot the bill. The worst part: In most of these cases, patients are put at terrible risk, completely unnecessarily.
Few things are worse than selling out children for drug company profits, but it appears that that’s exactly what’s happened in California. Merck may have succeeded in purchasing a very lucrative new law that roughly shoves aside every California parent of a school-age child, potentially putting every one of those kids in jeopardy.
Muscle damage severe enough to shut down kidney function will now be officially noted as a potential side effect of the statin drug Zocor, when taken at the highest dosage. But there’s a lot more than muscle damage at risk with Zocor. In fact, it’s so ludicrous you might find it hard to believe. But it’s all too true. Lipitor was bad, but apparently not this bad.
A new review of autism research spans the full history of this heartbreaking disorder — from 1943 (when autism was first identified) to present. And the review drops two major bombshells: 1) More than 20 vaccines contain human DNA, and 2) Shortly after DNA was included in vaccines in the U.S. and the UK, autism rates spiked in both countries. Don’t let anyone tell you the vaccine/autism controversy is over. In fact, the REAL controversy may just be getting started.
How do you get kids hooked on drugs for life? Test their cholesterol at age 9. We’ll tell you why this new recommendation — embraced by the American Academy of Pediatrics — is completely unnecessary, but will probably end up making many children lifetime slaves to risky drugs they don’t need.