Monday, November 06, 2006

The Genocide Election

When a Life Saving Industry Cheats, People Die
The Genocide Election

This election is about much more than Democrats or Republicans, higher or lower taxes, or the war in Iraq. It is about the survival of millions of people around the globe. And if candidates supported by the drug industry prevail, we may become participants in a silent genocide.

A few years ago I attended a closed meeting with consultants for Ernst & Young. They told the gathered drug executives that the pharma industry was in trouble. Ernst & Young had added together the sales forecasts the industry had given to Wall Street and they told us, "If you are going to meet those numbers, you need twice as many drugs as you have in your pipeline. Your stock is going to fall off a cliff during the next ten years."

Today, that prediction has come true. Drug company stocks have tumbled. The biggest drug company, Pfizer, has lost 40% of its value in the last five years.

The only temporary relief has been the Medicare prescription benefit. According to the New York Times, this program has raised profits for drug makers both by increasing the prices they receive and by encouraging beneficiaries to fill prescriptions they might otherwise have been unable to afford.

Democrats claim the government could save as much as $190 billion over the next 10 years if the Medicare program was allowed to negotiate prices directly with drug manufacturers.

But losing the election to Democrats isn't the only threat looming on the horizon for the drug industry. IMS Health, an industry research firm, estimates prescription drugs worth $121.5 billion will come off patent between 2006 and 2011. That's half of U.S. drug sales.

But the drug company CEO's have a plan to fix all these problems. Just like a bad student might contemplate cheating, the drug industry plans on big scale cheating.

Number one on the cheat sheet is to stop generics from coming onto the market, in the U.S and overseas. One such failed attempt recently resulted in the ouster of Peter Dolan, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s former CEO. This sordid affair also led to the FBI searching his office. But it wasn't the FBI the board was disturbed about when they fired Mr. Dolan. They were upset about the fact that Mr. Dolan failed to buy off the generic drug maker, and messed up so badly that the generic company was able to temporarily flood the U.S. market with the cheap generic drug he'd tried to stop.

According to the Washington Post, "The brand-name drug industry is aggressively working to keep blockbuster drugs widely used by the elderly from being sold in cheaper generic versions when their patents expire."

Pfizer's recently ousted CEO, Dr. Hank McKinnell, in his book "A Call to Action" is very clear on the drug industry's objective: He calls for a doubling of drug patent life [page 185] which would result in a drastic reduction of new, low-priced generic drugs.

And what should be our concern is that these dirty deals aren't just taking place in the U.S. The drug industry is also using the current administration to do their bidding and deny affordable drugs to the poorest countries in the world.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the White House is pushing bilateral and regional trade agreements in which poor countries are forced to enact "superpatents' that prolong U.S. drug makers' monopolies and limit the circumstances under which the patents can be broken.

Pedro Chequer, the head of Brazil's national AIDS program has said: "If you prevent countries from using generic drugs, you are creating a concrete obstacle to providing access to drugs. You are promoting genocide, because you're killing people."

The trade deals are often negotiated in secret and attract little notice. But they have already been signed with poor countries overwhelmed by AIDS, among them six in Central America. And negotiations have started with several nations that also are overwhelmed by the AIDS virus, from Thailand to five southern African countries, including South Africa and Botswana.

When a life-saving industry cheats, people die. When the White House participates in these dirty deals, the result may be genocide.

Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Vice President of Pfizer. He became well known in 2004 when he emerged as the first drug company executive to speak out in favor of reimportation of drugs. He is the author of "The Whistleblower, Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman." See:


Anonymous said...

WOW! Big surprise that big pharma works to keep people from affordable drugs all so they can buy this year's model Gulfstream private jet.

Total scum. I am always contacting my state senators (Feinstein and Boxer) to get on them about this. Feinstein is pretty worthless but Boxer works for the average person more than most senators from what I have been able to determine.

Wish Feinstein would get voted out. And replaced by a senator who doesn't immediately put his/her shingle out in front of their offices stating:


Anonymous said...


Thanks a bunch for such a compelling expose. With your "insider" credibility, people may actually start to believe what evilness greed can breed.

When the average person uses words like genocide and "The Final Solution", they are trivialized as quacks or cranks or curmudgeons. A little inside information goes a long ways to proving what many of us already KNOW. Thanks, again.

Anonymous said...

Very good. I forwarded it to my mother. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Good to know. Now something related. Some time ago California Nurses wrote in their blog that they see fully insured patients admitted to a hospital and then...the insurer changes his mind. The patient is unplugged and sent home. Some of those patients die. They are bloging for a national healthcare policy. Similarly, and I have experienced this personally, EVEN if you do not file a claim, because it is a "preexisting condition" you are fired from your insurance after one surgery, which you personally pay for in full out of pocket, and can not get a new insurer. A person who works for a boss who goes belly up and is in a process of getting surgery, and then has to get new insurance, suddenly has a "preexisting condition" and his/her medical care/hospitalization is not covered. Go pay cash. They will not HAVE that cash. They also may be unable to get a new job, because of the medical problem and inability to get insurance, if any, through an employer. All this may kill people. Unfortunately THAT is not an argument that the U.S. understands. We have to express these things in monetary terms. How much does this cost the TAXPAYER? Well, if your insurer cancels you, and you can no longer do work, say you need hip replacements and you are a waitress, the government may pay for your surgery through Medicaid. Most often they will not pay, except if you are an illegal Mexican immigrant. Then you become, for all practical purposes, a "ward of the state" and taxpayers do not only pay your medical bills, but all your other bills as well, including your food, forever!! Why is that? You can not work, which you could if you had the surgery. This is stupid and expensive. If a patient gets the surgery, the treatment, the medications, he/she can continue working pay taxes, pay their own medical insurance premiums, and the taxpayer pays...nothing. As for meds and Medicare negotiating, some medications are not on their "list" and if you need them you may see that you are allowed to pay cash for those medications. EVEN if the meds are on "the list" the insurer may refuse your meds. You may fill out a prior authorization and..still be rejected. This might be a problem, if say, not taking the meds will lead to cancer, and then you will need major surgery. They will find a way, insurers and Medicare combined, to circumvent this inability to negotiate prices. They better, or else they will go broke really fast, together with all the rest of us. Medicare is NOT free. Medicare takes an amount of the Social Security check monthly. You have paid for this out of your paycheck all your working life as well. And Meds are also not free. Let us keep talking about this.

Anonymous said...

This is the kicker...Zyprexa is only FDA approved for schizophrenia (.5-1% of pop) and some bipolar (2% pop) and then an even smaller percentage of theses two groups.
So how the heck does Zyprexa get to be the 7th largest drug sale in the world?

Eli Lilly is in deep trouble for using their drug reps to 'encourage' doctors to write zyprexa for non-FDA approved 'off label' uses.
The drug causes increased diabetes risk,and medicare picks up all the expensive fallout.There are now 7 states (and counting) going after Lilly for fraud and restitution.
Daniel Haszard

MsMelody said...

Daniel said:

There are now 7 states (and counting) going after Lilly for fraud and restitution.

Thanks for update. Maybe if Lilly gets called on the carpet for marketing strategy re: zyprexa, some enterprising attorney/regulator will take a "look back" to see not only how they monopolized the insulin market--essentially writing the rules pertaining to this first entrant into the biotech field--and ensuring that their standards for this dangerous product were drawn from the chemical, not biotech, regulations. The way this rDNA product came to market, as well as the marketing strategies used to encourage (bribe, threaten) doctors to switch patients from animal insulin to rDNA "human" insulin is very suspect

(Still waiting for a Lilly whistleblower with inside information)

FYI, insulin--used by millions of diabetics--is exempted from batch testing. Individuals have neither the monies nor the abilities to accurately determine what is actually inside a bottle of insulin--except for the "truth in labeling" expectations.

Anonymous said...

WOW - that is SO powerful to compare what the perscription drug industry is doing to people in 3rd world and developing countries to a genocide. This really is such a clear, frightening and realistic comparison! I know that my faculty of nursing is continually working towards bettering Africa in a number of ways (i.e. sponsoring a nursing student in Africa by paying for her education). What ways do you suggest can we maybe help as a nursing faculty to either push for the drug industry to make AIDS drugs more affordable or widely available, or even perhaps fundraise and contribute to the cause?

Anonymous said...

Dr Rost said "It [This election] is about the survival of millions of people around the globe."

But the Doctor forgot to mention the literal genocide which George Bush and Cond. Rice have been supporting on behalf of their friends at the Bechtel corporation and its "US Indonesia Society" lobby group. Yes, genocide, not the media hype about a civil war in Darfur, but the brutal colonization and genocide of the Pacific people of West Papua by the Indonesian military, Laskar Jihad, and other jihad terrorists which the Bush administration silently condones.

Americans SHOULD be painfully aware of the US betrayal of these WW-II Allies in West Papua, and why the US Indonesia Society was allowed to trick the US Senate into removing the QUESTIONS which the US Congressmen had written in "SEC. 1115. DEVELOPMENTS IN AND POLICY TOWARD INDONESIA."

I would suggest every American read the Information Kit at