In a new documentary by Jeff Hays, Doctored shows the shortcomings and even the insidious nature of the modern medical and pharmaceutical culture. Central to the film is the story of chiropractics, once considered by the western world quacks at best and cultists at worst.
An estimated one-in-four Americans over the age of 45 is currently taking cholesterol-reducing medication known as statin drugs. Lifestyle changes can be as (if not more) effective than statins at reducing cholesterol and that people are far more likely to stick with the lifestyle changes than they are with the prescription regimen.
From headaches to heartburn, anxiety to cancer, there’s a pharmaceutical for everything these days. Few of us really bother reading the long list of side effects before popping a few pills, and we don’t question our doctors or the so-called medicine for which they make us break the bank. We assume that they all mean well. Maybe they do. Even if that were true, it’ not working.
OnTuesday, biotech giant Amgen Inc pleaded guilty in federal court for illegally marketing its former top-seller, Aranesp, a drug used to treat anemia. They are to pay $762 million: $612 million in a civil settlement and $136 million in criminal fines.
Many of the drugs handed out to troubled individuals have troubled histories in Food and Drug Administration testing themselves, and come with a list of side effects including hostility, aggression, confusional states, and impulse-control disorders. This list of drugs shows which are most linked to violent behavior.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, a major drug research contractor has been found faking documents and manipulating samples. The firm, Cetero Research, has tested medicines for major drug companies that are now being forced to reevaluate their products in response to warnings issued by US regulators. The news may be from 2010, but is an example of pharma corruption nonetheless.
As disturbing and outlandish as it may sound, a South Korean SBS TV documentary has accused Chinese pharmaceutical companies to be selling “stamina pills” that contain ground up dead babies. The report claims that certain hospitals and abortion clinics sell baby corpses to the companies, who then use their bodies to grind up for their stamina pill ingredients.
A Supreme Court jury in New York awarded $1.5 million to the family of Joseph Mazella, who committed suicide in 2009 after his physician prescribed the 51-year old father, teacher, and basketball coach a deadly cocktail of pharmaceuticals—without having met him once.
Benzodiazepines are some of the most widely prescribed pharmaceuticals in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are fifteen kinds of benzos, commonly prescribed for anxiety and sleeplessness. They have a calming and tranquilizing effect. But French scientists recently found they will do much more than calm you down—they could increase your risk of dementia.
On World Mental Health Day (October 10), the World Health Organization let it be known that more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. But, they say, a stigma is still attached to the condition, leading people to keep their struggles quiet rather than reaching out for help. The WHO says the stigma must be dropped so that depressed individuals can have access to treatment, including therapy and Big Pharma medications.