Profits over People: How Big Pharma’s Money Affects Our Health and Wallets

Americans pay the price. Earlier this month, I posted two articles on Big Pharma, back to back. The first one was my classic approach: How PE Firms Are Flipping Drugs in Price-Gouging Scheme that Cannibalizes the Entire US Economy (with 109 great comments).
The second one was coincidence. The digital ink wasn’t dry on the first article, when its was revealed that the Justice Department was getting antsy: ‘More than a Dozen’ Drugmakers under Criminal Investigation for Price-Fixing, Shares Plunge, after Getting Crushed All Year (56 great comments).
But as always, there’s more to it. Here are some hard numbers from a different angle that shed a lot of light on how the industry works.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ November 25, 2016.


Congress would rather protect the profits of pharmaceutical companies than the health of those addicted to dangerous opioid drugs, says a former head of the DEA responsible for preventing abuse of medications.
Joseph Rannazzisi, former Deputy Assistant Administrator at the U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency, asserts Big Pharma and its lobbyists have a ‘stranglehold’ on legislators in Congress and have engineered the protection of a $9 billion per year industry over the health of American citizens, according to a report from the Guardian.
‘Congress would rather listen to people who had a profit motive rather than a public health and safety motive,’ he said, according to the outlet. ‘As long as the industry has this stranglehold through lobbyists, nothing’s going to change.’
Rannazzisi explained lobbyists have spent millions thwarting legislative and policy efforts to provide guidelines for reducing the prescribing of opioid medications closely related to heroin – and helped limit the DEA’s powers to discipline those who dispense unusually high dosages of the same.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on OCTOBER 31, 2016.

Our Society Is Sick, Our Economy Exploitive and our Politics Corrupt

Any society that tolerates this systemic exploitation and corruption as “business as usual” is not just sick–it’s hopeless.
In noting that our society is sick, our economy exploitive and our politics corrupt, I’m not saying anything you didn’t already know. Everyone who isn’t being paid to deny the obvious in public (while fuming helplessly about the phony cheerleading in private) knows that our society is a layer-cake of pathologies, our economy little more than institutionalized racketeering and our politics a corrupt auction-house of pay-for-play, influence-peddling, money-grubbing and brazen pandering for votes.
The fantasy promoted by do-gooders and PR hacks alike is that this corrupt system can be reformed with a few minor policy tweaks. If you want a brief but thorough explanation of Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform, please take a look at my book (link above).
If you want an example of how the status quo has failed and is beyond reform, it’s instructive to examine the pharmaceutical industry, which includes biotech corporations, specialty pharmaceutical firms and the global corporate giants known as Big Pharma.
I hope it won’t come as too great a surprise that the pharmaceutical industry isn’t about cures or helping needy people–it’s about profits. As a Big Pharma CEO reported in a brief moment of truthfulness, We’re in Business of Shareholder Profit, Not Helping the Sick
Here’s an excerpt from the article:

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on AUGUST 21, 2016.

This is by How Much ($$) Big Pharma Fools Investors

A scheme we call ‘consensual hallucination.’
Yesterday, we were bashing big pharmaceutical companies for jacking up prices of patent-protected drugs at obscene rates. Those double-digit price increases were largely responsible for the sales increases these companies reported. Drugs have become the largest wholesale category, at $54.3 billion in May, or 12.2% of total wholesales.
This boom is based on price increases at a great cost to US consumers and taxpayers. It’s cannibalizing the rest of the economy. But it’s made possible by the abuse of the patent system, the increasingly monopolistic structures in the industry after a tsunami of mergers funded by cheap credit and a soaring stock market – as planned by the Fed – along with legislators and regulators that have been compromised by the big money and the revolving door [read… This is What’s Cannibalizing the US Economy].
And we said that investors were soaking up the money. But even investors are getting schemed.
In its report released on Friday, FactSet projects that the health-care sector in the S&P 500 will show revenue growth of 7.8% in the second quarter. But even ‘adjusted’ ex-bad-items earnings – a classic in American fiction – is expected to grow by only 2.2% (even as revenues and ‘adjusted’ earnings for the S&P 500 overall are expected to fall once again).
But it’s even worse. As reported under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which all publicly traded companies in the US have to use for their required financial reports, these Q2 earnings in the health-care sector are likely to drop.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ July 16, 2016.

This is by How Much ($$) Big Pharma Misleads Investors

In a scheme we call ‘consensual hallucination.’
Yesterday, we were bashing big pharmaceutical companies for jacking up prices of patent-protected drugs at obscene rates. Those double-digit price increases were largely responsible for the sales increases these companies reported. Drugs have become the largest wholesale category, at $54.3 billion in May, or 12.2% of total wholesales.
This boom is based on price increases at a great cost to US consumers and taxpayers. It’s cannibalizing the rest of the economy. But it’s made possible by the abuse of the patent system, the increasingly monopolistic structures in the industry after a tsunami of mergers funded by cheap credit and a soaring stock market – as planned by the Fed – along with legislators and regulators that have been compromised by the big money and the revolving door [read… This is What’s Cannibalizing the US Economy].

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ July 16, 2016.

Big Pharma Trips Over the Maxed-out American Consumer

Even as Prescription Drug Volume Stagnates, Prices Soar.
Total US spending on prescription drugs in 2015, at the manufacturers’ level and as measured by ‘invoice pricing,’ jumped by 12.2% to $424.8 billion, after having already soared 14.2% in 2014! A two-year increase of 28%!
So you’d think we’d get some results for all this moolah. But no.
Life expectancy in the US, at 78.7 years at birth, ranks between 34th and 52nd place globally, depending on who does the counting, wedged somewhere between Bahrain and Cuba, and about 5 years below the top. Among US states, life expectancy ranges from 81.3 years in Hawaii or 80.8 years in California to 74.9 years in Mississippi. It’s bad. But we handed Big Pharma a ballooning amount of money to get there.
This $424.8 billion in prescription drug spending at ‘invoice pricing’ isn’t based on what Americans or their health insurers pay. According to IMS Health, which released the report, it reflects invoice pricing by drug companies to distributors. It includes neither price concessions by drug companies nor the ‘mark-ups and additional costs’ before these drugs get to patients.
Another metric is ‘net price spending.’ It’s based on the same wholesale prices but after ‘rebates, off-invoice discounts, and other price concessions made by manufacturers to distributors, health plans, and intermediaries.’ And it jumped by 8.5% to $309.5 billion.

This post was published at Wolf Street on April 14, 2016.

Legal Speed

Step on up folks and get your dose of legal speed brought to you by the pushers at Big Pharma, Inc.
Have trouble with ADD, ADHD or Binge Eating Disorder? Try Vyvance! Another legal amphetamine produced by Big Pharma and available through your friendly neighborhood doctor, aka legal drug pusher. Pay no attention to that ‘sudden death’ side effect experienced by some users. Amphetamines are good for you! That is, if you buy them off of the guys in the white coats.
You see, it’s perfectly okay from society’s standpoint to be on speed if it is prescribed by a doctor. A legal high. Yet, get the same thing off the street corner dealer and you are a felon. Hypocrisy, plain and simple.
A classic good guy vs. bad guy scenario. The good guys are the ones in the lab coats. The bad guys are in the shadows. We love our movies, don’t we!
Both are drug dealers, but the ‘good guys’ are endorsed by the government mafia and the ‘bad guys’ are freelancers. And there are penalties imposed for not purchasing from the ‘good’ guys. Penalties such as jail, sudden death from lead poisoning, you get the picture. The ‘law’ looks down on that sort of disobedience.

This post was published at FarmWars on March 3, 2016.

Guest Post: What Trumpism Means For Democracy

Whether or not Donald Trump ultimately succeeds in winning the White House, historians are likely to rank him as the most consequential presidential candidate of at least the past half-century. He has already transformed the tone and temper of American political life. If he becomes the Republican nominee, he will demolish its structural underpinnings as well. Should he prevail in November, his election will alter its very fabric in ways likely to prove irreversible. Whether Trump ever delivers on his promise to “Make America Great Again,” he is already transforming American democratic practice.
Trump takes obvious delight in thumbing his nose at the political establishment and flouting its norms. Yet to classify him as an anti-establishment figure is to miss his true significance. He is to American politics what Martin Shkreli is to Big Pharma. Each represents in exaggerated form the distilled essence of a much larger and more disturbing reality. Each embodies the smirking cynicism that has become one of the defining characteristics of our age. Each in his own way is a sign of the times.
In contrast to the universally reviled Shkreli, however, Trump has cultivated a mass following that appears impervious to his missteps, miscues, and misstatements. What Trump actually believes — whether he believes in anything apart from big, splashy self-display — is largely unknown and probably beside the point. Trumpism is not a program or an ideology. It is an attitude or pose that feeds off of, and then reinforces, widespread anger and alienation.
The pose works because the anger — always present in certain quarters of the American electorate but especially acute today — is genuine. By acting the part of impish bad boy and consciously trampling on the canons of political correctness, Trump validates that anger. The more outrageous his behavior, the more secure his position at the very center of the political circus. Wondering what he will do next, we can’t take our eyes off him. And to quote Marco Rubio in a different context, Trump ‘knows exactly what he is doing.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/05/2016.


Sometimes in the so-called war against drugs, bureaucrats who have a vested interest in protecting megacorporate financial interests (like, say, that of big pharmaceutical companies for example) do something that’s so completely ridiculous, it actually has the opposite effect and backfires. Big time.
Meet ‘Stoner Sloth,’ tagline ‘You’re worse on weed,’conceived by New South Wales’ National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 21, 2015.

Here’s the Lowdown on Big Pharma’s Mega-Merger Mania

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Economy and Markets. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Last spring, I found myself at a wedding talking to my cousin about ‘poison pills.’
Not the Romeo and Juliet kind. The shareholder rights plans – known as ‘poison pills’ – that corporations use to discourage hostile takeovers.
I hadn’t seen this cousin in years. But the first words out of her mouth were literally:
‘Adam! You’re an investments guy… have you heard anything about [pharmaceutical company] trying to buy [another pharmaceutical company]!?’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Adam O’Dell ‘ November 27, 2015.

Short Sellers Lower Boom on Wall-Street Hype, Big Pharma

Hedge-fund darling Valeant got eviscerated by a short seller over its accounting practices, including some just-revealed ‘specialty pharmacies’ it allegedly used to inflate revenues. The company is denying the allegations. But now everyone has started digging.
This comes on top of the interest Congress is finally showing in the rampant price increases of generic drugs. It has become a business model in the US: Hedge-fund like companies such as Valeant plow into the health-care sector with huge amounts of other people’s money and gobble up makers of generic drugs. After the buyout, they jack up prices. They can because there are no competitors, and regulators stay dutifully out of sight.
Valeant’s shares have plunged 56% in less than three months. Its bonds and leveraged loans have sold off sharply. The junk-rated, over-indebted company is going to have a hard time borrowing cheaply to continue its buyout spree.
Regulators – asleep, powerless, or just totally compromised by the revolving door, pharma lobbyists, and regulatory capture – allow or encourage industry abuse of regulations and patent laws. This leaves the industry rife with unregulated monopolistic structures.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ October 25, 2015.

Fight the TPP & Solutions Just in Case

For the past three days, we’ve been discussing the horrors of the TPP.
As promised, we’ll show you how to fight back in a moment.
First, let me tell you about a lunch we had yesterday with our Underground Health Researcher Nate Rifkin and Laissez Faire’s Director, Doug Hill.
During lunch, we spoke all about how our readers can protect themselves from the fallout of a hypothetical passage of the TPP.
And as a result, we have our researchers pounding the keys behind-the-scenes to bring you those exact solutions in the coming months.
Irregardless of the TPP’s passing, we came up with solutions that will help you sidestep the boulders that our Too Big NOT to Fail government will inevitably place in your path.
Of the solutions we discussed, here’s what we have in the works…
Solutions to ready yourself and your loved ones for a potential wave of job loss and lower income, whether or not the TPP creates a supranational corporate tribunal (the Investor-state dispute settlement or ISDS) that further stifles competition and sticks the talons of entrenched monopolies deeper into your skin… Solutions to support independent media that strives for TRUTH without agenda or tethered to corporate backers, whether or not the supporters of the TPP try to tape our mouths shut on government and corporate corruption… Solutions to support and bolster your health outside of the meat grinder that is the SICK-care pharmaceutical industry, whether or not the TPP blasts drug costs into the stratosphere and gives Big Pharma eternal patent rights to all drugs… Solutions to help deliver you and your family fresh, organic food, free of all the high strangeness of Monsanto’s Frankenfood experiment on your family’s health, whether or not the TPP creates a pipeline from some mucky, questionable source, right into the mouths of our families… Solutions to make sure that you, despite the government’s worst intentions, still have a shot at enjoying the rest of your days, while living a life filled with happiness, purpose, and goodwill…

This post was published at Laissez Faire on Oct 16, 2015.

Backfire: CNN Tries, and Fails to Ambush Donald Trump With Vaccine Autism Question

21st Century Wire says…
This was a perfect example of a major network, like CNN, who’s very existence depends on advertising dollars from major pharmaceutical companies, using the presidential debate platform to try and run corporate propaganda for themselves – at the public’s expense.
Networks like CNN complete the final stage in marketing these products companies to the public, but this latest stunt – using a Presidential debate to try to discredit anyone critical of the damage being done by the industry – is beyond the pale. Can they stoop any lower?
CNN media operative Jake Tapper tried in vane to first discredit Donald Trump, and then tried to play Trump, Ben Carson and Rand Paul against each other. Tapper failed miserably.
After the debate, CNN went into rear guard action, rushing to get their resident Big Pharma salesman and vaccine shill, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, in front of the camera, as the Gupta and Anderson Cooper proceeded to make the repeated claim that, ‘There is no evidence linking vaccines to autism,’which is a not a true statement. One only has to look at theCDC’s bloated vaccine schedule for infants and then see how much money Big Pharma is plowing into federal lobbying to see exactly how corrupt this equation has become.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 19, 2015.

CDC Whistleblower: Submit to a Live Interview and Open Source All Documents

Editor’s Note: The establishment will do circles around a lie, paint it up and plug their ears before they will face the implications of this whistleblower. The court of public opinion may be the only way to open this one up… until then, children will continue to get this dangerous vaccine, and the criminals in government bureaucracy will keep on covering up for Big Pharma.
There are moments in history where morality and justice demand a better way. Times when status quo normalcy hangs heavy in the air. As good men and women stand idly by with admirable intentions, evil people succeed and prosper. The political process and the rule of law in the United States has hobbled along sick and impoverished for years. It now appears to be dead in a dishonorable gutter.
It has officially been over one year since the senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publicly admitted that he, and his co-authors (DeStefano & Boyle), committed research fraud. Not a finger has been lifted in the name of justice. The reason this is still being written about today is because of the tireless work of parents, often times single parents in severe financial strife, keeping the story relevant on social media, through word of mouth in their communities and constant communication to their representatives.
One can only imagine that political representatives, upon hearing the depth and scope of what is potentially at stake, have curled into balls of inactivity preferring to pass the problem on to the next office holder. To a public thoroughly left in the dark to sift through rumors and gobble up crumbs of info, it appears that congressman Bill Posey, representing Florida’s 8th District, is the only person with honor and integrity left holding an official position. And that, unfortunately, has not been enough to turn the tide of apparent corruption at the CDC’s vaccine division, lack of momentum at the Justice Department and U. S. House of Representatives.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on August 27th, 2015.

Big Pharma Revealed As Puppetmaster Behind TPP Secrecy

It is no secret that US healthcare corporations have been among, if not the biggest beneficiaries of Obamacare: by “socializing” costs and spreading the reimbursement pool over the entire population in the form of a tax, pharmaceutical companies have been able to boost medical product and service costs to unprecedented levels with the help of complicit insurance companies who have subsequently passed through these costs to the consumer, in the process sending the price of biotech and pharma stocks to levels not seen since the dot com bubble.
But when it came to the highly confidential TPP, it was unclear just which corporations were dominant in pulling the strings.
Now thanks to more documents published by Wikileaks, and analyzed by the NYT, it appears that “big pharma” is once again pulling the strings, this time of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which if passed will “empower big pharmaceutical firms to command higher reimbursement rates in the United States and abroad, at the expense of consumers” according to “public health professionals, generic-drug makers and activists opposed to the trade deal.”
In other words, just like the narrowly-passed Obamacare was a gift for big Pharma, so America’s legal drug dealers are now trying to go for another price boosting catalyst, one which however will involve not just the US but some 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Worst of all, the negotiations for the next price increase is taking place in utmost secrecy where “American negotiators are still pressing participating governments to open the process that sets reimbursement rates for drugs and medical devices.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 06/11/2015.

ADR Vaccine Damage – The US Government Does Not Want You To Know

If it is good for corporate Pharma, it is invariably no good for you. The misuse of vaccines has been known, at least under the radar, for some time. Here is a UK report from a ‘reliable’ source on how destructive vaccines really are. Your health, and certainly the health of your children are at direct use.
ADRs [Adverse Drug Reactions], are purposefully kept out of mainstream news sources, but it is a subject of which you should be keenly aware.
Thanks to Gillian over at Shift Frequency for the article.
[In a related story, the US government has wiped clean its data base to keep hidden from the public how many awards to victims of ADRs and the amounts paid out. Also of interest, is that none of the big Pharma companies have to pay for the award damages. They are shielded from those costs. No, it is the drug users and public that pay the costs.]:
Vaccine data base wiped by government to hide uptick in admitted vaccine injuries. [Just wait until Obama’s TPP goes into effect, if you want to know about corporate injustice when deadly drugs from big Pharma are forced onto the world.]]

This post was published at Edge Trader Plus on June 4, 2015.

Parents to be Penalized Thousands for Not Vaccinating Kids: ‘No Jab, No Pay Policy’

Australia has upped the ante in the effort by governments around the world to push vaccinations on all children and intimidate parents into compliance.
The trend of some parents opting out of vaccinations – and filing religious and personal belief exemptions to avoid immunizations they believe are too risky for their children – is under a coordinated push back by the powers-that-be and the Big Pharma lobbyists that nudge them into action.
While California and numerous other states are attempting to ban exemptions for children entering school in the wake of the hyped Disneyland Measles scare, the government in Australia is pushing through legislation to deny childcare benefits to parents who refuse to shoot up their kids with a mixture of toxic constituents.
That is the kind of leverage afforded by Western governments that have pushed more and more people into the net of the collective system – where tax penalties and control over the health care system allow social engineering through incentives and denials.
For Australian parents, $11,400 lost in family benefits will likely prove a harsh disincentive for defying the flawed official wisdom on vaccinations.

This post was published at shtfplan on April 13th, 2015.

CA Bill Banning Childhood Vaccine Exemptions Sponsored by Big Pharma Bought-off Senator Moves Ahead

The latest California bill in response to the measles fearmongering propaganda ‘scare’ which would ban parents from exempting their children from vaccinations on the basis of personal grounds is moving ahead in the state, a bill co-sponsored by a Senator on the Big Pharma take.
Here’s what Reuters had to say about the progression of medical tyranny in California yesterday:
The measure passed the state Senate health committee by a vote of 6-2, the bill’s co-author, Democrat Richard Pan, said in a statement.
‘I’ve personally witnessed the suffering caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, and all children deserve to be safe at school,’ said Pan, who is also a pediatrician.
‘The personal belief exemption is now putting other school children and people in our community in danger.’
In danger? Gee, that sounds awfully dangerous.
Why is it scaremongering? Reuters continued:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on 10 April 2015.