In the US, pharmaceutical drugs kill more people than illegal drugs each year. In fact according to statistics from the Mayo Clinic, 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug and according to the CDC, 100 people die every day due to complications and side effects related to prescription medications.
After making a highly successful and profitable career in the pharmaceutical industry Dr. Virapen decided to come clean, sharing the truth behind the industry and how he helped to get Prozac, one of the most highly prescribed anti-depressant drugs in the world on the market.
In 2010, Doctors in the US wrote more than 250 million prescriptions for anti-depressants including Prozac.
One of the key side effects of these drugs were suicidal thoughts however, Dr. Virapen admits that he bribed and paid the Swedish government to get Prozac approved. This approval then allowed the drug to be readily available in other countries in the world including the US.
Prozac now makes $1 billion dollars every year in profits.
Dr. Virapen also admitted that the pharmaceutical industry “are not interested in curing any disease that you may have, they are more interested in making you have disease. They are interested in symptomatic treatments.”
Among their favorite patients include those who are diabetic, those with rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease as they are able to make drugs that you become dependant on for long period of time.
“They want you to take drugs for the rest of your life,” Dr. Virapen continued.
Eleven of the top pharmaceutical companies made a combined $85 Billion in profits in 2012 alone and according to Dr. Virapen they have has much power as the government. In fact many US presidents have been board members of Eli Lilly & Co.
Early in his career in the pharmaceutical industry he was told to approach young doctors straight out of medical school. He said they were told to bribe the doctors, offering to pay for their education in exchange for pushing their product.
Dr. Virapen also stated that in their pitch to the doctors they would use “FAB- Features, Advantages and Benefits”, and never were they allowed to discuss side effects. The only information available to the doctors was the information presented by the drug companies themselves.
Many side effects discovered during trials were also “hidden under the table” in order to get drugs fast tracked and approved.
One drug in particular which was created by Eli Lilly & Co was found to give patients diabetes and although the company was fined millions when this was discovered, the media failed to report it as the media are also heavily tied to the pharmaceutical industry.
During his speech, Dr. Virapen also asked the audience if they had ever taken a pharmaceutical drug that had actually cured their disease- no one raised their hand. While he admits that the pharmaceutical industry does create some highly necessary products, he claims that most of the long term drugs are “rubbish.”
According to Dr. Virapen, the baby boomers have made up majority of the pharmaceutical drug users around the world which was becoming concern to the industry as many of the baby-boomers were getting older. In order to rectify this, the pharmaceutical industry began targeting children by creating a behavioural disorder known as ADHD and creating drugs to treat it such as Ritalin. They also began pushing the use of anti-depressants for children.
In the US, children are three times more likely to be described antidepressants as compared to children in Europe. And a survey conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that 15 percent of US high school seniors were abusing prescription drugs.
While there is no denying that the pharmaceutical industry has created some fantastic products that have helped us fight off diseases, infections, reduce pain and help us manage symptoms it is up to us as consumers to get educated about what we are putting into our bodies.
If you are interested in hearing Dr. Virapen’s speech you can find it here.