Why Do Pharmaceutical
Drugs Injure and Kill?
According to the United States' Food and Drug Administration,
1.5 million Americans were hospitalised in 1978 alone, as a consequence
of pharmaceutical drugs administered to "cure" them.
It was also found that some 30% of all hospitalised people suffered
further damage from the therapy prescribed them. (1) In the 1990s,
studies show that 180,000 medically-induced deaths occur each
year in the USA. (2) These astronomical figures are in spite of
the fact that a large number of drug damages go unreported.
Since 1961, the total number of "safety-tested" medical
preparations marketed worldwide has risen to over 205,000. Approximately
15,000 new preparations are marketed each year, while some 12,000
are withdrawn. (3) The United States has the greatest annual sickness-care
expenditure of any nation; $912 billion in 1993 alone. (4) If
money and medical treatment equals health then one would expect
the United States to be the healthiest of nations. However, it
only ranks 16th in the world in female life expectancy, 17th in
the world in male life expectancy and only 21st in the world in
infant mortality. (5)
Of course, a percentage of drug damages are due to the incorrect
administration of drugs by physicians and patients. But how are
harmful pharmaceutical drugs allowed onto the market in the first
place, and why do we have so much faith in them? Pharmaceutical
transnationals defy the intent of laws regulating safety of drugs
by bribery, false advertising, unsafe manufacturing processes,
smuggling and international law evasion strategies. But most of
all they make dangerous drugs appear safe through the use of fraudulent
and flexible 'safety-tests', the subject of this article.
FRAUD IN CLINICAL TESTS
Drug companies can easily arrange appropriate clinical trials
by paying a researcher to produce the desired results that will
assist the intended application of the drug. The incentive for
researchers to fabricate data is enormous. As much as $1000 per
subject is paid by American companies which enables some researchers
to earn up to $1 million a year from drug research. (6) And they
know all too well that if they don't produce the desired data,
the loss of future work is inevitable. Unfortunately, because
of secrecy, most fraud in clinical trials is unlikely to be detected.
However, cases of data-fabrication in clinical trials have been
uncovered where, for example, "patients who died while on
the trial were not reported to the sponsor.... Dead people were
listed as subjects of testing... People reported as subjects of
testing were not in the hospital at the time of tests..."
and where "Patient consent forms bore dates indicating they
were signed by the subjects after the subjects had died."
(7) Even if data from clinical trials is not falsified, it is
often of little worth, because they are not performed appropriately.
Trials involve relatively small numbers of people and the subjects
taking part usually do not represent those who will use the drug
after its approval; so many harmful effects of a new drug appear
only when it has been marketed.
FRAUD IN ANIMAL TESTS - VIVISECTION
This problem of inappropriate and flexible testing of drugs and
chemicals is even more pronounced with the use of so-called animal
'models'; a practice termed vivisection. For instance, the fact
that the animal is relatively healthy before the experiment means
that disease and or trauma has to be induced by violent and artificial
means. This bears no relation whatsoever, to the spontaneous ways
in which humans develop illness, often through a faulty lifestyle
and diet. For example, consider the case of osteoarthritis, a
human degenerative disease resulting in grotesque and painful
deformities of the joints. How do researchers attempt to mimic
human lameness in dogs, cats, sheep and pigs? Joints are beaten
with hammer blows, injected with irritating liquids, subjected
to ionising radiation and/or dislocated. It is obvious that the
resulting fractures, haemorrhages, thromboses, contusions and
inflammation bear no relation to human osteoarthritis, "which
is a local manifestation of a generalised illness of the collagen."
(8) Drugs tested on such artificially diseased non-human animals
cannot possibly yield results relevant to a spontaneous, naturally
occurring human disease.
Moreover, there is no true correlation between different species.
For example, arsenic kills humans but is harmless to guinea-pigs,
chickens and monkeys; Digitalis which is used to lower blood pressure
in humans dangerously raises the blood pressure of dogs; Penicillin
kills guinea-pigs; Chloramphenicol damages the blood-producing
bone marrow in humans, but in no other animal: Many common laboratory
animals such as dogs, cats, rats, hamsters and mice, do not require
dietary intake of vitamin C. This is because their bodies produce
it of their own accord. However, if you deprive humans, guinea-pigs
and some primates of dietary vitamin C they will die of scurvy.
There are enough of these species differences to fill a book.
(9) In the words of former animal researcher Professor Piedro
Croce, "No substance is toxic in itself, but only according
to the species." (10)
Not only are there differences between species, but even individuals
of the same species react differently to a substance. For example,
research carried out at the University of Bremen, published in
a paper titled "Problems of activity threshold in pharmacology
and toxicology" found that:
1. In ionising radiation - young animals react differently from
2.In reactions to Tranquillisers - again, young and old animals
3. In the common method of testing pharmaceuticals and chemicals,
the Lethal Dose 50% test, it was found that in the experiments
carried out in the evening almost all the rats died: in those
carried out in the morning all of them survived. In the tests
carried out in winter, survival rates were doubled in contrast
to those carried out in summer. In tests carried out on mice overcrowded
together in cages, nearly all of them died, while those carried
out on mice in normal conditions, all the mice survived.
The authors of this research, themselves vivisectors, concluded:
"If such trifling environmental conditions bring about such
widely differing and unforeseeable results, this means that animal
experimentation cannot be relied upon in assessing a chemical
substance and it is all the more absurd to extrapolate to problems
of human health results which are intrinsically wrong." (11)
Any true medical progress has in the past, as in present times,
only been achieved through scientific study based upon the real
world and natural disease, and not the artificial world of the
experimental animal laboratory.
WHY VIVISECT? HOW MANY DRUGS DO WE NEED?
Why do drug companies rely on such unreliable and dubious methods
for testing drugs? The answer is simple. If drugs were tested
properly using true scientific methods, such as in vitro cultures
of human cells and properly carried out human clinical trials,
the vast majority of them would not be approved for marketing
because their harmfulness and ineffectiveness would be all too
apparent. For instance, in 1981 the United Nations Industrial
Development Organisation (UNIDO) in collaboration with the World
Health Organisation (WHO), published a list of a mere 26 drugs,
from the 205,000 marketed drugs, that were considered "indispensable",
with 9 being more indispensable than the others. (12) Other medical
commissions in Chile 1972, and Sri Lanka 1978, came to similar
findings, that there are not more than a few dozen drugs worth
keeping. However, both existing governments were ousted shortly
there-after by US backed forces. They were replaced with administrations
open to American trade and the products of the chemical-pharmaceutical
industry. (13) This should cause anyone who thinks that we need
more drugs to reconsider their opinion. It is plain to see that
inconsequential and ambiguous methods of drug-testing are essential
to protect the astronomical profits of the pharmaceutical industry.
DRUG COMPANIES MAKE THESE ADMISSIONS!
If you have difficulty accepting this explanation then consider
the following statement from Eli Lilly's August 1993 Prozac 20
Consumer Product Information pamphlet: "There can be no such
thing as absolute safety with prescription medicines. Individual
patients sometimes react differently to the same dose of the same
medicine and it is possible that some unwanted side effects will
not be known until a medicine has been widely prescribed for a
number of years."
If they admit that even individuals of the same species react
differently to an identical product, then why test on other species?
Dr Herbert Gundersheimer, one of many doctors against vivisection,
explains: "Results from animal tests are not transferable
between species and therefore cannot guarantee product safety
for humans... In reality these tests do not provide protection
for consumers from unsafe products, but rather are used to protect
corporations from legal liability." (14) When people are
damaged by unsafe products (such as pharmaceutical drugs, industrial
and household chemicals, cosmetics...etc.) and attempt to take
legal action, manufacturers can claim to have adhered to "safety"
tests and are thus absolved of having consciously marketed a harmful
THALIDOMIDE: A CASE EXAMPLE
This is what happened in the case of Thalidomide, a drug which
after years of extensive animal tests was marketed as a perfectly
safe tranquilliser for pregnant mothers. The end result: more
than 10,000 grossly deformed new born babies. During the lengthy
trial of the manufacturers in 1970, numerous court witnesses,
all animal experimenters, stated under oath that the results of
animal experiments are never valid for human beings. (15) One
of these experts was the Nobel Prize winner Ernst Boris Chain
who co-discovered the anti-bacterial effects of penicillin. According
to the court records on 2 February 1970 he stated: "No animal
experiment with a medicament, even if it is tested on several
animal species, including primates, under all conceivable conditions,
can give any guarantee that the medicament tested in this way
will behave the same in humans: because in many respects the human
is not the same as the animal." (16) Because they had performed
the required animal safety-tests, and because these did not show
evidence of any danger, the manufacturers of Thalidomide were
found not guilty by the court of consciously marketing a harmful
This is the real value of animal experiments. Firstly, they can
be manipulated, whether consciously or unconsciously, to produce
results favourable to a financial backer. Secondly, they serve
as a legal alibi for corporations when their products kill and
injure people. It is worthy of note that Professor S.T.Aygun,
a virologist at the University of Ankara, who uses only the so-called
'alternative' methods, discovered the danger of Thalidomide to
humans and Turkey was spared the tragedy. (17)
BIRTH DEFECTS SKYROCKET
The incredible reaction to the Thalidomide tragedy by the pharmaceutical
lobby was that it was a 'rare exception' and that it 'emphasises
a need for more rigorous animal testing, not less.' This explanation
was accepted by most people. So animal testing increased, along
with the output of 'safety-tested' drugs. The consequences of
this? In the 1950s in the Federal Republic of Germany, 3 out of
every 100,000 babies were born malformed. By the 1980s, 500 out
of every 100,000 were born malformed. (18) This is more than a
100-fold increase. In the United States birth defects have increased
more than 350% in the last 25 years. In the late 1950s, 70,000
American babies were born with birth defects every year. In the
1980s this toll reached 250,000 a year. (19)
The reason for this increase in human birth defects is known.
A survey by doctors in West Germany revealed that 61% of malformations
in new-born children and 88% of all stillbirths are attributable
to the damage caused by drugs taken by the mother during pregnancy.
(20) Remember, all these drugs were found to be "safe"
through extensive animal testing!
Why do people believe so firmly in vivisection? The answer to
this lies in their education.
THE DRUG TRUST, EDUCATION & THE MEDIA
With most of the world's major drug companies under its control
the Rockefeller organisation, since the early part of this century,
has been the largest single private source of funding for medical
science and education in the western world. The aim of this lavish
funding for our education is to produce a curriculum designed
to indoctrinate students with beliefs favourable to the profits
of the pharmaceutical-chemical industry. Only colleges and medical
facilities that predicate the massive consumption of chemical
drugs, "safety-tested" on animals, as the secret to
health, are recipients of drug company largesse. Likewise, drug
companies through ownership and advertising revenue exercise a
dictatorial influence over the mass-media as they do also upon
party politicians through 'donations'. Meanwhile, doctors who
heal by inexpensive natural means, thereby threatening pharmaceutical
profits, are decried as quacks, driven out of the country or into
Perhaps the most revealing point, however, is that the founder
of the Rockefeller dynasty, John D Rockefeller, lived in excellent
health to the age of 98 as did his son John D Jr., who died aged
86. What was their secret to a long healthy life? Both attributed
this to a frugal diet of natural food, the advice of a homeopathic
doctor only, and the complete avoidance of synthetic drugs! (22)
In summary, the most powerful corporations in the world do not
want us to know the truth about pharmaceutical drugs and drug-testing
even if our lives depend on it. And of course, they do. As the
drug companies acknowledge, it means that every time we take a
drug or are exposed to chemicals in our food and environment,
we are the real guinea-pigs.
1. Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress - the Great Medical Fraud,
CIVIS, Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, 1992, p.12.
2. Lucian Leape, "Error in medicine", Journal of
the American Medical Association (JAMA), 1994, vol. 272, nr
23, p. 1851.
3. Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress, op. cit., 1992, p.12.
4. Arthur Baker, Awakening Our Self-Healing Body - A Solution
to the Health Care Crisis, Self Health Care Systems, LA, California,
1994, p. 5.
5. ibid., p.9.
6. John Braithwaite, Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical
Industry, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1984, p.105.
7. ibid., pp.51-52.
8. Piedro Croce, Vivisection or Science - a Choice to Make,
CIVIS, Switzerland, 1991a, p.37.
9. ibid, p.22-23.
10. Piedro Croce, "That's Why I am Against Vivisection",
CIVIS International Foundation Report, Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland,
1991b, nr 7, p.1.
11. Croce, op. cit., 1991a, p.19.
12. Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress, op. cit.,1992, p.191.
13. ibid., p.92-96,191.
14. Herbert Gundersheimer, 1988, in 1000 Doctors (and Many
More) Against Vivisection, Hans Ruesch (Ed.), CIVIS, Switzerland,
15. Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, CIVITAS Publications,
Hartsdale NY, 1991, pp. 359-367.
16. Werner Hartinger in CIVIS International Foundation Report,
Hans Ruesch (Ed.), CIVIS Massagno, Switzerland, 1991, nr 11,
17. Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, op. cit., 1991, p.
18. ibid., pp-365-366.
19. Javier Burgos, Hidden Crimes (Film), SUPRESS, Pasadena,
20. Croce, op. cit., 1991a, p.52.
21. Ruesch, Naked Empress, op. cit., 1992, p.97-119.
22. ibid., p.115-116.
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