Friday, June 01, 2012

Existing Existentionally in New York City: Drugged Up a Coin-Toss Away From Dying

Foto by tgw, "Penn Terminal Building," New York City, 2003
What Happened to Loving-Kindness?

Have you noticed these ads showing ex-US soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan who've had their legs and arms blown off being idolized? Then you notice the ads are actually advertising the "loving-kindness" of CitiBank or Bank of America [a scumbag bank of crooks who just fired thousands of Americans and to move those jobs to the Philippines], two financial pirates who less than five years ago were both going under--going bankrupt. The nerve of these criminal organizations. The nerve of the people in their PR departments who create these commercials. What kind of human being can use these poor stupid kids as proof that their criminal outfits "care"? These poor stupid kids who not being able to find any work in the US economy found their only hope of surviving was by joining the US Army to become cannon fodder--to go to these endless illegal never-declared wars of invasion and occupation of countries that were never one iota of a threat to our national security. One of these CitiBank commercials shows a young Black lady's US Army photos where she's smiling and still whole and then they show her now--and you see she's had her legs blown off in these senseless wars--blown off by friendly fire? I'm asking, wondering how a female soldier gets her legs blown off in these sorry worthless for-profit wars. Next they show her taking off her prosthesis legs and playing a game of some freaky kind (like volleyball) on a wooden gym floor--and next thing you know, CitiBank is bragging about how they are proud sponsors of the ParaOlympics. Oh that somebody would blow the legs off every sorry bastard that works for CitiBank. CitiBank, with a New York City baseball park named after it, also brags that they are proud sponsors the US Olympic team and I'm wondering, where does CitiBank, remember they were going bankrupt only 4 years ago, get the extra bucks to sponsor any Olympics teams, whether para or regular Olympics? It's also screwy to me why these Olympic athletes don't pay their own way to the Olympics since most of them are millionaires, aren't they? I remember when the Olympics were for amateur athletes only--and they were for individuals winning gold medals and not based on team gold medals. Check out the US Olympic basketball team: all millionaires coached by a millionaire coach.

I worked for years in pharmaceutical advertising. I used to cuss myself out every day I went to work for making my money promoting drugs that I knew from reading the results of the clinical trials that get them approved by the FDA (run by ex-pharmaceutical giant goons) were toxic, one or two of them (warfarin for one) being just a lower-dosage form of rat poison. In most of these clinical trials, and I kid you not, the placebos (sugar pills) showed almost the same results in terms of efficacy as the drugs being promoted. I heard many of my fellow cohorts in the office exclaim, "Why not take the god-damn placebo, it did just as good as the drug in this trial!"

I worked on the statin drugs when they were first being promoted in the early 2000s. All the trials showed statins were more dangerous than they were effective as cholesterol lowerers. I was there when these pharma promoters came up with "good" and "bad" cholesterol (HDL and LDL), invented cholesterol designations just to give reason for prescribing these new statin drugs (Lipitor being the most prescribed drug in the world).

I was on the scene when the COX-2 inhibitors were created. I was there when Pfizer and Merck started clinical trial wars trying to get their particular COX-2 inhibitor on the market before the other. To hell with the fact that clinical trials showed these two competing drugs did more harm than good--their efficacy based simply on their dosages being merely high dosages of ibuprofin, high dosages that perhaps caused gastrointestinal bleeding and anaphalactic shock and oedema and heart attacks and strokes. Merck's COX-2 inhibitor, Vioxx, turned out to be so deadly, Merck had to pull it off the market after they admitted 60,000 people died while taking this deadly poison--now, there are revealed sources that have raised that number of deaths up near 500,000. And no one at Merck has suffered one damn bit from the Vioxx charade. Just think if you or I killed 60,000 people with poison what would happen to us. Instead of going to jail or the gas chamber, Merck's stock went up and their big shots gleaned huge wonderful bonuses.


Raymond Gilmartin’s landing was a soft one after leaving behind an embattled Merck. The one-time top executive of the leading pharmaceutical company, which was engulfed in the Vioxx controversy last decade, splits his time these days between teaching part-time at Harvard and serving on the boards of major corporations.

Gilmartin served as Merck’s president and CEO for 12 years (1994-2006) during troubles that stemmed from the company’s anti-arthritis medicine Vioxx. Despite knowing that Vioxx was potentially lethal, Merck put it on the market in 1999. Although a Food and Drug Administration study showed that perhaps 55,000 Americans died from heart attacks and strokes after using Vioxx, other sources indicated that upwards of 500,000 people—almost all of them older adults—may have died from the drug, which produced lawsuit after lawsuit against Merck. The company wound up settling for $4.85 billion.


100,000 Americans Die Each Year from Prescription Drugs, While Pharma Companies Get Rich

Prescription drugs taken as directed kill 100,000 Americans a year. That's one person every five minutes. How did we get here? How many people do you know who regularly use a prescription medication? If your social group is like most Americans', the answer is most. Sixty-five percent of the country takes a prescription drug these days. In 2005 alone, we spent $250 billion on them.

I am now taking 5 different prescription drugs a day, one of which, Plavix, is a known killer.

for The Daily Growler

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