GlaxoSmithKline has been under fire recently because its diabetes drug, Avandia, causes heart attacks. That's just another minor complication that patients were never warned about. It is a particularly disturbing situation, since those who have diabetes are already at an increased risk of heart failure. We have written about Avandia previously, but we were under the impression that it was about to be removed from the market. We over-estimated the Food and Drug Administration. The F.D.A. reevaluated the drug, which caused Glaxo's stocks to drop at the prospect of a massive fine. It was predicted by some analysts that the F.D.A. would finally drop the hammer on GlaxoSmithKline, and penalize it by $6 billion. This amount is two-thirds of their annual profit ($8 billion).

"Since a low point on Wednesday afternoon before the F.D.A. vote, GlaxoSmithKline stock has risen nearly 5 percent."

New York Times

The F.D.A. gave the company a gentle public slap to keep up appearances, but then allowed GlaxoSmithKline to keep the drug on the market. The term 'corruption' cannot even begin to describe our current health care system. The decision to allow Avandia to continue being sold was a victory for GlaxoSmithKline and its investors, but a massive blow to Americans. It is outrageous, and it is ever apparent who the F.D.A. really represents. How many Americans would want to keep a drug on the market that causes diabetics to have heart attacks? Of course, most Americans would not terrorize cherry farmers for discussing their crop's proven medicinal benefits, either.

According to ABC News, Avandia is responsible for 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure each month. Despite this, patients are recommended to continue taking the drug, unless their doctor tells them otherwise. The lessons of obedience to doctors are still being reinforced, even as Americans drop dead as a direct result of their poisonings. The investors at the company were actually proud of this "victory", which resulted in a rise in stock value. Pharmaceutical companies quite literally get away with murder. At most, they risk fines which are small enough to be treated as routine business expenses. Why do multi-billion dollar corporations have more rights and privileges than citizens? Poisonous drugs will continue to roll out onto the market as long as there is profit to be made, and no risk of serious penalty. If this is to stop, those responsible need to face prison time for willfully killing innocent people for money. The death toll of Avandia will be added to the likes of Vioxx, Gardasil, and Thalidomide, as the cash flows in by the truck load.

Meanwhile, the herb ephedra, and the cancer-killing vitamin B-17 are banned in the U.S., since herbs and vitamins are "dangerous".

"The FDA protects the big drug companies, and is subsequently rewarded, and using the government's police powers, they attack those who threaten the big drug companies. People think that the FDA is protecting them. It isn't. What the FDA is doing, and what the public thinks it is doing are as different as night and day."

-- Dr. Herbert Ley, Former Commissioner of the U.S. F.D.A.


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