Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Brown Acid - Quality Control in A Free Market

Denis Hamill at the New York Daily News takes drug manufacturers to task about how their products are killing Americans for the sake of company profits.

In 1969, as a hippie kid at Woodstock, I sat in the mud with a score of Brooklyn pilgrims from Prospect Park's Hippie Hill listening to festival organizers shouting over the loudspeakers to the 400,000 zonked-out druggies, "Beware of the brown acid, man! If you've dropped the bad brown acid, report immediately to the medical tent, man!"

And the stampede was on.

Judging by recent events, you get more truth from drug culture than pharmaceutical companies and the Food and Drug Administration.
He goes on to point out that:
On three separate holiday-related occasions, I was sitting around gabbing with friends in Brooklyn and Queens and one of the first topics to arise was the reluctant revelations by the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies that they are literally killing us by the tens of thousands with these deadly prescription drugs they are hawking with less conscience than streetcorner dope pushers.

One young woman had taken Accutane, which we now learn may cause liver damage and birth defects as well as promoting suicide. But, hey, it gets rid of acne!

I spoke with one guy who has been on Prozac for years for his depression, only to learn that Prozac promotes violence toward others and suicidal tendencies - an anti-depressant that sends people to roof ledges to ask, "To be or not to be?"

Eli Lilly and Co. had data to this effect for 15 pill-pushing years, told the FDA, and they both kept it as secret as the books of a Colombian cocaine cartel.
I make a similar point in my article Addiction or Self Medication.
"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to one class of men, and deny equal privilege to others, will be to constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic, and have no place in a Republic. The Constitution of this Republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom." abridged quote --Benjamin Rush, M.D., a signer of the Declaration of Independence
I go on in that article to say just why the "ethical" drug companies are in the lead in the fight against street drugs.
Natural molecules similar to an active ingredient in marijuana play a part in helping the brain clear fearful memories and keep them from being permanently debilitating. The British journal Nature has reported this discovery by scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany. The scientists of the Institute say that this has implications for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and other fear based conditions.

It turns out that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States. They are worth $46 billion a year to the pharmaceutical industry. You don't suppose this fact has any thing to do with the pharmaceutical industries being in the forefront of the Drug Free America campaign do you? Of course not. They are just trying to keep you from being addicted to natural products at the cost of 1/10th of a cent per dose when they are more than willing to sell you an FDA and doctor approved, pharmacy sold product that will do the job for a dollar a dose. They have only your best interests at heart. Just ask their accountants.
There is no doubt that we need an honest robust drug industry. They may through their research have the keys to extending life and reducing suffering. Without honest profits they can not do the research that keeps the pipeline for new medicines full. What is lacking is honest profits. In fact the FDA was invented by the Federal Government to keep the drug companies honest. It hasn't worked out that way. It seems that every Federal regulatory agency eventually gets taken over by the very people it is intended to regulate. See the history of the ICC (The Interstate Commerce Commission) which is fortunately no longer a factor in regulating transportation rates. The same needs to be done to the FDA. What is needed is a private watchdog like UL (for electrical equipment) which came into being around the same time as the FDA. They also regulate a market. The market for electrical equipment. It has worked out rather well with no laws needed and no Federal Regulatory Bureau subject to political pressure. Funny thing is that the UL is a creature beholden to insurance companies.

The free market in action.

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