Big Pharma 2018-02-01T19:12:26+00:00

Big Pharma

Big Pharma is the nickname given to the world’s vast and influential pharmaceutical industry and its trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or PhRMA. Big Pharma and medical device companies make billions of dollars every year selling drugs and devices — including those that were recalled or involved in fraud or product liability lawsuits. The global revenue for pharmaceuticals was over $1 trillion in 2014. But nowhere else in the world do the drug and medical device industries have as much power and make as much money as in the U.S. In fact, Americans spent an all-time high of $457 billion on prescription drugs in 2015. By 2020, it will be $610 billion. Medical devices are also lucrative. The U.S. makes up about half of the world’s share of the market at about $148 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Meanwhile, drug prices continue to rise. Consulting firm Segal Consulting expects drug prices for Americans under age 65 to rise 11.6 percent in 2017. In contrast, wages are only expected to rise 2.5 percent, leaving many American unable to afford their medications. Big Pharma even contributes heavily to the annual budget of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through application fees (user fees) for its new products. Experts say the industry contributes about two thirds of the FDA’s budget. Five of the top 10 pharma and medical device companies for 2016 are headquartered in the U.S.: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck, Gilead and AbbVie.

The underside of the industry reveals a history of fraud, bribery, product liability lawsuits and scandals that led to billions in settlements — a known cost of doing business for these companies who are “too big to jail.” Despite criminal charges and fines, the companies continue to do business. The majority of drugs and medical devices have ties to a small group of parent companies. Prescription drugs and devices manufactured by these companies bring in billions in profits. The biggest drug makers may also have subsidiaries that manufacture medical devices. Pharmaceutical companies are typically larger and make more money than companies that focus on medical devices.

The most powerful drug and device companies are members of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) — the industry’s U.S. lobbying organization.


With the help of staggering profits and an army of 1,378 paid lobbyists, the industry spreads its influence on Capitol Hill. From 1998 to 2016, Big Pharma spent nearly $3.5 billion on lobbying expenses — more than any other industry. In 2016 alone, it spent about $246 million — more than the defense industries and corporate business lobbyists combined. Read More...

Fact: Only 28 percent of Americans have a good opinion of Big Pharma. In fact, they are the second most hated industry in the U.S. They are also the biggest defrauder of the Federal Government under the False Claims Act, according to consumer watchdog group Public Citizen. The Reputation Institute evaluated public perception of 17 pharmaceutical companies for products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship and financial performance. The Institute based its results on 16,800 ratings from the U.S., U.K., Canada and other countries. Of all the countries, the U.S. had the lowest opinion of pharmaceutical companies. Older people had the most favorable view of the industry.

2016 Top 10 Pharmaceutical Companies by Sales:

COMPANY 2016 2015
Johnson & Johnson $71.89 billion $70.04 billion
Pfizer $52.82 billion $48.85 billion
Roche $50.11 billion $47.70 billion
Novartis $48.52 billion $49.41 billion
Merck & Co. $39.8 billion $39.5 billion
Sanofi $36.57 billion $36.73 billion
GlaxoSmithKline $34.79 billion $29.84 billion
Gilead $30.39 billion $32.15 billion
AbbVie $25.56 billion $22.82 billion
Bayer $25.27 billion $24.09 billion

Medical Device Manufacturers

Medical devices can be anything from hospital diagnostic equipment to hip and knee implants. Several companies only produce medical devices, but some drug manufacturers, such as Johnson & Johnson, also manufacture devices.
Fact: Like Big Pharma, medical device manufacturers also have a lobbying group to pursue their interests in Washington. Part of the total pharmaceutical industry lobbying price tag comes from the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA). In 2016, it contributed $1.2 million in lobbying funds. Its efforts concentrate on medical device friendly bills in Congress mostly related to how companies pay taxes. Five of the top medical devices companies have their headquarters in the U.S.: Johnson & Johnson, Baxter International, Abbott Laboratories, Stryker and Boston Scientific.

Top Medical Device Companies:

Company Headquarters Products Include
Johnson & Johnson New Brunswick, New Jersey Hip and knee implants, surgical mesh, power morcellators
Siemens Munich, Germany Hearing aids, diabetes testing products, diagnostic machines
Medtronic Dublin, Ireland Cardiac devices, defibrillators, spinal implants, catheters
Roche Basel, Switzerland Diabetes testing products, cancer screening devices, research equipment
Baxter International Deerfield, Illinois Surgery products, dialysis machines, hospital devices
GE Healthcare Little Chalfont, United Kingdom Ultrasound machines, MRIs, CT scanners, ventilators
Abbott Laboratories Chicago, Illinois Catheters, stents, surgical guidewires
Phillips Amsterdam, Netherlands Ultrasound machines, CT scanners, mammogram machines, X-ray machines
Stryker Kalamazoo, Michigan Hip and knee implants, hospital beds
Boston Scientific Marlborough, Massachusetts IVC filters, surgical mesh

Big Pharma’s Influence

Critics contend that Big Pharma uses manipulative tactics and expensive advertising to sway lawmakers, the FDA and the public to increase sales. The public is exposed to Pharma’s misleading promotions and advertising. For example, critics say AbbVie and other companies who make testosterone replacement drugs such as AndroGel marketed their drugs as the fountain of youth to older men. They created a marketing campaign around the condition “Low T” that featured a quiz for men to self-diagnose Low T symptoms.

The testosterone market soared into the billions as a result. But few studies back up drug-company claims that the drug significantly enhances mood, vitality and sexual performance. Studies also link these drugs to heart problems. The FDA added a warning on the label after millions of men were already exposed to the risk.

The American public is not the only sector of society influenced by Big Pharma’s techniques. Doctors, scientists and research organizations, medical journals, teaching hospitals and university medical schools all exhibit disturbing conflicts of interest between their publicly stated missions and their financial and ideological subjection to Big Pharma. Doctors conduct research with funds from Big Pharma. Private charities and foundations account for a mere 5 percent of the estimated $100 billion spent on biomedical research in the U.S. each year. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies contribute approximately 60 percent. Big Pharma has a track record of hiring former government workers with valuable connections to gain political clout.

The trade group PhRMA has many current or former staff members who once served in the political arena, including:

  • 36 who worked for a member of Congress
  • 13 who worked for a federal agency
  • 12 who worked for a congressional committee
  • Two who worked for the White House
  • One who worked in the court system

Using these connections to pursue industry goals, Big Pharma has a significant competitive advantage over the public interest.

Marketing, Research and Development (R&D) and Drug Cost

Americans pay more than any other country in the world for pharmaceuticals — in some cases, thousands of dollars more per prescription. Big Pharma says this occurs because of the astronomical costs of developing a new drug. The truth is that U.S. law allows drug companies to set the prices for drugs and protects them from free-market competition. Other countries set a limit on what companies can charge based on the benefit of the drug. The true cost of developing a drug is shrouded in mystery, with many unverifiable figures reported by Big Pharma. Donald Light, a professor and expert on the pharma business model, said that while companies claim each new drug costs them $1.2 billion, the true cost is more like 60 million. The industry also avoids talking about how much it spends on marketing, which is almost double what it spends on research.

Big Pharma Sways Opinions

The large amount of cash Big Pharma bestows on government representatives and regulatory bodies is small when compared with the billions it spends each year on direct-to-consumer advertising. The U.S. is one of only two countries in the world whose governments allow prescription drugs to be advertised on TV (the other is New Zealand). In 2015, Big Pharma spent $5.4 billion on direct-to-consumer ads and fired off about 80 ads an hour, according to Nielsen.

Big Pharma also employs doctors, researchers and institutions. The industry persuades doctors to allow ghostwriting, paying physicians to attach their names to positive articles about a particular drug with the goal of seeing it published in a reputable medical journal. Often the commentary is little more than an advertisement penned by a company paid copywriter showcasing a new product. Big Pharma used ghostwriting to promote numerous drugs, including the antidepressant Paxil, the recalled weight loss drug Fen-Phen, the anti-epilepsy drug Neurontin, the antidepressant Zoloft and painkiller Vioxx, to name a few.

In addition, even when a medical reviewer writes a comprehensive assessment of a new drug for a medical journal, it is common practice for those supposedly unbiased professionals to be on Big Pharma’s payroll. These slanted studies appear in medical journals that are widely hailed as collections of unbiased scientific evaluation and separated from the long financial arm of pharmaceutical industry influence. Yet Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, says, “All journals are bought — or at least cleverly used — by the pharmaceutical industry.”

Many medical journals, including the esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), actively vie for the attention of Big Pharma advertising dollars, billing themselves as the best way for drug companies to reach their professional readership.

How Big Pharma Influences Doctors and Researchers

Part of Big Pharma’s formula for creating blockbuster drugs is promoting to physicians and providing kickbacks and incentives to prescribe their expensive, brand name drugs.

Drug companies also buy doctors meals and pay them for “speaking engagements” in exchange for brand loyalty. One 2016 study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that when drug reps bought doctors just one meal costing less than $20 they were more likely to prescribe a promoted brand name drug.

According to ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs investigation, 1,866 companies paid $6.25 billion to doctors and hospitals from August 2013 to December 2015.

Drug and Device Company Payments to Doctors from Select Companies, August 2013 to December 2015:

DePuy (Johnson & Johnson) $167 million
Stryker Corporation $153 million
AstraZeneca $145 million
Pfizer $128 million
Janssen Pharmaceuticals $106 million
GlaxoSmithKline $86.3 million
Boston Scientific $77 million

Big Pharma and Researchers

Then there are medical researchers, who are hardly immune to Big Pharma’s financial power. Because drug companies sponsor clinical trials that researchers are paid to administer, too often the academics and scientists are hired hands who supply human subjects and collect data according to the instructions of their corporate employers.

Sponsors keep the data, analyze it, write the papers and decide whether and when and where to submit them for publication. Drug companies also stage-manage trials to produce predetermined outcomes that will put their products in the best light.

Medical Schools and Big Pharma

Big Pharma has also infiltrated medical schools. Teachers, department chairs and deans often sit on drug companies’ boards of directors. This influences educational content. Money from Big Pharma supports programs within many medical schools and teaching hospitals, and company reps are given access to young doctors to promote their company’s drugs. The result is that doctors not only receive biased information but also learn a drug-intensive style of medicine. Sales reps may influence these doctors to believe that newer, more expensive drugs are always better than old ones.

In most states, doctors must also take accredited education courses, called continuing medical education (CME). The pharmaceutical industry provides a substantial proportion of the billions spent on CME annually and continues to use that support as a marketing tool. In addition, academic centers are able to receive royalties from Big Pharma on any drug or technology they help to create and patent as a result of research — sometimes underwritten with government funds. Columbia University, for example, received nearly $790 million from licensing agreements with biotech and pharmaceutical companies during the 17-year life of its medical school’s patent on a method for synthesizing certain biological products.

Columbia University received nearly $790 million from licensing agreements with biotech and pharmaceutical companies

Big Pharma Fraud Settlements

In a 24-year period, Big Pharma companies paid 373 settlements totaling $35.7 billion for marketing fraud, according to Public Citizen’s 2013 report Pharmaceutical Industry Settlements: 1991 through 2015. The most common charge involved drug-pricing scams against state Medicaid programs. This meant state taxpayers ended up footing the bill while Big Pharma made billions.

Unlawful promotion of drugs yielded the biggest settlements. But these investigations take many years to complete. By then, drug companies have made hundreds of millions or even several billion, while the U.S. Department of Justice fine is typically only a few million. This makes it too profitable to stop breaking the law for many companies, according to Michael Bobelian of Forbes Magazine.

Manufacturer Directory

Several of the biggest drug and medical device companies sell the majority of their products in the U.S. Many of these products are involved in product liability litigation. Some of the companies’ best-selling drugs brought in over a billion in 2016, according to company annual reports.

AbbVie Inc. is a pharmaceutical company that spun off from Abbott Laboratories in 2013 and markets dozens of products. The Illinois-based group generates most of its revenue from Humira, an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat arthritis, and from AndroGel, a testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) gel that treats low testosterone (“Low T”) in men. Humira was the world’s No. 1 drug in 2016, bringing in $16.7 billion.

Quick Facts:

AstraZeneca is a U.K.-based biopharmaceutical company that develops and markets drugs in areas ranging from cardiovascular and metabolic diseases to oncology. The company grew from the merger of Astra AB and Zeneca Group PLC in 1999. The company bought partner Bristol-Myers Squibb’s diabetes division in 2014.

Quick Facts:

The Bayer Group is a leading global innovator with 280 subsidiaries worldwide in the fields of health care, agriculture, synthetic materials and business services. In 2016, it signed a deal for a $66 billion merger with agriculture giant Monsanto. Bayer is known for its focus on birth control, and its products include birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin, its Mirena IUD and Essure permanent birth control. All of these products led to litigation.

Addition: They also invented mustard gas and pioneered chemical weapons for Germany. This painting of chemical warfare was commissioned for the breakfast hall of Bayer’s Carl Duisberg: he ate breakfast looking at a painting of chemical warfare. The Nuremberg Trials of Nazi Germany produced three corporations: German chemical cartel IG Farben was split into Bayer, BASF, and Hoechst (currently Sanofi). IG Farben was Hitler’s largest financial backer. Bayer merged into IG Farben Trust in December 1925, to become Bayer again after the Nuremberg trials. Today, Bayer is known for giving thousands of children AIDS through tainted hemophiliac medicine, while internal documents prove they knew it was contaminated. Bayer bought Monsanto in 2016 to create the world’s largest seed and pesticide company. Oh, and they also made aspirin.

Sanofi, who absorbed Hoechst from IG Farben, is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines. They also produce the allergy medicine Allegra. Severe psychosis in a BBC reporter following Sanofi’s Yellow Fever vaccine is just the tip of the iceberg with this corporation. BASF was another product of IG Farben. Unfazed by the Nuremberg Trials, today they are the world’s largest chemical corporation. They produce raw materials for pharmaceuticals, plastics, GM seeds, and more. (source)

Quick Facts:

Boehringer Ingelheim, the world’s largest family owned pharmaceutical company, develops and manufactures drugs for a wide range of medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes and hypertension. In addition, Boehringer produces drugs and biologicals veterinarians use for animal health. Albert Boehringer founded the company in 1885, and its success continues to this day. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, the drugmaker employs more than 47,000 people who operate its 145 branches worldwide.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Sells and markets more than 35 drugs in U.S.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Pradaxa (blood thinner), Tradjenta (Type 2 diabetes)
  • Top Selling Drugs 2016: Spiriva (asthma), Pradaxa, Trajenta
Boston Scientific is a worldwide manufacturer of medical devices that researches, develops and sells an expansive line of products and technologies used to diagnose and treat medical conditions. The company provides solutions for neurological conditions, cardiovascular disorders, urological and gynecological disorders and diseases of the digestive system, airways and lungs. It operates 12 manufacturing facilities across the globe.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Manufactures medical devices for several health needs, including cardiovascular, digestive and gynecological diseases.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Various transvaginal mesh brands
  • Top Selling Devices 2016: Defibrillators and single-use medical devices
The company officially became Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) in 1989. It is known for innovation in biological and pharmaceutical research, including the antipsychotic Abilify (which it co-markets with Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.) and its blood thinners, Plavix and Eliquis. When Bristol-Myers Squibb acquired Amylin in August 2012, it gained control of its blockbuster diabetes medications, Byetta and Bydureon.

Quick Facts:

Charles Russell Bard began a medical company in 1907 to help treat urinary discomfort. Today the business, known as C.R. Bard, sells 8,000 products in the fields of oncology, urology and surgery. The company operates and sells its products in 80 countries. It faces litigation related to its transvaginal and hernia mesh products as well as its IVC filters.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Manufactures cardiovascular, urological and surgical products, including surgical mesh
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Kugel Hernia Mesh Patch, IVC Filters (Recovery, G2, G2 Express), transvaginal mesh
  • Top Selling Devices 2016: Biopsy devices, IVC filters, catheters
Coloplast is a Denmark-based company that supplies “intimate health care products” — including catheters, ostomy bags, wound dressings, skin cleansers, antifungal products and vaginal mesh — to hospitals and retailers and directly to consumers in some markets. The headquarters is in Humlebaek, Denmark, and the U.S. headquarters is in Minneapolis.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Sells and markets a number of health products including catheters and transvaginal mesh.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Transvaginal mesh
  • Top Selling Devices 2016: Ostomy products, catheters, surgical mesh
Cook Medical, a division of Cook Group Incorporated, is a global manufacturer of minimally invasive medical devices. The company offers approximately 16,000 products for a wide range of clinical specialties ranging from surgery to oncology and women’s health. Established in 1963, Cook Medical employs nearly 2,500 employees.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Manufactures medical devices in a number of areas from oncology to women’s health.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Biodesign and Surgisis transvaginal mesh, Celect IVC filter, Gunther Tulip IVC filter
  • Top Selling Devices 2016: Hospital surgical equipment, IVC filters
Daiichi Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical holding company and the second-largest drug company in Japan. It makes pharmaceuticals for people and animals and manufactures medical tools and equipment. It also produces food, food additives, livestock feeds and agrochemicals. Its top-selling blood pressure drug, Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil), brought in $3.1 billion worldwide in 2013 and $2.4 billion in 2014, making up more than a quarter of the group’s sales.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Sells and markets 8 drugs in the U.S.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Benicar (blood pressure)
  • Top Selling Drugs 2016: Benicar (blood pressure), Azor (blood pressure), Tribenzor (blood pressure)
Eli Lilly & Co. is an international pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Indianapolis. Launched in 1876 by cotton-farmer-turned-pharmacist Colonel Eli Lilly, the company markets its products in 125 countries and has manufacturing plants in 13 countries. The company specializes in the areas of diabetes, bio-medicines, emerging markets, oncology and animal health. It is known for such advancements as selling the first commercially available insulin and being among the first to mass-produce penicillin. They are responsible for Prozac, anti-psychotics, cancer causing bovine growth hormones in cows, and cancer drugs to treat the cancer they may have given people through IGF-1, a product of rBGH-treated cows.

Quick Facts:

Endo International is a small, specialty health care company with a global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and a U.S. headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The company employs several thousand employees worldwide. Endo develops, manufactures, markets and distributes pharmaceutical products and medical devices through its four operating companies: American Medical Systems (AMS), Endo Pharmaceuticals, Paladin Labs and Qualitest.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Sells and markets about 60 drugs and medical devices in the U.S.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Percocet (painkiller), Fortesta (testosterone replacement), Aveed (testosterone replacement), transvaginal mesh products
  • Top Selling Products 2016: Fortesta, Aveed, Xiaflex (treats Dupuytren’s contracture – thickening of tissue in skin or hand)
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Based in Brentford, England, GSK was built through mergers of smaller companies that existed as early as the 1800s. It employs more than 97,000 people in three departments: pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer health care. GSK has faced tens of thousands of personal injury lawsuits for Avandia as well as federal fraud charges resulting in a $3 billion fine.

Quick Facts:

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is a pharmaceutical company that engenders trust by offering a variety of inexpensive but useful medical products like Band-Aids, Tylenol and Baby Shampoo. J&J has around 250 subsidiaries and is the largest health care company in the world. It manufactures medical devices through subsidiaries Ethicon and DePuy and prescription drugs through Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Addition: Johnson & Johnson is also known for Splenda and baby powder. Unfortunately their famous talcum powder actually causes ovarian cancer, and they were forced to pay 72 million dollars to a woman who used their product religiously and got cancer. Margaret Hamburg held the highest office at the FDA, commissioner, from 2009- 2015. She ensured Johnson & Johnson’s profits through minimal regulation which ensured the profits of her husband’s hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, owning a large stake in J&J. Hamburg’s father was president of Carnegie Corporation: both father and mother served as directors of the American Eugenics Society.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Sells and markets more than 180 drugs in the U.S. and hundreds of medical devices such as hip, knee, breast and transvaginal mesh implants.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: DePuy ASR Hip Implant, Pinnacle Hip Implant, Ethicon Gynecare Prolift mesh implant, Gynecare TVT mesh implant, Physiomesh hernia mesh, Ethicon power morcellators, Risperdal (antipsychotic), Invokana (Type 2 diabetes), Xarelto (blood thinner)
  • Top Selling Drugs & Devices 2016: Xarelto, Invokana, Remicade (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s), Invega (antipsychotic)
Merck & Co., the second-largest U.S. drug company, is a force to be reckoned with. Its parent company opened in Germany in 1668, and the U.S. company was established in 1891. Merck & Co. sells a vast array of products, including Claritin, Dr. Scholl’s products, vaccines, antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, heart drugs and Vioxx, a painkiller. Vioxx brought scandal to the company, as thousands of users reported instances of cardiac side effects, some fatal outcomes. Tens of thousands of lawsuits targeted Merck. The company paid out billions of dollars in settlements.

Quick Facts:

Operating in more than 150 different countries and employing more than 110,600 people around the world, Pfizer is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and manufactures products in five areas: specialty care and oncology, animal health, primary care, nutrition and consumer health care. In 2009, Pfizer faced both criminal and civil allegations over illegal marketing of drugs like Bextra, Geodon, Zyvox, Lyrica, Neurontin, Detrol and Lipitor. Pfizer agreed to a $2.3 billion settlement and a five-year integrity agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Addition: Pfizer is responsible for Zoloft, Xanax, SSRI antidepressants, Viagra, Advil, Chapstick, Robitussin, and more. In 2014, Pfizer spent 2.6 million dollars paying off politicians. (source)

Quick Facts:

Stryker Orthopaedics, which controls about 25 percent of the U.S. hip and knee implant market, started as a small business with a single product: a mobile hospital bed. The orthopedic division is one part of Stryker Corp. Two of Stryker’s hip designs, the Rejuvenate and ABG II, come with metal parts linked to corrosion and metal poisoning. An estimated 20,000 Americans received one of these devices before they were recalled in 2012.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Manufactures several medical devices, including hip and knee implants.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Rejuvenate and ABG II hips implants, TMZF femoral stems (including the Accolade, Citation and Meridian implants), LFIT cobalt-chromium V40 femoral head
  • Top Selling Devices 2016: Endoscopy, surgical instruments and knee implants
Takeda, which began as an herbal medicine shop in 1781, has rapidly expanded since the late 1990s. The company now operates in than 70 countries worldwide. Takeda’s core business is based on drugs that treat gastrointestinal disorders, central nervous system (CNS) conditions, cardiovascular or metabolic conditions and cancer.

Quick Facts:

  • Business: Manufactures several drugs for sale in the U.S.
  • Products Involved in Current or Past Litigation Include: Actos (Type 2 diabetes)
  • Top Selling Drugs 2016: Various oncology drugs

Source: – Michelle Y. Llamas is a senior content writer. She is also the host of Drugwatch Podcast where she interviews medical experts as well as patients affected by drugs and medical devices. She has written medical and legal content for several years — including an article in The Journal of Palliative Medicine and an academic book review for Nova Science Publishers. With Drugwatch, she has developed relationships with legal and medical professionals as well as with several patients and support groups. Prior to writing for Drugwatch, she spent several years as a legal assistant for a personal injury law firm in Orlando. She obtained her English – Technical Communication degree from the University of Central Florida. She is a committee member with the American Medical Writers Association.

More Big Pharma Companies (from Natural News):

  • Purdue Pharma was created in 1892 New York. They are arguably responsible for the epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States, producing hydrocodone, OxyContin, fentanyl, codeine, hydromorphone, and oxycodone.
  • Novartis is the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporation by revenue, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, a 1996 merger between Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz. Novartis is responsible for many drugs, from Ritalin to LSD. Novartis has a long criminal record. They are known for animal cruelty, from drilling the heads of cats open, to experimenting on primates. Sandoz polluted the Rhine River in the 1986 Sandoz Chemical Spill.Novartis owned Syngenta, one of the world’s largest producers of pesticides and GM seeds. Recently. Syngenta was sold to the Chinese government. State-owned “Chem-China” is now one of the world’s largest producers of pesticides and GM seeds. Novartis coerces entire countries into banning cheaper, generic versions of their cancer drugs: namely Colombia. Leaked letters revealed Novartis’ control over the Senate Finance Committee, as Colombia was warned their 450$ million dollars in “Peace Colombia” money would be in jeopardy if they did not crack down on generic versions of the cancer drug “Gleevec.”

Many of these bigg pharma companies have members of the globalist cabal that aims to create a new world order. G. Edward Griffin explains:

It is important to understand the the goals and beliefs of the eugenicists never went away. In fact, they have been conducting eugenics operations on the public in the west since world war II. Fluoride in the water, mercury in the vaccines and GMO crops all contribute to the creation of a sick, dumb and compliant population.

The overarching desire for population reduction has been implemented in two forms – hard kill and soft kill. The hard kill versions created in bioweapons research labs include AIDS, Ebola and SARS. These programs were designed for large scale population reduction.

As Henry Kissinger said population reduction has different characteristics in different parts of the world. In west, the slow kill method has been implemented. This includes vaccines containing mercury and Simian 40 cancer viruses; fluoride in water supplies as used by Hitler and Stalin in their concentration camps; the introduction of the excitotoxin aspartame into the food supply; the presence of xeno-estrogen / bisphenol in plastics; the introduction of GMO crops and their well understood destructive side effects; the use of cell phones will result in brain cancer for millions in coming years as a result of the radiation; and the use of microwave ovens – which the Soviets banned in the 1970’s due to the fact that they destroy the nutritive content of food. Further, the combined effects of these programs has manifested itself with a 75% reduction in the sperm counts in the western males according to the UN (ask yourself why aren’t the alarm bells ringing and a crisis announced to the public) and an increase in the rates of cancer from 1 in 66 to 1 in 3 over the past 50 years.

Allopathic Medicine vs. Holistic / Natural Medicine

G. Edward Griffin continues:

A critical aspect of control is the compliance and acceptance of the population of allopathic medicine and medical orthodoxy and its partner big pharma under which the population can be drugged. A critical part of this agenda is the suppression of alternative/herbal medicine and the advancement of Codex Alimentarius which severely restrict natural health products available to the public. Codex Alimentarius if implemented as scheduled by the end of 2009 could result in the deaths of billions of people from malnutrition and the diseases related to poor nutrition.

This suppression of alternative / herbal medicine (not patentable) is very evident in several homeopathic medicines that have had great success, and were typically only attempted on cancer patients that were sent home to die after unsuccessful radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Many of these doctors over the last 100 years are documented in Cancer: The Forbidden Cures


According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 69 percent of American adults take supplements. But are supplements dangerous? The UK-based, international campaign group, the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl) recently revealed data showing that compared to supplements, an individual is:

  • Around 900 times more likely to die from food poisoning
  • Nearly 300,000 times more likely to die from a preventable medical injury during a UK hospital stay, which is comparable to the individual risk of dying that active military face in Iraq or Afghanistan

Additionally, the data shows that adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs are:

  • 62,000 times more likely to kill you than food supplements
  • 7,750 times more likely to kill you than herbal remedies

The data, which was collected from official sources in the UK and EU, demonstrate that both food supplements and herbal remedies are in the ‘super-safe’ category of individual risk – meaning risk of death from their consumption is less than 1 in 10 million. The group has created an excellent graphic showing your relative risk of death from a variety of activities. Besides drugs and hospital injuries, you’re also more likely to die from being struck by lightning or drowning in your bathtub than having a lethal reaction to herbs or supplements…(

Also, more people die from overdosing on pharmaceutical drugs than illegal drugs, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on their website, citing an average of 23,000 deaths relating to prescription pharmaceutical drugs per year. The 2014 study The Legal High: Factors Affecting Young Consumers’ Risk Perceptions and Abuse of Prescription Drugs considered aggressive advertising by drug companies and drug pushing by doctors to be a large part of the problem. Big Pharma mass markets their availability to parents and children with the message that safety and benefits outweighing the risks. (source)

More Info:

Chronological History of Big Pharma Corruption


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Open Mind Conference 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark: Speakers were Ole Dammegard, Mette Mitchell, Hugh Newman, James Corbett, Corine Hutsebaut, and Max Igan

The Open Mind Conference is an alternative conference that hosts internationally-acclaimed speakers from all around the world. The topics that have been discussed over the years include global conspiracies, the health implications of mobile technology, geoengineering and organic versus conventional agriculture. The 2017 Open Mind Conference was the sixth conference with a fascinating array of lectures. DAY 1, Sept 16th 2017 Lecture #1: Ole Dammegard - At the Open Mind Conference 2016, Ole Dammegard discussed the templates and methods normally used in false flag operations. This year, he is back again with another angle on the subject. Ole has ...
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Daniel Neides, Former Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic, Fired for Questioning Flu Vaccine

On January 13, 2017, the Medical Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, medical doctor Daniel Neides, was fired due to an article he wrote questioning vaccine safety. Dr. Neides became sick after receiving a flu shot, which caused him to examine more closely the ingredients included in the influenza vaccine. I, like everyone else, took the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – the government – and received a flu shot. I chose to receive the preservative free vaccine, thinking I did not want any thimerasol (i.e. mercury) that the “regular” flu ...
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Medical Tyranny: New CDC Rule to Detain and Forcefully Vaccinate or Medicate Anyone

—Understand the implications of new CDC rules, if you want to know where the medical dictatorship is heading. Arbitrary apprehension of citizens, detainment, forced medical treatment, vaccination. Let me paint a scenario: You live in a polluted city, so you have a low-level cough. On your flight to another state, the cough becomes worse because the air in the plane cabin is foul. Unknown to you, a passenger complains to a flight attendant. The passenger is a typical meddler. When you arrive at your destination, a health-agency employee is waiting at the gate for you. He apprehends you and ...
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WHO declared Zika Virus Outbreak an International Public Health Emergency to Cover Vaccine-Caused Microcephaly

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus outbreak an international public health emergency, and the Brazilian President released a decree that increased local and federal pest control agents' access to private property required by mobilization actions for the prevention and elimination of Aedes mosquito outbreaks in the country. Brazil had 2400 localized outbreaks of babies with shrunken heads  (microcephaly) and damaged brains that were born between October and December 2015 in a toxic wasteland of northern Brazil, and the theory, or perhaps the cover story, was that the virus was being caused by mosquitoes with Zika. Through the end of ...
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UNICEF & WHO Push Dangerous Oral Polio Vaccine Campaign to Polio-free Philippines & Syria

In spite of no polio in the Philippines since 1993 or Syria since 1999, UNICEF purchases millions of dollars in oral polio vaccines from western pharmaceutical companies for an aggressive WHO mass polio vaccination campaign targeted for 500,000 typhoon victims in the Philippines and 20 million children in Syria all under age 5. The oral polio vaccine has a well-documented history of actually causing polio and non-polio acute flaccid paralysis. In the aftermath of one of the strongest storms to ever strike land, the most dangerous place for children in the Philippines to be right now could very well be ...
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Congressman Bill Posey calls for an Investigation of the CDC’s MMR Fraud

On July 29, US Congressman Bill Posey made his last stand on the floor of the House. Granted five minutes to speak, he laid bare the lying of the CDC in a now-famous 2004 study that exonerated the MMR vaccine and claimed it had no connection to autism. “No connection to autism” was the lie. Congressman Posey read a statement from long-time CDC researcher William Thompson, one of the authors of the 2004 Pediatrics study designed to determine, once and for all, whether the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine could cause autism. Thompson saw and participated in violating the protocol of the study. He was there. He ...
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Obama granted fast-track authority for TransPacific Partnership (TPP)

Supporters of the TransPacific Partnership said the text of the agreement needed to be kept secret because if the public knew what was in it they’d oppose it. So they did keep it secret (although leaks to Wikileaks gave us an idea of what it entailed) and voted to give Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the deal bypassing Congressional input. The TPP, written by corporations, will give them cheaper labor (many think reducing the US to a 3rd world country, ability to bypass labeling laws such as GMO laws, take away our internet freedom, and many other freedoms in ...
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Autism Researcher, Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, Killed

A prominent autism researcher and vaccine opponent, Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, was found dead floating in a North Carolina river with a gunshot wound to the chest shortly after a multi-agency raid (led by the FBI) on his Wellness Center. Dr. Bradstreet successfully carried out “mercury toxicity” treatments, believing the heavy metal to be a leading factor in the development of childhood autism, and miraculously treated many kids of autism whose families, along with his own, contend some conspiracy. Bradstreet and his colleagues had discovered that the immune system is being compromised by a compound called “nagalase,” an enzyme/protein that’s ...
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Charleston, SC Church Shooting: Was it a False Flag?

Official Story: The Charleston church shooting  was a mass shooting that took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States, on the evening of June 17, 2015. During a prayer service, nine people were killed by a gunman, including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney; a tenth victim survived. The morning after the attack, police arrested a suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, in Shelby, North Carolina. Roof later confessed that he committed the shooting in hopes of igniting a race war. The United States Department of Justice investigated ...
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HR2232 – Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015 Introduced

A Florida Congresswoman has introduced legislation that will send chills down the spine of any liberty-loving American. On May 1, Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL-24) presented H.R.2232 – Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015. From the bill: REQUIREMENT.—For a State or a political subdivision or other public entity of a State to be eligible to receive a grant under this section, the applicant shall demonstrate to the Secretary’s satisfaction that, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the State requires each student enrolled in one of the State’s public elementary schools or public secondary schools to be vaccinated in accordance with the ...
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Clinical Features in Patients with Long-Term Exposure to Vaccines with Aluminum Adjuvants Include Chronic Fatigue and Cognitive Deficits

Abstract Macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF) is an emerging condition characterized by specific muscle lesions assessing abnormal long-term persistence of aluminum hydroxide within macrophages at the site of previous immunization. Affected patients usually are middle-aged adults, mainly presenting with diffuse arthromyalgias, chronic fatigue, and marked cognitive deficits, not related to pain, fatigue, or depression. Clinical features usually correspond to that observed in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. Representative features of MMF-associated cognitive dysfunction include dysexecutive syndrome, visual memory impairment, and left ear extinction at dichotic listening test. Most patients fulfill criteria for non-amnestic/dysexecutive mild cognitive impairment, even if some cognitive deficits appear ...
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WHO Tetanus Vaccine Campaign was Actually Mass Sterilization Campaign

After Dr. Ngare of Kenya noticed that a WHO and UNICEF campaign for the tetanus vaccine was only being given to young women of childbearing age, and being required far more frequently than normal tetanus vaccination requires, sent six different samples of the vaccine to an independent laboratory in South Africa for testing. The results confirmed their worst fears: all six samples tested positive for the HCG anti-fertility antigen. On this date, the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association released a bulletin stating "that this WHO campaign is not about eradicating neonatal tetanus but a well-coordinated forceful population control mass sterilization exercise ...
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CDC Whistleblower: CDC Knew MMR Vaccines Could Cause Autism

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) senior scientist made an unprecedented admission: he and his colleagues–he says– committed scientific misconduct to cover up a meaningful link between vaccines and autism in black boys. Just as startling, the CDC scientist, Dr. William Thompson, says the study co-authors “scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room, and reviewed and went through all the hardcopy documents that we had thought we should discard, and put them into a huge garbage can.” Despite this whistleblower ...
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India is Controversially Declared Polio-Free With 47,500 Clinically Identical Cases of Polio Paralysis: Rename-Game?

 According to a press release issued by the Ministry: India is polio-free. The country reported its last case of wild poliovirus in 2011. After three consecutive polio-free years, the South-East Asia Region of WHO, comprising of 11 countries (including India), was certified polio-free on 27 March 2014. Despite this progress, India has maintained a high vigil and ensured that no complacency sets in order to maintain the polio-free status for the last more than 4 years. It has taken appropriate actions to ensure high population immunity against polio as well as for maintaining a sensitive surveillance system for poliovirus ...
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Brain-Damaged UK Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine to Get £60 Million Compensation

Patients who suffered brain damage as a result of taking a swine flu vaccine are to receive multi-million-pound payouts from the UK government. The government is expected to receive a bill of approximately £60 million, with each of the 60 victims expected to receive about £1 million each. Peter Todd, a lawyer who represented many of the claimants, told the Sunday Times: "There has never been a case like this before. The victims of this vaccine have an incurable and lifelong condition and will require extensive medication." Following the swine flu outbreak of 2009, about 60 million people, most ...
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Japan Ministry of Health has Public Hearing on Gardasil Vaccine Adverse Effects

A public hearing was held under the direction of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Tokyo, Japan in response to reports of adverse effects following Gardasil vaccinations. Dr. Sin Hang Lee, MD, the Director of Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, testified on the behalf of parents whose children had either died, or experienced serious neurological complications after being given the HPV shots. He had discovered through FOIA request that these government officials knew (before the hearing) and withheld critical safety information regarding the vaccine. As a pathologist, his hypothesis was straightforward: “… the HPV vaccination depends on the Gardasil adjuvant. On the left-hand side, the aluminum adjuvant waits for the ...
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A Two-Phase Study Evaluating the Relationship Between Thimerosal-containing Vaccine Administration and the Risk for an Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis in the US

Nutshell: Infants who received vaccines containing mercury had significantly increased odds of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Abstract BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined by standardized criteria of qualitative impairments in social interaction, qualitative impairments in communication, and restricted and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. A significant number of children diagnosed with ASD suffer a loss of previously-acquired skills, which is suggestive of neurodegeneration or a type of progressive encephalopathy with an etiological pathogenic basis occurring after birth. To date, the etiology of ASD remains under debate, however, many studies suggest toxicity, especially from ...
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Johnson & Johnson fined 2.2 billion for Illegal Promotion of Risperdal to Children

Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines to settle accusations that it improperly promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to older adults, children and people with developmental disabilities, the Justice Department said. The agreement is the third-largest pharmaceutical settlement in United States history and the largest in a string of recent cases involving the marketing of antipsychotic and anti-seizure drugs to older dementia patients. It is part of a decade-long effort by the federal government to hold the health care giant — and other pharmaceutical companies — accountable for illegally marketing the drugs ...
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Polish Study Confirms Vaccines Can Cause Large Number of Adverse Effects

The University of Bialystok is a well known medical university that has published a tremendous amount of research on various topics.  The evidence that’s out there supporting the hazards of vaccines is irrefutable. There is a lot of research that medical professionals are not privy to, this is credible research coming out of Universities done by doctors and professors. Medical professionals are usually guided to research done by pharmaceutical companies and the vaccine manufactures themselves. It’s important to look at both sides of the coin, and examine all information available before coming to a conclusion. It is not reasonable to assume that ...
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Supreme Court Rules Generic Drugs Exempt from Liability

The US Supreme Court made a ruling on lawsuits against drug companies for fraud, mislabeling, side effects and accidental death. From now on, 80 percent of all drugs are exempt from legal liability. Drug companies failed to warn patients that toxic epidermal necrolysis was a side effect. But the Supreme Court ruled they're still not liable for damages. In a 5-4 vote, the US Supreme Court struck down a lower court’s ruling and award for the victim of a pharmaceutical drug’s adverse reaction. According to the victim and the state courts, the drug caused a flesh-eating side effect that ...
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Doctors Slam Big Pharma for Price Gouging Cancer Patients

A group of over 120 cancer doctors released a joint position paper condemning America’s pharmaceutical industry. The cancer specialists accuse the drug industry of ‘profiteering’, ‘price gouging’ and even being ‘immoral’. The group of doctors insists that Big Pharma is charging patients over $100,000 for life-saving drugs that cost only a few dollars to manufacture. Consider the following statistic from Yahoo Health the day the report was released, ‘Of 12 new cancer drugs that received FDA approval last year, 11 of them cost in excess of $100,000 a year—prices that the specialists attack as “astronomical,” “unsustainable,” and maybe even immoral ...
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Study: Aluminum in Vaccines can Travel to Distant Organs, like the Spleen and Brain, and become “Insidiously Unsafe”.

Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain. Khan Z1, Combadière C, Authier FJ, Itier V, Lux F, Exley C, Mahrouf-Yorgov M, Decrouy X, Moretto P, Tillement O, Gherardi RK, Cadusseau J. Abstract BACKGROUND: Long-term biodistribution of nanomaterials used in medicine is largely unknown. This is the case for alum, the most widely used vaccine adjuvant, which is a nanocrystalline compound spontaneously forming micron/submicron-sized agglomerates. Although generally well tolerated, alum is occasionally detected within monocyte-lineage cells long after immunization in presumably susceptible individuals with systemic/neurologic manifestations or autoimmune (inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA). METHODS: On the ...
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Gun Manufacturer and Activist John Noveske Killed in Car Accident

"Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant Tyler Lee reports that on January 4, 2013 at approximately 9:13 p.m., a 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser driven by John Noveske, age 36, from Grants Pass, was westbound on Highway 260 near El Camino Way. As the vehicle negotiated a right curve, it traveled across the oncoming lane onto the dirt highway shoulder until it struck two large boulders. The vehicle rolled and Mr. Noveske was ejected." John Noveske’s company is one of the most celebrated rifle manufacturers in America. His firearms are widely considered to be some of the finest pieces of American-made ...
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