Paying the Price
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
I made the mistake of checking the news – are you ready? It all started with my receiving the October LifeExtention magazine (lef.org) and reading William Faloon’s article on “How Regulation of Medicine is Bankrupting the United States”. Next came an insightful conversation with my Aunt, we should all learn from our elders.
During this conversation we talked about how the “New Deal” put into place by FDR had its good points and bad – but no matter how we shake the tree – we are now paying for the New Deal, that is no deal. Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security and Welfare are just a few ingredients in the rotten apple dish being fed to us. And all of them are being mismanaged by congress – If you or I managed company funds the way congress does we would be in jail for miss-appropriation and fraud.
Another organization worthy of mention is Alliance for Natural Health USA (anh-usa.org), along with LifeExtention, ANH has been whistle blowing on the hypocrisies of congress and the FDA for years now.
William Faloon’s book called “Pharmocracy” (available through LifeExtention Foundation), outlines the cost of over-regulation of prescription drugs and the growing cost to the Medicare system. Here are some of the numbers that made me set-up and take notice. The most recent estimate of Medicare’s unfunded medical liability is $24.6 trillion. The total federal tax revenues taken in annually which include Medicare premiums are around $2 trillion. This means the Medicare trust fund will be bankrupt five years sooner than projected twelve months ago.
As the short sightedness of our federal government is so apt to do, it is not taking into account the skyrocketing costs for drugs approved by the FDA, they are currently costing around $100,000 per patient. Lady’s and gentlemen, while you have been distracted by the puppet show – you have been robbed. “We have all been deceived by those who confuse regulation with beneficial outcome and medical progress”, writes William Faloon in his October commentary. It is not about how a regulation will protect the public, but of how it can financially benefit a special interest.
Pharmacutical companies have spent tens of millions of dollars persuading the FDA to re-classify nutrients like B6 as prescription drugs for their economic benefit. With the re-writing of FDA guidelines and the implementation of CODEX in 2012, hang on, because you are about to be robbed at gun point, instead of your pockets picked artfully. The artificially inflated cost of prescription drugs driven by pharmaceutical companies and the FDA , could easily cost the Medicare system over $300 billion each year for one bio-Identical hormone like testosterone that benefits millions of older men in America, and available through compounding pharmacists for a fraction of the cost of the approved drug company versuion.
The ANH, reported on the FDA’s sudden ban of bio-identical hormone estriol in January 2008, “the FDA issued several warning letters to compounding pharmacists prohibiting the compounding of medications with estriol—a bio-identical estrogen produced naturally by a woman’s body—unless the pharmacist has a valid investigational new drug application on file with the FDA. This action was simultaneous to the FDA’s response to a Citizen Fair Trade Petition filed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the synthetic hormone replacement drugs Premarin and Prempro. This action was not about safety to the public but about the all-mighty dollar and who was getting it.
In March 2011, ANH again reported on the “efforts of the FDA to stop compounding pharmacists from making the bio-identical hormone progesterone, approved over fifty years ago — which doctors have been prescribing for patients with high-risk pregnancies — 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (progesterone) was designated by the FDA an “orphan drug.” Now KV Pharmaceutical has been given the exclusive right of production and sale (and drug trial tax breaks). They immediately raised the price from $10 per dose to $1,500—simply because they could”.
This newest FDA brain fart has doctors, US senators, and even the March of Dimes in an uproar! Besides the grave jeopardy placed on mothers and their infants, this will create an enormous financial burden for health insurance companies, private citizens, and government programs pay for care. And because of increased birth complications, these babies will need to be hospitalized for perhaps months and, for low-income mothers, all at the expense of taxpayers. Research shows these children will be at greater risk for, asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia, running the bill needlessly up for tax payers even higher.
The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) authorizes the FDA to collect fees from companies, allegedly to fund and expedite the drug approval process….Really are you sure? The law enacted in 1992, is due for renewal September 2012. According to the FDA, drug companies provide fully 60% of the FDA’s drug review costs—which means the FDA’s review and regulation of pharmaceutical drugs is largely funded by the drug companies under review.
The FDA has been negotiating a raise in the FDA “user” fees since July 2010; in fact, Big Pharma has already agreed to a 6% increase in fees for new drugs through 2017. The increase is expected to produce an additional $40.4 million in user fee revenue in fiscal 2012, bringing the fiscal 2013 total to $712.8 million. (snide remark not printable)
If any of this makes you wonder like it has me, I encourage you to join either or both of the watch dog organizations I’ve mentioned in this article. Remember none of us are entitled to anything but death – and it appears our government is more than willing to make sure it is a paupers grave waiting for us.
To your good health