The drugging of American seniors: Big Pharma profits depend on sick seniors
As the “baby-boomer” generations move into their senior years, they are seen as a “cash-cow” for pharmaceutical companies.
For example, it is estimated that about one out of every four Americans over the age of 55 are currently being prescribed cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, in spite of the evidence that these drugs do not prolong lifespans, and have very serious side effects.
Studies have confirmed that dementia, especially early onset dementia, is often caused by too many pharmaceutical drugs.
A Harvard Medical School publication, “Guide to Coping with Alzheimer’s Disease,” states:
Medications are common culprits in mental decline. With aging, the liver becomes less efficient at metabolizing drugs, and the kidneys eliminate them from the body more slowly. As a result, drugs tend to accumulate in the body. Elderly people in poor health and those taking several different medications are especially vulnerable.
The list of drugs that can cause dementia-like symptoms is long. It includes:
- anti-Parkinson drugs
- anti-anxiety medications
- cardiovascular drugs
As people age, they wind up taking, on average, more than four prescribed pharmaceutical drugs daily.
Many of these medications are for heart disease prevention by lowering cholesterol and also for lowering blood pressure. These drugs are intended to be taken till death.
The side effects from those drugs alone can create the need for more prescriptions.
The pharmaceutical business model depends on sick customers staying sick, not healing them. (See: Investment Report Reveals Medical Cures not Profitable for Big Pharma – Sick People Needed to Sustain Drug Sales.)
Alzheimer’s Disease is seen by some as mostly a modern disease, mainly caused by too many prescription drugs and too much exposure to toxic aluminum in the environment, including the annual flu shot which contains aluminum and is heavily promoted to seniors.
Expanding Prescription Guidelines to get More Healthy People on Drugs
Unknown to many consumers and doctors is the insidious strategy of expanding the market by creating wider clinical guideline parameters for prescribing drugs to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
The corruption lies within the committees that decide new guidelines. Most of their members are financially connected to pharmaceutical companies.
Here are three major types of drugs that affect the growing community of senior citizens where this has happened in recent years.
Cholesterol-lowering Statin Drugs
Statin drug side effects are now well-known, especially since Pfizer’s patent on Lipitor, the best-selling pharmaceutical product of all time, expired at the end of 2011.
After their patent expired, the FDA issued its first warnings against statin drugs, which includes: liver injury, memory loss, diabetes, and muscle damage. They continue to add new warnings as lawsuits mount.
Despite this, or likely because so many quit statins early due to the side effects, 2014 statin drug recommended prescription guidelines were changed in late 2013 by lowering the age, cholesterol numbers, and blood pressure readings to triple the number of individuals for prescribing statins. (Source)
The panel that offered their input to the American Heart Association and (AHA) and American College of Cardiology, both of which receive pharmaceutical industry money, was rife with conflicts of interest.
One of the panel’s two co-chairs, six of [the] fifteen panel members, and half of the ten expert reviewers have conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical manufacturers that make or plan to release cholesterol medications. The committee chair had relationships with six statin manufacturers when he was asked to take on the job. (Source)
The above source quote has “six of the fifteen panel members” with financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that produce statins. But other sources say it is eight out of fifteen, which means over half of the panel of experts had conflicts of interest. Here’s an example of other sources.
Statin drugs do reduce cholesterol, but doing so only creates more health issues due to the side effects, and studies show that lower cholesterol levels do NOT correlate to longer lives.
Cholesterol is an important hormone precursor and building material for cell walls, the nervous system, and the brain. That’s what causes the side effects, such as mental fog, memory loss, and debilitating aching muscles and joints, forcing many to quit taking them.
As people grow older, their cholesterol counts may rise due to their bodies’ needs to not only repair aging cells and produce diminishing hormones, but also do spot repairs on inner arterial walls damaged by inflammation. That’s where cholesterol gets accused of causing something it’s trying to repair.
While moderate exercise and a healthy diet are good for heart health, the notion of reducing cholesterol through pharmaceutical drugs lacks scientific evidence. Yet due to Big Pharma’s control of the media, medical education, and doctors, the lipid theory of heart disease dogma persists, even among many holistic practitioners and nutritionists.
Drugs for Reducing Blood Pressure
Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is considered a silent killer. It is cast as a precursor to heart attacks.
Some within the medical establishment, such as Dr. David Brownstein, disagree with which blood pressure measurement is dangerously high because it can vary from individual to individual and fluctuates under different situational stress factors.
Dr. Brownstein comments:
Nobody knows what the optimal blood pressure values should be. (… )
When I was in medical school, I was taught that normal blood pressure rises with age.
This is still true.
As we age, our arteries become stiffer therefore, we require a higher blood pressure to pump blood to the entire body.
It is ludicrous to believe that an 80-year-old should have the same blood pressure as a 20-year-old. (Source)
From a February 2018 Forbes article:
The publication last November of the new U.S. blood pressure guideline sparked a vigorous and important debate. (…) millions of people who were deemed to have “normal” blood pressure were labeled as “hypertensive.”
All at once the number of U.S. adults labeled as “hypertensive” jumped from 72 million to 103 million, which translates to an increase from 31.9% to 45.6%, …
The 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management panel’s systolic pressure (the upper number) recommendation was as low as 120 to 129 that they claimed could be unsafe as prehypertension, and recommending that such numbers be prescribed medications.
Systolic numbers over 130 would now be considered hypertension and reason to prescribe the strongest medications available, putting millions more on hypertension drugs. The old standard of 140/80 used to be considered normal.
Dr. Robert Saunders, chief of the division of medicine at Seattle’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, had a patient who was doing fine with safe diuretic pills at the old standard of 140/80. She almost died from side effects after he had attempted a cycle of different modern medications trying to get her down to the new standard of 120/80.
Dr. Saunders commented:
I am concerned that these studies that are telling people that it’s best to get down to 120 over 80 are all paid for by drug companies who are trying to sell pills.
It makes me uncomfortable. I think the days of getting unbiased information are gone. (Source)
Dr. Brownstein confirms this suspicion unequivocally and explains how the newly lowered standards of 120/80 for those over 40 are sure to cause serious serious adverse side effects from current medications, such as hypotension, fainting, electrolyte abnormalities, and kidney failure common with antihypertensive medications when the blood pressure goes to low for an individual’s needs. (Source)
The FDA’s True Role Is Protecting the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Medical Monopoly
The FDA’s clients are pharmaceutical companies which, using their own cherry-picked studies, can afford to pay millions in fees for marketing approval to the FDA. The FDA requires only two positive reports regardless of how many studies were performed by the pharmaceutical companies or the ones by universities funded from those companies.
Negative studies can be withheld and never released for publication, a practice called publication bias. Dangerous side effects, such as suicidal and homicidal tendencies from psychiatric drugs, become known in the marketplace instead of from test studies. Tamiflu, an expensive ineffective flu drug with harsh side effects, is one example of many drugs approved with publication bias. (Source)``
Introduced into the marketplace, previously unreported adverse reports begin showing up from patients prescribed those approved drugs. When these consumer adverse reports mount up, pharmaceutical companies settle class action suits and/or fines from the U.S. Justice Department.
The pharmaceutical companies usually settle without admitting guilt to prevent the details of their dirty dealings from being exposed to public awareness. All of this is handled easily despite the enormity of financial expenses, considered merely the cost of doing business.
The FDA’s role in all this is to insist on more warnings, while the risk to benefit ratio increases well beyond what the FDA used to justify approving the drug for market. For the serious debilitating side effects or deaths that are actually reported, and most are not, the FDA demands black box warning labels for their products, but they stay on the market.
It’s up to consumers to avoid these adverse side effect dangers with drugs that do little for heart health by researching for natural solutions to protect themselves from heart disease.
The source linked below contains some simple, inexpensive options for cardiovascular health with the Pauling Therapy and cayenne as a heart and blood vessel tonic to maintain an appropriate blood pressure.