We Have An Epidemic of Pharmaceutical Deaths NOT Gun Deaths
By: Nick Russo TheAnimatingContest.com January 5, 2016
Today, United States President Barack Obama gave a speech on “common sense” gun control. The speech was highly emotional and referenced recent mass shootings, child victims of shootings, and the stories of family members enduring the pain of losing loved ones to gun violence. The President even had tears in his eyes as he spoke of the needless deaths. It was an emotional appeal to the American Public.
The U.S. President accurately stated that 30,000 people die from guns each year:
Each year, more than 30,000 American lives are cut short by guns – two-thirds coming from suicides. Too many Americans have lost loved ones.—-U.S. President Barack Obama in gun control speech January 5, 2016-see full speech here.
As a human being, when you watch Barack Obama’s speech, you can not help but feel the intense emotion and empathize with the families who have lost loved ones. Everyone of these gun deaths is a tragic loss of human life. Every loss of life should motivate us to focus attention and to put into the proper perspective what is causing loss of life to our fellow citizens.
After all, the United States is founded on the belief that all People have Unalienable Rights given to them by the Creator. The first Right articulated by our country’s founders during the formation of this great nation is the Unalienable Right to Life:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—-the U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776
So, we have 30,000 lost souls every year and the President of the United States crying. These gun deaths must be a huge epidemic-large enough to call for some serious changes in our society, right? Well, let’s use our human discernment and try to put the loss of life due to guns into some perspective.
How do 30,000 deaths from guns per year compare to some of the other causes of death to our fellow citizens?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the official United States government public health agency, the top ten leading causes of death to Americans are:
- Heart disease: 611,105
- Cancer: 584,881
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 149,205
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 130,557
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,978
- Alzheimer’s disease: 84,767
- Diabetes: 75,578
- Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,979
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 47,112
- Intentional self-harm (suicide): 41,149
Staggering numbers. And all significantly higher than death due to guns. However, there are causes of death conspicuously not listed in the CDC’s report.
Researchers from The Harvard University Center for Ethics have conducted extensive research on deaths caused by doctor administered pharmaceutical drugs in a study entitled: New Prescription Drugs: A Major Health Risk With Few Offsetting Advantages
In this Harvard study, based on official hospital records across the nation it was found that:
128,000 people die annually from drugs prescribed to them. This makes prescription drugs a major health risk, ranking 4th with stroke as a leading cause of death. (Over four times the 30,000 deaths by guns-(emphasis added)
Few know that systematic reviews of hospital charts found that even properly prescribed drugs (aside from mis-prescribing, overdosing, or self-prescribing) cause about 1.9 million hospitalizations a year (people not previously in the hospital).
840,000 hospitalized patients (people already in the hospital) are given drugs that cause serious adverse reactions
for a total of 2.74 million serious adverse drug reactions
The same Harvard study concluded that in recent decades there has been a “flood” of new drugs entering the market, but most of these new drugs offer no significant benefits to offset the risks of serious adverse drug reactions and deaths caused by the pharmaceuticals.
millions who take new, patented drugs experience only modest benefits over established drugs. Only a small percent of new drugs provide significant advantages for patients to offset these risks of harm.
Flooding the market with hundreds of minor variations seems to be the hidden business model of drug companies, to exploit patent and other IP (intellectual property) protections for profits, not for significant advances for patient health.
Despite fewer superior drugs, Marc-André Gagnon has shown that sales and profits soared. Net return on revenues (ROR) rose from about 10 percent in the 1970s to 12.5 percent by 1990, then to 16 percent by 2000, and to 19 percent in 2010. Pharmaceutical ROR has increased from about 2.5 times to 3.2 times the return for the Fortune 500 giants, largely as a result of raising prices and getting more physicians to prescribe more drugs. (see Corruption of Pharmaceutical Markets: Addressing the Misalignment of Financial Incentives and Public Health)
An additional study conducted using U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports of Adverse Drug Reactions came up with similar results:
In 2011, the FDA received 179,855 reports of serious, disabling,and fatal adverse drug events in the United States. This was an increase of 15,386 cases, or 9.4% from 2010.
|Electronics Mfg & Equip||$1,853,271,085|
|Oil & Gas||$1,750,255,336|