The Predator State Attacks Google – For Big Pharma
The American pharmaceutical system is a highly controlled apparatus for restricting access to much-needed drugs and violating the rights of those who want to purchase them. This has long been true.
Vast amounts of drugs that people should be permitted to purchase of their own free will are withheld from the market (of course, many others are outlawed). Instead, people who know what they need are forced first to fork over their money to a physician – who then gets overpaid by insurance – then part of the buck is passed to the over-trained checkout clerks at the pharmacy. We are all treated like babies in order to sustain and fund an industry filled with bamboozlers in white coats.
The Internet in its early days (perhaps 1998 to 2008) represented a wonderful alternative to this apparatus. Suppliers all over the world popped up to give us what we wanted, bypassing the whole cage of government regulations and private monopolists who rule them like prison wardens. You know what you need, so just click and buy it!
So the pharmaceutical industry solicited the help of government. Together, they worked to crack down on "counterfeit" medicines – meaning the real thing that bypasses patent restrictions and supplier monopolies. In their view, people must not be allowed to get prescription medications without doctor approval – else an entire fake industry could collapse. So they banded together and instituted a medieval guild system for the digital age.
Over the years, Google has accepted some advertising from some of these so-called rogue elements. In a free market, they would be perfectly legitimate advertisers. Google makes no guarantee of the exact nature of the goods and services of all those who choose to advertise on its network. It has some degree of interest in quality control, of course, but if the customers are buying and happy, what could be the problem?
Well, the medical cartel, of course, and it asked for the Justice Department to intervene. As of this writing, Google is assuming that it is going to be in hot water very soon. Its recent report to stockholders says that it has put half a billion dollars in escrow to deal with the Justice Department investigation. The presumption here is that Google is going to be held liable for permitting ads to run from market-based drug sellers.
There are so many ways that this is wrong that one hardly knows where to begin. But let's start with pharmaceutical prices, which continue to go through the roof and which are driving forward increased pressure for socialistic forms of cost spreading. Using the Internet, there are tens of thousands of companies that could immediately begin distributing name-brand drugs and also derivative products at a fraction of the price imposed today.
Why not let them? More to the point, why should government resources be devoted to making sure that the price of prescription drugs remains as high as possible? If you thought that the regulators were truly concerned about consumer welfare (ha ha), this action alone should put that idea to rest.
What about the allegation that these are counterfeit drugs being sold? Well, it is seriously doubtful that if any consumer who is buying a prescription medicine from an online source is being defrauded; there is an understanding that the drug in question is most likely generic. Consumers have no problem with this, as the aisles of generics at the drug store suggest. What the government really means by counterfeit is that the generic drug is being introduced prior to the expiration of the patent that inflates prices as much as one hundred times.
We all have stories to share about such things. A cream that is $100 one day is $5 after the drug enters the free market. A nasal spray that is $200 is suddenly $10 after it becomes part of the market. And so on. The term counterfeit should be reserved for fraud; it doesn't apply to goods that are brought to market before a government-imposed embargo expires.
The same is true of the notion of real and fake pharmacies. Drug dispensaries should be businesses like any other, subject to free entry and exit and governed by the principles of profit and loss. But just as with the medical profession itself, drug stores want to avoid being treated like commercial ventures. Instead, they want to be part of a tight cartel that rules who gets in and who stays out.
The only way to maintain a cartel is through government regulations, and this is what the pharmacy industry has long relied upon, much to the detriment of consumer well being. The attempt to crack down on free-market advertising of prescription drugs is all about protecting an industry from competition, and has nothing at all to do with protecting the consumer.
It is not a coincidence that so much Internet spam comes from companies that purport to be selling drugs that people do not necessarily want to get from their doctor. There are privacy concerns. There's also a perfectly normal desire to avoid embarrassment. But the government will have none of it: you must confess to a doctor, you must look the drug-store clerk in the eye.
People commonly blame the markets for all this spam, but they really should have been fingering the government for having created the black and grey markets for these drugs in the first place! This is what creates the incentives to dump trillions of unsolicited emails on the world. The spammers knew that their product was valued but without normal markets, they resorted to globalized promotions.
In fact, this is why Congress made spam illegal. The anti-spam law had absolutely nothing to do with keeping your inbox clean. It was all about protecting the medical monopoly against competition.
Finally, there is the very serious matter of the presumed liability held by Google. Maybe there is a precedent somewhere for a magazine or newspaper being held responsible for the claims of its advertisers. But I'm quite sure that there has never been a case where the fees are anywhere near this range. $500 million? This is crazy, and a clear example of government's looting of deep pockets.
The claim is that Google had disobeyed its own policies of making sure that every drug advertiser had passed through its own internal checks. But those checks were clearly instituted under government pressure, direct or indirect, so how it is an allegation against Google that it didn't obey them across the board? This is nothing but harassment in order to preserve the privileges of a very powerful cartel.
People imagine that the U.S. has a free market in prescription medicine. This case is a very clear example of how and to what extent this is absolutely untrue. A free market permits anyone to advertise anything through any mutually agreed upon means. Google is being investigated and hounded and fined solely for doing business in a way that benefits society at large. What matters to government is that doing such business harms a favorite client of the state.
Posted by Wrusssr on 05/19/11 08:50 PM
Pace Environmental Law Review link
Click to view link
Posted by Wrusssr on 05/19/11 04:11 AM
The fact anyone is surprised by Holder's actions is, well, surprising. Government has completely ceased to represent people. Look no further than the FDA's Michael Taylor and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack; both of whom have strong ties to Monsanto and their genetically modified seed gambit to control the world's food; GM seeds that are banned in Europe as well as countries in Africa, Asia, Mexico, and South America; food from which, however, has been fed Americans since the '90s with no warning labels and no research as to the long term effects on people. On lab animals, the results aren't pretty.
Hold that GM thought a moment.
Vera Hassner Sharav in her online May 10, 2011, article 'Federal Court Compensated 83 Vaccine-Injured Autistic Children' points out that a new study has uncovered 83 federal-court-adjudicated cases of autism linked to vaccine-induced injury-thereby unmasking government duplicity:
'The 83 cases of children diagnosed with autism who were compensated for vaccine-induced brain damage, demonstrate that the VICP court has quietly, though inconsistently, compensated some children who suffered vaccine-induced neurological damage associated with autism-since the inception of the VICP program in 1986.'
The children's injuries are a given. The magic words to get help for their medical expenses are . . . anything but autism. Ms Sharav asks:
'How do the 5,000 cases of 'autism' that the VICP rejected in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding (2010) differ from the magic-word- cases of 'encephalopathy' and 'seizure disorder' that the VICP compensates?'
This wink-nod-'your okay BigPharma,' along with Holder's current attempt at a 'fake' ruling that, incidentally will also help Vilsack and Taylor who've been quietly trying to force Codex Alimentarius on the U.S.-Napoleonic-era gibberish that includes the requirement for a doctor's prescription for vitamins or supplements that humans have bought across the counter for a century-is standard operating procedure in government today.
Care to guess who's going to make vitamins once across-the-counters become illegal? You're right! It's BigPharma. Anything not made by BigPharma will be a 'fake,' 'counterfeit' and . . . . Did I mention Osama has an E.O. ready to sign that will implement ACTA, an anti-counterfeiting 'law?'
All of this is courtesy of the boys behind the curtain; those wonderful WTO, WHO, FSA folk what brought you 9/11, global warming, and a swine flu pandemic that didn't exist but millions of doses of dangerous vaccine that did. Would you believe BigPharma profited obscenely from the vaccine?
Meanwhile the gov-pharma tag-team continues to vehemently deny a vaccine-autism link (at BigPharma's behest) while demonizing medical personnel like Dr, Andrew Wakefield for their findings.
And GM food? If lab animals fed this stuff are any indication, eaters are gonna be having some problems down the road but . . . BigPharma will be standing by with the pills.
Did I mention BigPharma and Monsanto are in bed together?
The autism peer-reviewed study by Mary Holland, Research Scholar and Director of the Graduate Legal Skills Program, NYU School of Law; Louis Conte, Robert Krakow, and Lisa Colin, can be read in the Pace Environmental Law Review.
The authors call for Congressional hearings to examine the lack of fairness and inconsistency in VICP compensation determinations.
Posted by Kriss Robin on 05/18/11 04:01 AM
"We all have stories to share about such things. A cream that is $100 one day is $5 after the drug enters the free market. A nasal spray that is $200 is suddenly $10 after it becomes part of the market. And so on. The term counterfeit should be reserved for fraud; it doesn't apply to goods that are brought to market before a government-imposed embargo expires."
Those who consider for themselves, are able to reach an informed conclusion. Unlike many who BELIEVE what they hear as informed. People believe what they hear and because they hear it they believe it.
Once one gives one's consent to "authority", the next step of holding oneself under the yolk of that authority, this is by means of "a personal sense of guilt". One then "believes" what one is told for fear of recrimination of the seemingly established guilt. Effectively one believes a drug of $100 is far better and because the Pharma Indust produced it, it must be the best, without questioning an alternative.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/17/11 05:22 PM
At about 9am PDT I loaded this page with Java script enabled, read the comments and decided to reply to Mr. Rockwell's statement that "People imagine" etc. (see Bill the Cat link posted earlier).
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/17/11 05:04 PM
That was a test. I picked up a script earlier.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/17/11 05:03 PM
Posted by MetaCynic on 05/17/11 04:58 PM
Government regulation of medicine is an excellent example of the regulated commandeering the gun of the regulator in order to suppress competition. Their is no way that free market forces would elevate the symptom treating medical model under which we are suffering to its present exalted status.
Free market competition would be lowering healthcare costs just as dramatically as it has been decreasing information technology costs. It's bad enough that we have an obscenely expensive, ineffective and dangerous healthcare model. This disaster is compounded by the fact that Western medicine uses its political clout to suppress alternative approaches which actually cure disease.
I've been seeing a Western trained and certified MD who is also trained to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is so popular that one must wait three months for an appointment. He told me that even though he is licensed to prescribe Western drugs, he doesn't do so because they don't work. Big Pharma's products only treat symptoms. According to him, symptom treatment leads to all kinds of side effects which necessitate ever more drugs and a spiraling decline in health leading to death. He dispenses only inexpensive Chinese herb mixtures, perfected over thousands of years to actually stimulate the human body to cure disease.
Posted by Avatar on 05/17/11 04:18 PM
First of all, many of these so called life saving drugs tested barely above the efficiency of a placebo often needing several clinical trials. There are natural alternatives that work BETTER and offer no side effects. Big Pharma has been ripping the masses off for the last 35 years. They tell the American public overseas drugs are not as safe yet in the case of Claritin they imported the active ingredient from Europe added fillers and marked the price up 32,000 %.
Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food. Read the China study and drastically cut your intake of animal fat and protein. Cut dairy. Human mothers milk has 5% protein and this when the developing human is growing fastest. We do not need an abundance of protein. No other animal drinks milk past infancy and certainly not another animals milk. Why drink cow's milk loaded with antibiotics and hormones? A chimpanzee's milk would be closer to human milk. In short other than antibiotics and dire emergencies we could dispense with artificial drugs. By the way most antibiotics (75%) are used to keep cows, pigs , chickens and turkeys alive for slaughter and which the consumer eventually gets exposed to. Read Dr. Nortin Hadler's THE LAST WELL PERSON. PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO OBTAIN ALL NATURAL FOOD SUPPLEMENTS WITHOUT A FEE TO THE DOCTOR AND BIG PHARMA.
Posted by rossbcan on 05/17/11 03:39 PM
In general, by fixing prices and suppressing less expensive alternatives the state gets the tax "cut", a percentage that coerces them to favor high prices. This is also why they favor inflation and will fight deflation at all costs (to others).
The basic problem is that states have slipped the leash of public control (they are, after all, our employees) and discovered "self-interest" which, given their legal power to discriminate and forcefully achieve goals really means "to your detriment".
Have you not noticed?
Posted by David_Robertson on 05/17/11 02:10 PM
Here is another website we have found VERY helpful in this regard.
Click to view link
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/17/11 01:14 PM
Lew Rockwell says:
"People imagine that the U.S. has a free market in prescription medicine. "
I've always wondered who those people might be. Click to view link
Posted by WorkingClass on 05/17/11 11:28 AM
Unwealthy Americans are required to die to enrich the Oligarchs of the medical/extortion racket. Most of us will go quietly lest we be accused of class envy.
Posted by kenn on 05/17/11 11:14 AM
After posting the comment box never returns. Firefox states it is waiting on data... But,,, I can delete the cookies and get the comment box back after logging back in... odd
Posted by Happyhippo on 05/17/11 06:01 AM
Very good and accurate article. The FDA not only protect the massive profits of Big Pharma they also ensure that no competition is allowed by any natural substances. The reason for this is that they cannot be patented so therefore there are no potential profits so they are outlawd regardless of how efficient natural remedies may be. All drugs have side effects including pharmaceutical ones and the best method of achieving optimal health is through nutrition and lifestyle. Unfortunately this method involves taking personal responsability for all aspects of your health which is something that our quick fix society frowns upon. The Weston A Price foundation give very good information on looking after one's own health as does Dr Mercola at Click to view link. Delve a bit more into this subject as our modern health system is as completely corrupt as our financial one.