Geopolitics

The Power of Big Pharma: Politics, Profits and the Globalization of Medicine

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Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow NewsThe pharmaceutical industry or what we call, Big Pharma has a bad reputation around the world and for good reason.  Since Covid-19 was declared an international pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the medical establishment and private interests has been pushing for a worldwide vaccination campaign coupled with an ID program to verify vaccine records of individuals in a new digital identity system controlled by governments so that people can have access to travel abroad, to shop or for other services you might need in the future.  The control of the world’s healthcare is in the hands of the western political and medical establishment who are associated to the banking cartels, Wall Street, multi-national corporations, the Military-Industrial Complex, Big Oil, the new kids on the block “Big Tech”, influential think tanks and special interest groups, all follow the same blueprint for global control.  Big Pharma has a strong relationship with technocrats and long-time medical establishment bureaucrats from Bill Gates to Dr. Anthony Fauci and the rest of the medical junta who mainly operate in Washington, DC, the European Union or at the WHO headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. In Switzerland, the pharmaceutical industry accounts for 30% of exports and is home to several major pharmaceutical corporations including Novartis.  However, a massive fear campaign has been imposed on us and it has paralyzed the world.  The pandemic has taken more control of our lives in the name of fighting a deadly virus that has a high survivability rate in most age groups.  According to a report by the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) from last September, the survival rate for children and teenagers in ages 0-19 was at 99.97%, 20-49 year-olds was at 99.98% and for 70 year-olds and above the survival rate was at 94.6%I am not in any way saying that those who did die from Covid-19 is not a serious matter, of course it is.  One person lost is an absolute tragedy on every level. 

US President, Donald J. Trump launched Operation Warp Speed, a term literally taken from the Star Trek 1: The Motion Picture with the “warp speed” scene as a one-way ticket to fast track a Covid-19 vaccine that was produced in less than a year to satisfy the US medical establishment who criticized his handling of the pandemic.  Major pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer Inc, BioNtech (Germany), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Moderna and others quickly jumped on board for the US government’s operation bypassing important animal and clinical trials and other regulations in order for them to quickly produce, sell and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine to the public and they wonder why public trust in Big Pharma is at an all-time low.  According to statista.com, ‘Percentage of persons with trust in the pharmaceutical industry in 2019, by country’ had Indonesia and China leading the list with 87% and 83% of their people who trust the pharmaceutical industry as compared to Russia 35%, Italy 40% and even with Germany with 41%.  In the US who has numerous pharmaceutical corporations with one of the most medicated populations in the world stands at 44% of the population that do trust Big Pharma. 

Unfortunately with a declared pandemic comes consequences and since then, the business of medicine especially vaccines has become an extremely profitable and competitive market.  At one time in human history, there were safe and effective medicines including vaccines that were developed with proper animal and clinical testing procedures and without the profit-motive behind it.  The practice of medicine has been turned into a corrupt, purely profit-driven industry  responsible for producing dangerous medicines and that, has become a threat to our health.  To be fair, I am not saying that every drug that Big Pharma has produced is dangerous although many are, but they did develop important life-saving drugs that has helped people throughout its history.  However, Big Pharma has turned doctors into legal drug dealers by pushing them to sell unnecessary and at times, unaffordable drugs to the public.  In the last 40 years or so, the pharmaceutical industry’s death toll has increased year after year from its many types of drugs that they claimed were safe.  For example, Merck’s painkiller Vioxx has killed more than 60,000 people and injured another 130,000.  There were also several pharmaceutical companies including Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. who have been implicated in lawsuits claiming that their marketing practices of selling opioids has caused more than 450,000 deaths in the last twenty years in the US alone since they bypassed regulations to sell the addictive and dangerous drug to the public.  According to WHO estimates, there was also more than 115,000 deaths around the world in 2017 that was attributed to opioids use. Now with the vaccine market growing exponentially, Western pharmaceutical corporations continue to push their pills and vaccines estimated to be worth around $1.3 trillion globally.  Vaccines are being pushed more than ever before.  Big Pharma sees profits with new vaccines being created for every type of sickness imaginable even though vaccines have injured and even killed people throughout the world.  In the US for example, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVIC) has paid out over $4.4 billion in vaccine damages since 1986.   

The Business of Medicine Is About Business, Not Health

In the world of mergers and acquisitions, major multinational pharmaceutical corporations became bigger and more powerful.  In August 2019, a joint venture was formed between GSK and Pfizer Inc.  Emma Walmsley, the CEO of GSK and the chair of the joint venture said that “the completion of the joint venture with Pfizer marks the beginning of the next phase of our transformation of GSK. This is an important moment for the Group, laying the foundation for two great companies, one in Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines and one in Consumer Health” according to GSK’s website.  What is interesting about this merger is that based on aiming its resources into the high-risk areas where the rewards will be the greatest in terms of profits and that will ultimately accelerate a global healthcare bureaucracy.  Endpoints News (www.endpts.com) from the University of Kansas ‘Bioscience & Technology Business Center stated the following: 

Large pharmaceutical companies have been pouring their resources into the high risk, high reward arena of new medicines, particularly for oncology, autoimmune and rare diseases, as the era of targeted, personalized medicine shifts into high gear. Pruning low-margin consumer health units is seemingly par for the course.

The deal to merge the consumer health divisions of GSK and Pfizer — which raked in a combined $12.7 billion in sales in 2017 and brought brands such as GSK’s Sensodyne and Pfizer’s Advil under the same roof — into a joint venture was clinched in 2018, forming the largest global consumer health business. While Pfizer owns about a third, GSK is in charge of the rest

Major pharmaceutical corporations have a significant amount in influence around the world including in one of the biggest potential markets in Asia which is China.  Major pharmaceuticals had opened up R&D centers in China such as AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk in 2002, GlaxoSmithKline in 2003, Roche in 2004 followed by Pfizer and others as the drug and vaccine industry continued to grow.  A report that was produced by a pharmaceutical team based in Beijing and Shanghai titled ‘Investing in China’s Pharmaceutical Industry’ sponsored by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) in 2009 that “Chinese pharmaceutical market is consolidating, with a high number of deals both by foreign and domestic players, due to an appetite (albeit reduced by the current worldwide economic downturn) for domestic IPOs.”  Big Pharma is pouring into China as “the amount of investment from foreign (pharmaceutical) players continues to grow and is starting to venture into areas outside of manufacturing, such as R&D, distribution and retail pharmacies.” Medicine is now a key component in China’s economic model.  Hopefully, China will fall back to its 3,000 year-old medical system of healing that can be beneficial to both the Chinese people and to the rest of the world in various ways.  It can be entrepreneurial with moral health principals, something that this world is lacking, but this special interest group does work for the industry, so they preferred not to discuss the topic in the PWC’s report:

TCM is a medical system developed in China about 3,000 years ago. It is based on the concept that one’s health depends on a constant struggle between various opposing forces (e.g. yin and yang, or hot and cold). Excesses or imbalances in the body cause sickness or disease, with Chinese herbal medicines helping to restore balance and nurse the body back to health. Beyond their implicit meaning, Chinese herbal medicines actually comprise a combination of herbs, minerals and animal products. Other TCM-related therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, massage and restorative physical exercises will not be discussed here 

A Complicated Left-Right Paradigm: Big Pharma Vs. Non-Profit Cuban Vaccines

For Cuba, financial rewards are not essential.  In 2006, The Inter Press Service (IPS.net) presented the fact that Cuba’s role in vaccine production is about helping mainly poor nations who suffer from various diseases which means that they produce effective vaccines that are unprofitable to the Big Pharma cartel.  According to the IPS, “deliberately putting human health before economic considerations, according to local experts, Cuba has launched full-tilt into the vaccine industry to compete on the international market with its products, some of which are unique” the article said, “Cuban scientists are devoting themselves to investigating therapeutic products against cancer, malaria and cholera, diseases that ravage the people of poor nations.” Putting health before profits in modern-day society is commendable.  Cuba focuses on its own population when it comes to new medicines and vaccines “However, the first destination of every new pharmaceutical is the Cuban market and the national hospital network.”  Cuba’s emerging vaccine industry seemed unprofitable to Big Pharma according to Carlos Borroto, deputy director of the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Centre (CIGB) “half of our research projects deal with vaccines, which are financially unattractive to the big pharmaceutical companies.”  I admire the Cuban Revolution as to what it stands for in terms of its anti-Imperialism and anti-colonialism principals to this day.  Cuba’s success in providing doctors around the world to help poor nations despite the fact that they are under a rather, harsh US embargo is extraordinary, but I do not entirely agree with a few Cuban health professionals on how safe and effective all vaccines are although Cuba has eradicated a number of diseases since the National Immunization Program was created in 1962.  They have achieved a 100% vaccination rate against a dozen or so diseases.

On October 2019 ‘A Cuban Perspective on the Anti-vaccination Movement’ was published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information under the Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC Review) section by a group of Cuban health professionals including Belkys M. Galindo-Santana, a former consultant to the WHO on polio eradication in Angola, Dr. Elba Cruz-Rodriguez and Lena Lopez-Ambron.  They mentioned Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s article in The Lancet that questioned on the safety of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines which was criticized by the US/UK medical establishment. It seems that they are also following the same line as their Western counterparts:        

The biggest controversy in recent years was touched off in 1998, with Dr Andrew Wakefield’s article in The Lancet, questioning the safety of the triple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Although he did not directly blame MMR for the occurrence of ileocolonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia and neurological disorders (both commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder) in 12 previously normal children, he affirmed that the parents of 8 of the children associated the date of symptom onset with vaccination, and stated that the disease was the result of an “external trigger.

This assumption unleashed a media campaign that spread fear among parents, with many in the UK refusing to vaccinate their children. In 2004, Dr Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, stated that the article should not have been published because it was based on a clear conflict of interest. An investigation by the UK’s General Medical Council revealed that a law firm representing the interests of parents of children supposedly harmed by the vaccine had paid Wakefield to explore evidence of this association. The Council ruled against Wakefield and he lost his medical license

However, Japan has a different attitude on vaccinations that basically follows Dr. Wakefield’s conclusions.  In October 2014, The Japan Times published ‘Vaccination: A Choice Between Two Unknowns’  which has a different perspective on Japan’s experiences with vaccinations:

In recent history, Japan has experienced its fair share of incidents related to vaccination.  In the 1970s, about 300 victims and relatives of children who died after receiving vaccinations against smallpox and other diseases in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka fought against the government and won compensation in the 1980s and ’90s. 

Japan introduced the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine in 1989 but was forced to take it off the shelves four years later after about 2,000 people suffered side effects that included aseptic meningitis.  These incidents led to a major revision of the Preventive Vaccination Law in 1994, with lawmakers deciding to recategorize vaccination from being mandatory to one that is routine and optional.  People, however, continue to suffer from side effects caused by inoculation

The Japanese health ministry also provided statistics that showed “that 38 infants have died after being inoculated with the Haemophilus influenzae type B or streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines since 2011.”  The health ministry also “received more than 2,000 complaints of side effects from the human papillomavirus vaccine that is designed to prevent cervical cancer” which adds to the dire outcomes of some of the vaccines that were at one point or another were considered safe at the time. However, the Cuban health professionals I just mentioned claimed the following on the safety of the MMR vaccine:

The effects of mass vaccination on incidence of measles have been well documented throughout the world, and countless studies in the field confirm the efficacy of the MMR vaccine. In fact, research has demonstrated that the various measles vaccines are safe, effective and can be used interchangeably in immunization programs. Natural strains of the virus have never been shown to be transmitted from a vaccinated individual to another. Thanks to an inexpensive and effective vaccine, vaccination with the MMR vaccine constitutes one of the most cost-effective public health interventions in low- and middle-income countries, as elsewhere

It seems that Cuba overly relies on their vaccination programs which ironically has been successful since they take out the profit motive behind the creation of their vaccines.  There are vaccines around the world where the octopus arms of Big Pharma are not in control in places like Cuba, but to solely rely on numerous vaccines for all types of diseases seems a little over the top and that’s why I remain skeptical.  There are other methods of fighting diseases besides sticking a needle into someone’s arm.   

The Japan Times article mentions Hiroko Mori, a former head of the infectious disease section at the former Institute of Public Health who is considered a respected expert on public health issues who was “involved in research to improve the Japanese encephalitis vaccine and prevent the maternal transmission of hepatitis B” has been warning about the dangers of vaccinations for a long-time: 

Mori says times have changed and children don’t need to be vaccinated as much, noting that deaths of infants less than 1 year old have dropped from 205,000 in 1947 to 2,200 in 2013. Indeed, Japan has one of the lowest mortality rates of newborns and infants on the planet, according to World Health Organization data.

Much of this is due to the country’s first-class sanitation and levels of nutrition, Mori says, agreeing that vaccination is still advisable in developing countries.

“I don’t oppose vaccination across the board,” Mori says. “Medicine is supposed to be about healing, but babies who cannot speak are being given unnecessary shots because parents are scared. Children are losing their ability to heal naturally

Big Pharma And Western Mainstream Media Vs. Sputnik V

In Russia, an interesting development has been taking place since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.  The Russian Ministry of Health registered the Sputnik V vaccine on August 11th which was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology which of course, was heavily criticized by the Western mainstream media that accused Russia of bypassing important testing procedures.  Vadim Tarasov, the director of Sechenov University’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology declared back in July that “Russia’s Sechenov University Successfully Completes Trials of World’s 1st COVID-19 Vaccine.”  According to its website, www.sputnikvaccine.com explains Russia’s breakthrough research methods: 

After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Russian researchers extracted a fragment of genetic material from novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2, which codes information about the structure of the spike S-protein, which forms the virus’ “crown” and is responsible for connection with human cells. They inserted it into a familiar adenovirus vector for delivery into a human cell creating the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine.

In order to ensure lasting immunity Russian scientists came up with a breakthrough idea to use two different types of adenovirus vectors (rAd26 and rAd5) for the first and second vaccination, boosting the effect of the vaccine.  The use of human adenoviruses as vectors is safe because these viruses, which cause the common cold, are not novel and have been around for thousands of years

The Sputnik V vaccine is compared to the 1957 launch of the world’s first man-made satellite by the former USSR that also helped launch space research around the world.  According to the website, it compares the launch of the Sputnik satellite to the Covid-19 vaccine as a ‘Sputnik moment’ in the 21st Century for new medicines. The Russian news agency, TASS reported on Big Pharma’s criticism on Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine ‘Visible to the naked eye: Kremlin slams Big Pharma’s ploy to smear Russia’s COVID vaccine’, the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s reacted to criticism’s made by Big Pharma and its mainstream media cheerleaders in the US when he said that “these aspirations [to discredit the Russian vaccine] are seen not only in the Kremlin. They are visible to the naked eye, as they say,” he continued “competition is fierce” and that “It is good when this competition is fair, and for that matter there shouldn’t be much competition in this market” I agree, especially when it comes to saving lives, but Big Pharma is about the profits, control and dominating the world’s global pharmaceutical markets.  Peskov said that they are politicizing the vaccine, “this is a whole different ballgame since competition here is being politicized, and dirty tricks are being used to discredit the vaccine.”  Hopefully, Russia’s breakthrough technology for their new Covid-19 vaccine will be successful, but only time will tell.

Vaccines Alone Should Not Be The Only Answer To Fight Diseases

There is a place for vaccines if they are safe and effective. Whether in Cuba, Russia or the US, vaccines should not be the only game in town to cure diseases. Albeit, vaccines have been successful in Cuba, but they should not be considered the only option to save lives. Yes, diseases have become complex due to diseases constantly evolving into new strains.  Historically, diseases were also newly created and sometimes re-created especially in US military labs.  

Big Pharma is an influential power within the world of medicine, but it is also a major player in the global hierarchy of power.  The only game in town for Big Pharma is corporate profits and for the control of the world’s healthcare systems with the intention of defeating their economic and geopolitical rivals so that they can dominate the world’s global markets to sell their drugs.  Instead of saving lives by going back to the basic principles of creating safe and effective medicines that took years of research with animal and clinical trials along with alternative medicines and common sense, they decided to choose politics and profits over human life.  It’s time to remove politics and profits from medicine. We need not only safe medicines but also other alternative remedies rather than a government and its pharmaceutical corporations who propagandizes people into taking dangerous and untested vaccines and other drugs that can possibly cause injuries and even death to fight Covid-19 or any other new diseases that might appear in the future. 

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