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Championship Debate - LordBucket vs KrazyJethro - Pills Are Good!

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posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 09:31 PM
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The topic for this debate is "Pharmaceutical Companies Negatively Effect The Health Of The Population More Than Not.”

LordBucket will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
KrazyJethro will be arguing the "Con" position.

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posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 07:41 AM
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Pharmaceutical Companies Negatively Effect
The Health Of The Population More Than Not.

This topic basically breaks down into three issues: damage directly caused by pharmaceuticals themselves, death and disease resulting from corporate decisions motivated by the pursuit of money rather than human health, and long term, multi-generational damage in the form of birth defects and environmental toxicity.


Health problems and death caused by pharmaceuticals

According to the World Health Organization:


No drug is without risk and all medicines have side effects, some of which can be fatal.

Unintended, harmful reactions to medicines (known as adverse drug reactions)
are among the leading causes of death in many countries.

This is a well known problem in the medical community. Some people react badly to some medications even at a normal dose. Sometimes the cause can be identified as unexpected interactions with other drugs, but other times there is no identifiable cause. Basically, sometimes drugs kill people. And this is by no means a third world phenomenon. Let's start at home. Here's what the Journal of the American Medical Association has to say about adverse drug reactions here in the US:


The overall incidence of serious ADRs was 6.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2%-8.2%) and of fatal ADRs was 0.32% (95% CI, 0.23%-0.41%) of hospitalized patients. We estimated that in 1994 overall 2216000 (1721000-2711000) hospitalized patients had serious ADRs and 106000 (76000-137000) had fatal ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death.

Pharmaceuticals are a leading causes of death and medical complication. Over two million serious cases per year, and roughly 100,000 deaths in this country alone. And these numbers are only of incidents that occur in hospitals. Plenty more occur in the home and elsewhere. This should come as no surprise. We've all seen the side effect warning labels. We know what they say. Go through your medicine cabinet. "May cause headaches, dizziness, feelings of vertigo, reduced sperm count, dementia, increased risk of stroke and death." More often than you might guess, even something as trivial as aspirin for a headache kills people. According to a quick websearch over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen kill on average 7600 people and hospitalize nearly 100,000 every year.

 

Health problems and deaths resulting from misconduct by companies:

Hundreds of billions of dollars are exchanging hands via the pharmaceutical industry every year. With that kind of money at stake, there's a great deal of incentive to create and push products that at best might not do anything, and at worst may be deadly.

Bayer knowingly sold AIDS-infected vaccines worldwide. Hoffman-La Roche knowingly lied to the FDA and withheld the fact that Posicor was causing deaths in their clinical trials. The FDA approved it anyway, and lots of people died. Merck & Co. knew that Vioxx caused heart complications, but they sold it anyway, and in the years following, roughly 50,000 court cases were brought against them by people who experienced heart attacks and strokes after taking Vioxx.

There are countless examples of horrible and blatant misconduct by pharmaceutical companies, marketing products knowing full well that they don't provide any benefit, knowing full well that they kill, bribing doctors, lying to the FDA and withholding test results...the problems are so widespread that there are entire legal firms such as Nolan & Auerback dedicated exclusively to these sort of cases.

Why does this happen? Because there are hundreds of billions of dollars being made in the pharmaceutical industry. These companies can afford to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement and litigation when they're making half a billion dollars a year from individual products that may not have any benefit but kill a large percentage of those who take them, and create lifelong health problems for countless more.

 

Long term problems

Even when companies aren't deliberately malicious, very often the pharmaceutical industry causes long term damage simply because it don't know what effects these chemicals will have until years too late. The most well known example of this would be Thalidomide.

Thalidomide was a sedative that was prescribed for relief of minor pain and "morning sickness" in pregnant women. Prescribed for four years before anyone realized that it caused birth defects. Tens of thousands of babies were born with missing and malformed limbs, and in some cases extra growth-like appendages in their place. Even in developed countries the majority of these babies died, and those who survived were left with tragedy for life. If you have a strong stomach, do a search for "Thalidomide baby" and take a look at some pictures of newborns with no arms or legs, and strange growths coming out where they should be.

Even more scary is that the pharmaceutical industry has been so successful at convincing people that they need to be medicated that our water filtering systems are no longer able to adequately clean our waste water. Everything from antibiotics to antidepressants and sex hormones have made their way into our water supply. Think about that. People are taking so many drugs that our water filtering systems can't filter it all out and underground aquifers across the country have been polluted with mind altering and gender-bending chemicals.

 

For all the problems, for all the deaths, for all the bribes and misconduct...perhaps the most disheartening factor in all this is that the benefit provided by drugs is really very minimal. Drugs don't cure conditions. There is no cure for the common cold. AIDS medications don't cure AIDS. Chemotherapy does not cure cancer. Most medications serve simply as pain relief, and very often they destroy your body in the process.

When you go to the doctor and he prescribes an antihistamine for your cold, that antihistamine does not make you well. All it does is make your nose less runny so you're more comfortable while your body cures itself.

The fact is that even when they do work as intended, pharmaceuticals are generally bad for you. Medical research and cause-of-death statistics firmly back this. But there's so much money involved that an industry has been created out of selling people on the idea that they need these unhealthy substances and bribing doctors into prescribing them.

The history of medicine owes a great deal to the snake oil salesmen of the previous century. But unlike those snake oil salesmen, who simply tricked the unwary out of their money, the modern pharmaceutical industry is killing people, destroying our water supply, causing birth defects and creating health problems both for ours, and for generations to come.

These negative effects far outweigh temporary relief for a runny nose.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 09:17 PM
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This topic does break down into three main points; however a simple rewording will allow those points to be neutral rather than slanted.

- Pharmaceuticals: benefit vs. Cost
- Results of the system in which they exist/operate
- Long-term effects

Pharmaceutical companies have been a major point of angst in the public for some time now, especially in the United States and its press. It’s quite easy, in fact, to bad mouth the companies that make these products and find general acceptance in mixed company. This automatic negative response preys upon those who do not have the time or inclination to entirely examine the topic, which will be provided in this debate.

Pharmaceuticals, benefit vs. cost
Firstly, let’s deal with the physical cost. According to the World Health Organization:

No drug is without risk and all medicines have side effects, some of which can be fatal.

This is true, without debate. But let’s continue with the same source, which adds:
“At least 60% of ADRs are preventable, and can be due to:
• wrong diagnosis of the patient’s condition;
• prescription of the wrong drug or wrong dosage of the right drug;
• an undetected medical, genetic or allergic condition that might cause a patient reaction;
• self-medication with prescription medicines;
• not following the instructions for taking the medication;
• reactions with other drugs (including traditional medicines) and certain foods;
• use of a sub-standard medication whose composition and ingredients do not meet the correct scientific requirements, and can be ineffective and often dangerous;
• use of counterfeit medicines with no active ingredients or the wrong ingredients, which can be dangerous or fatal.”

Viewing the entire picture certainly does reduce the drastic tone of the first presentation of the same information, even using the same sources.

Secondly, to place some perspective on the issue, before 1922, diabetic children rarely lived a year after diagnosis, five percent of adults died within two years, and less than 20 percent lived more than ten (2). Untreated diabetics faced blindness, loss of limbs, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and death (3). Today, however, diabetes can be managed or alleviated by the very insulin Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi-Aventis, the major manufacturers in North America, provide. All three are pharmaceutical companies.

The lives saved alone by this one example greatly overshadow many of the proposed costs. This fact does not even include the incalculable lives created by those who would otherwise be dead before being able to procreate.

Results of the system in which they exist/operate
A few incontestable points should be said to preface this section. The Healthcare industry is immense, to be kind, and has grown dramatically around the world over the past century. Pharmaceuticals, being part of that system, has likewise grown bringing in billions of dollars each year. Additionally, Pharmaceutical companies are for profit businesses.

To begin, there are sufficient examples of misconduct of these companies to make anyone seriously leery of them in general. Should we not, therefore, take into consideration the business, regulatory, and public demand environment in which they have grown to see why the problem might not have all of its roots in the companies directly?

Like the banking industry, especially noteworthy these days, many companies do what they are allowed to do. Poor regulation, a seriously flawed healthcare system, ever increasing government payment for health services, massive increase in demand for psychoactive drugs, and a society increasingly dependent on the quick fix have created serious pitfalls that even the most earnest might easy be snared.

This is not to discount the culpability of the companies in question, nor does it reduce the terrible nature of such crimes, but rather to form a more complete picture of how these events conspired to create the very situation we currently find ourselves in.

It might be easy to view this as having happened in a bubble, laying the bad guy label and being done, but a few questions must be asked before a conclusion is to be made.

Is an individual or group not affected by the permissibility of action in which it exists?

And the more relevant:
Do these examples constitute evidence that outweighs the benefit of those same companies?

The former can only be answered affirmatively, while one would be hard pressed to answer yes to the latter and still be able to justify it to a discerning audience.

Long term effects

The long term effects of drugs, more often than not, are viewed through the practical application of the medication in the market place. There have been some terrible examples of this that can be readily brought to mind, a recent example of this is Accutane.

Like plane wrecks, however, the terrible mistakes are remembered while most do not think of the sheer number of successful flights happen daily without incident. Additionally, the problems with the long term effects of drugs are reduced since most medication is not meant to be taken for a long time due to the general toxicity of the drugs in question.

One might also contend that one long term effect would be the current and increasing demand for a larger variety of drugs and lay it squarely at the feet of the pharmaceutical companies. This greatly underestimates the entire nature of modern society. It is easy to forget that health care a century ago was very poor generally and it was viewed very differently. In the modern age, the idea that healthcare is a right for all is often bandied about in the media and the sentiment is reflected in the attitudes of those who direct and are directed by that media; the public. Society feels it shouldn’t even have to deal with any kind of illness, even very minor ones, which is mirrored in the opposition likening the benefits as alleviating a runny nose.

When viewing things subjectively or selectively, one will surely soak up the waves of negative press rotating around this topic, but viewed objectively and as a whole, the conclusion drawn is quite different. While no one will argue that any company is perfect, the evidence strongly supports the notion that pharmaceuticals are more beneficial than harmful on the whole.
It’s much more than a runny nose to a baby born already addicted to crack or a diabetic trying to avoid amputation, coma, or death.

1 World Health Organization, Medicines: safety of medicines – adverse drug reactions
2 Berger, Melvin. “Frederick Grant Banting.” Famous Men of Modern Biology. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1968. 56-73. Print.
3 Yuwiler, Janice M. Insulin. Detroit: Lucent Books, 2005. Print. Great Medical Discoveries.



posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 08:49 AM
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No drug is without risk and all medicines have side effects, some of which can be fatal.

This is true, without debate. But let’s continue with the same source, which adds:
“At least 60% of ADRs are preventable

Are preventable. Not, are prevented. It may well be true that some number of adverse drug reactions could have been avoided. They do nevertheless occur by the millions. The harm of hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of hospitalizations is not reduced by pointing out that they could have been avoided if only we had been more careful.



Pharmaceutical companies are for profit businesses.

there are sufficient examples of misconduct of these companies to make
anyone seriously leery of them in general.

So we agree. Misconduct by pharmaceutical companies is a huge problem. And as you say, we're justified in being seriously leery of them.



Like the banking industry, especially noteworthy these days, many companies
do what they are allowed to do. Poor regulation, a seriously flawed healthcare
system, ever increasing government payment for health services, massive increase
in demand for psychoactive drugs, and a society increasingly dependent on the
quick fix have created serious pitfalls that even the most earnest might easy be snared.

It seems to me that you're acknowledging that these companies are a serious problem, agreeing that they do whatever they can get away with, but you're attempting to justify it by suggesting that they're not to blame because they're simply taking advantage of an environment of social problems that allows them to get away with it.

I don't agree with that. And even if I did, it wouldn't change the fact that the things they're being "allowed" to do are having seriously nasty consequences.



This is not to discount the culpability of the companies in question, nor
does it reduce the terrible nature of such crimes, but rather to form a
more complete picture of how these events conspired to create the very
situation we currently find ourselves in.

So you acknowledge that their crimes are terrible, and you agree that they are culpable...but you suggest that they're not responsible for the environment that allows them to commit these crimes.

So what?

If your immune system is weak, and bacteria infect and kill you, would you suggest that deadly bacteria are fine and good, and that really your immune system is to blame? I think not. Pharmaceutical companies may be taking advantage of a flawed system in order to create problems, but that doesn't change the fact they're taking advantage of us and creating problems.

Pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of us and creating problems. You seem to readily acknowledge this.



There have been some terrible examples of this that can be
readily brought to mind, a recent example of this is Accutane.

Yes, Accutane, generic name Isotretinoin, is an excellent example of how terrible these problems can be. Permanent side effects, even after discontinuing therapy include:

...inflammatory bowel disease, degenerative disc disease, keloids, bone disease...depression, suicidal ideation, and psychosis...is highly likely to cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy. A few of the more common birth defects that this drug can cause are hearing and visual impairment, missing or malformed earlobes, facial dysmorphism, and mental retardation.

And you know what the scary thing is? This drug is still on the market. It was not pulled because of its side effects.

Roche removed Accutane from the market in the June of 2009
because of competition from generic forms of isotretinoin.

The company that manufactures this stuff knew full well that it induces suicidal psychosis and causes permanent bowel and bone diseases and birth defects, but they only cared about how much money they could make from it, and their competitors were offering the same chemical without the trade name for cheaper. The generic, cheaper version is still on the market, still destroying lives.

These companies are not interested in health. They're interested in making money. So why would you buy it? It's prescribed for skin conditions and chemotherapy. As we've already mentioned, chemotherapy doesn't save your life, it just destroys your body slowly rather than all at once. Isotretinoin is useful in chemotherapy because it is a teratogen that destroys replicating cells. And the fact that it isn't particular about whether it destroys healthy or cancerous cells isn't a huge problem when the patient is expected to die anyway.

So that leaves skin conditions. What kind of skin conditions does it help?


Isotretinoin is indicated for the treatment of severe cystic acne

Acne? Seriously? Permanent bone disease and inflamation of the bowels, plus birth defects...but wow, it sure does stop that acne. When I weigh the "pro" vs the "con" here, I conclude that this is really a very, very bad thing. You pointed this out yourself when you brought it up:



The long term effects of drugs
There have been some terrible examples of this that can be
readily brought to mind, a recent example of this is Accutane.

Drugs do have terrible, long term effects, and these long term effects are not limited merely to the people who use them. This stuff is getting into our drinking water. If somebody who's going to die anyway chooses to take something that will kill them in order to make their final days more comfortable, I can understand that. But it is absolutely dangerous and irresponsible to knowingly expose our entire society to these chemicals:

Pharmaceuticals lurking in U.S. drinking water


many of the pharmaceuticals we take to stay healthy are seeping into drinking water supplies, and a growing body of research indicates that this could harm humans.

Anti-epileptic, anti-anxiety medications and sex hormones are being detected in drinking water throughout california. New Jersey water is turning up with mood altering chemicals and angina medications. Antibiotics, psychotropics, estrogens...in some tests as many as fifty six different pharmaceuticals are being found in the water supplies, after treatment has occured. That's the water you drink, the water you clean with, the water you, your family and children bathe in that's inundated with this cocktail of chemicals.

And it's it's not just you that's being affected by this.

Fish, wildlife affected by contaminated water


fish collected in waterways near or in Chicago; West Chester, Pa.; Orlando; Dallas; and Phoenix have tested positive for an array of pharmaceuticals — analgesics, antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-hypertension drugs and anti-seizure medications.

Read the article. Male fish are growing female gonads from human birth control chemicals. Vultures are dying of kidney failure caused by anti-inflammatory drugs. This is a major, world-wide problem, and entire populations of birds and fish are failing to reproduce and dying because of it. Do you realize that the average man has lost 53% of sperm production in the last 50 years? This is why. Estrogens from human birth control pills are contaminating the water supply, and it's not just killing fish. It's feminizing men, inducing early onset of puberty in young girls, increasing incidences of various cancers and creating a host of health problems.

Oral Contraceptives In Your Water Supply:

...risks associated with these substances in the water supply, including the increased incidence of breast cancer (in both men and women), the increased incidence of testicular cancer in young men, and the increasingly early onset of puberty in young girls.

These are known problems, but the companies that produce these chemicals make hundreds of billions of dollars annually by selling us their poisons, and they have a lot of money to throw at politicans and PR and marketing firms to keep their gravy train going.

These chemicals harm human health and reproduction. They destroy animal populations and reduce our food supply. The animals able to survive absorb these chemicals from their environment and we eat them. This creates a never ending cycle of contamination as these manufacturered chemicals get into the water that both humans and animals drink, humans eat the animals, and then excrete the chemicals back into the water to go through the cycle again.

This has the potential to be an extinction-level phenomenon.



posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 11:53 PM
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Are preventable. Not, are prevented. It may well be true that some number of adverse drug reactions could have been avoided. They do nevertheless occur by the millions. The harm of hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of hospitalizations is not reduced by pointing out that they could have been avoided if only we had been more careful.


This is true, and while they are not prevented, they should have been more often than not. Simply laying the blame at the feet of the pharmaceutical companies for the damage others cause through a variety of negligence or ignorance is erroneous at best.

Should we then, by extension, blame car manufacturers for the deaths and serious injury caused by unsafe operation or negligent auto care? This would seem to be not only unjust, but simply untrue.


So we agree. Misconduct by pharmaceutical companies is a huge problem. And as you say, we're justified in being seriously leery of them.


Society should always exercise all reasonable due diligence with regard to important topics such as these. All too often, however, we find that people do not, but find it more convenient of soak up the views portrayed in the media or to try to find the quick fix. It is a symptom of the society that has grown up around affluent nations and is a sickness in more ways than one.


It seems to me that you're acknowledging that these companies are a serious problem, agreeing that they do whatever they can get away with, but you're attempting to justify it by suggesting that they're not to blame because they're simply taking advantage of an environment of social problems that allows them to get away with it.


There is no mitigation of wrong by explaining the full causality between actions taken and the effects. No person or company acts within a bubble and, to be prudent, one must view all the issues to gain a fuller view.

Simply put, the world is more complex and interdependent than standard discussion might explain.


So you acknowledge that their crimes are terrible, and you agree that they are culpable...but you suggest that they're not responsible for the environment that allows them to commit these crimes.


Of course they are terrible, especially since it involves quality of life or even life itself. I do agree that the companies, many times, are culpable which by definition means “deserving blame”. The prudent rational behind the point has already been discussed and it does not erase the mountains of benefit these companies have provided over many many decades.


If your immune system is weak, and bacteria infect and kill you, would you suggest that deadly bacteria are fine and good, and that really your immune system is to blame? I think not. Pharmaceutical companies may be taking advantage of a flawed system in order to create problems, but that doesn't change the fact they're taking advantage of us and creating problems.


If one’s immune system is weak and bacteria take advantage of the weakness, a short term solution might be to attack the bacterial infection, but the long term solution is to remedy the weakened immune system. The bacterial infection is simply a byproduct of or allowed because of a weakened system, so it stands to reason that the root cause is not the infection, but the system itself.

So as not to get bogged down in quid pro quo, the first point must discuss the cost vs. the benefit.

Vaccines

"As well consult a butcher on the value of vegetarianism as a doctor on the worth of vaccination." ~ George Bernard Shaw

The topic of vaccinations is riddled with conspiracy theories, and has been practically since the first appearance of them. However, the sheer number of improvements to human health and obvious and near eradication of many diseases can be attributed to increasingly improved sanitation and immunizations. Smallpox, a disease that at one time killed thousands, is an excellent example.

“Smallpox was officially declared wiped out in 1980. If it were still common around the world, it would cause an estimated two million deaths every year.” (1)

Polio, Whooping Cough, Diphtheria, and Meningitis C have also been practically wiped out in the large majority of the world. These are not small matters, and the lives saved or improved are beyond counting.

It’s easy to point to a tangible death, but saved lives (like saved jobs) are generally intangible ideas, easily dismissed and almost always greatly underestimated both in value and quantity. The question at hand seems one of numbers, although the human mind things in many other tones than that. Speaking of numbers, for the moment, can we find detrimental actions that even remotely approach the lives improved, saved, or created by those saved? Could anyone even begin to count such numbers?

The answer is no to both, but the benefits are more broad than that.

To go back a bit, diabetes is a problem caused by a number of sources. The rate of diabetes is increasing, nearly doubling between 1995-97 and 2005-07, showing a 90% increase across that period. (2) This is reflected more recently by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, reporting incidences of diabetes climbed to 11.3% of American adults, up from 10.4%, affecting 26 million Americans alone. (3)


Globally, according to the World Health Organization, "an estimated 285 million people, corresponding to 6.4% of the world's adult population, will live with diabetes in 2010"

A long way from the first discovery of insulin, today there are a variety of medication classes available, a variety of types of insulin, and have been improvements to the insulin types themselves. These are produced by pharmaceutical companies, and enable many millions around the world to conduct their lives in a far more manageable and normal way than was possible even 15 years ago.
There have been a wide variety of improvements to human health, including Osteoporosis, Growth Disorders, and Fibromyalgia, to name a few. The improvement is such that many alive do not remember a time when healthcare was not a central feature of modern life.
It has been acknowledged that there are problems and risks associated with taking drugs, and the caution used should be far more stringent than it seems to be these days on the part of the medical community and the individual. While this is clear, it does not erase the sheer volume of easily forgettable benefits provided by the variety of medications available to the average person, the diseases protected against or eliminated, and the conditions that are able to be managed and provide an increased quality of life.
The numbers on the side of benefit are so large, that to put smaller cost numbers against them is to pit a car against a pitiable bug. The analogy might seem harsh or inhumane by those who hear about the problems and are outraged, as they should be. Speaking from a simple numbers perspective, however, the point stands incontestable.
Does this mean that society should give any individual or company a pass on negligence, mistakes, or malicious action? Of course not, and never will that point be aligned with this position. Does this mean the complete blame should be on the company despite the fault being another’s? No again, and we must remember that we are seeking only to determine if pharmaceutical companies do more harm than good overall and across time.
Doctors, patients, psychiatrists, hospitals, and the government do not work for the pharmaceutical companies and therefore the blame of their own actions cannot be laid at the feet of those same companies. The distinction, although easy to miss or forget, bears repeating not only because of the topic at hand, but also because the problems of healthcare are systemic.
We must get to the root rather than simply lump all in together or simply chastise the individual players.

1) National Health Service, The power of vaccines, accessed 2/10/11 at www.nhs.uk...

2) Paddock, Catharine, US Diabetes Rate Nearly Doubled In 10 Years, Medical News Today, accessed 2/10/11 at www.medicalnewstoday.com...

3) Witters, Dan, U.S. Diabetes Rate Climbs Above 11%; Could Hit 15% by 2015, Gallop, accessed 2/10/11 at www.gallup.com...



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 01:50 PM
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bacterial infection is simply a byproduct of or allowed because of a weakened system,
so it stands to reason that the root cause is not the infection, but the system itself.

So you're saying that bacterial infection is a byproduct of a weakened immune system, not sickness is a result of bacterial infection?

I think most people would disagree with that.



laying the blame at the feet of the pharmaceutical companies for the damage
others cause through a variety of negligence or ignorance is erroneous at best.

You've already acknowledged several times that these companies are harmful, described them as committing "terrible crimes" and stated that we should be leery of them. I'm willing to simply agree with your assessments.



Should we then, by extension, blame car manufacturers for the deaths
and serious injury caused by unsafe operation or negligent auto care?

A more apt metaphor would be a drug dealer selling coc aine to people who then destroy their lives with it. Yes, we can argue that it's not the drug dealer's fault that people choose to use his product even if it harms them. But there's no question whether the drug dealer is contributing to the health of his clients. And pharmaceuticals are, after all, drugs.

The goal here is not to assign blame, but to establish the harm caused by pharmaceuticals, the damage caused by the need these companies have to keep people unhealthy so they can continue raking in hundreds of billions of dollars, and long term damage caused by things like birth defects, destruction of the environment, chemical contamination, etc.

Speaking of which, I notice you completely failed to respond to the entire second half of my previous post discussing medications, psychotropics and gender-bending chemicals in the water supply.

Sooner or later you're going to have to address that.



Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia:

there is no known cure or universally accepted treatment for fibromyalgia,
and treatment is typically aimed at symptom management.

Pharmaceuticals do not cure fibromyalgia. They do not improve the health of a fibromyalgia sufferer. They target symptoms. Like an antihistamine for a cold, it doesn't actually make you well. It only makes you more comfortable.

But you know what does help fibromyalgia? Excercise.

Yes, there are fibromyalgia medications, but they don't correct the condition. They simply eliminate pain. Pain is the body's way of communicating that there is a problem. If you break an arm, it hurts...so you're careful and use it less to give it a chance to heal. If you take a drug that makes the pain go away, it doesn't make your arm heal any faster. But...it may lead you to be less careful and reinjure it.



Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a lessening of bone density making them more likely to break. Just one problem:

Osteoporosis Drugs May Increase Risk of Broken Bones

Osteoporosis medications assist in the short term by prompting your body to draw on reserves to promote bone regeneration. But there is a cost to that, and when the underlying cause of the problem is not resolved, this can have disastrous long term results.

 

Many people believe that drugs help them when in fact they don't, and sometimes when they aren't even intended to.

If a person with fibromyalgia wants to improve his condition, he should be excercising. Not taking medications to hide the pain. If a person with osteoporosis wants to improve hid condition, he should be going outside to increase his explosure to sunlight and drinking less alcohol and soda, which tend to leach calcium from the body. Not taking medication to hide his symptoms while his body continues to deteriorate.

Drugs hide symptoms, interfere with the body's natural mechanisms for dealing with sickness and generally delude people into belieiving that everything's ok. So they continue doing whatever it is that's causing problems, and continue failling to take proper care of themselves through diet, excercise and healthy lifestyle choices. There are no drugs that cure the common cold. There are no drugs that cure AIDS. No drugs cure cancer. No drug can cure fibromyalgia. Very few drugs provide any healing or help of any kind to your body. They mostly just hide symptoms. This is dangerous. If your arm was broken, you wouldn't take a pain releiver to make it stop hurting and then go out to lift weights.

If people understood this, the pharmaceuticals industry would potentially lose hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue. That's a tremendous incentive for them to convince people to ignore their problems and deal only with symptoms while the underlaying problems remain. If drugs actually made you healthy, you wouldn't need to take them anymore. It's in the best interests of these companies to keep you unhealthy and only make you comfortable by hiding your symptoms so you can continue buying their products.



Vaccines

There is diagreement in the scientific community over the value of vaccines. The problem is not that vaccines are ineffective, but that while they may provide some benefit, they also cause damage. This is well established. For example, the 1976 Swine Flu


strain itself killed one person and hospitalized 13. However, side-effects from the vaccine caused five hundred cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome and 25 deaths.

So there's your contribution to public health from the pharmaceutical companies. Twenty five times as many deaths, and hundreds of people with neurodegenerative paralysis. Vaccines routinely cause these kinds of problems.



smallpox

There is plenty of evidence that like the swine flu vaccinations, smallpox vaccinations may well have caused more damage than they prevented.

Smallpox :

England and Wales had become one of the least vaccinated countries, and had only 28 deaths from smallpox, out of a population of 37.8 million people. By contrast, during that same year, out of a population of 10 million -- all triply vaccinated over the prior 6 years -- the Philippine Islands registered 47,368 deaths from smallpox.



In Germany, in the years 1870-1871, over 1,000,000 people had smallpox, of which 120,000 died. 96 percent of these had been vaccinated.

Vaccination is the process of deliberately infecting individuals with "weakened" organisms to familiarize the body's immune system to them. But while some adapt and become immune, others fail to adapt, and become ill, or die.

A virus on its own will generally only make its way to a portion of individuals in any setting. When vaccinations are performed, everyone gets exposed. So, vaccination is essentially a gamble. Will more damage be caused by a fully active virus infecting only a very small number of people, or a relatively weak virus infecting everyone?

There is a consistent body of evidence worldwide that the smallpox vaccinations caused more damage than the virus itself would have had vaccinations not occurred.

Dr. William Howard Hay:

official records show three times as many deaths directly from vaccinations as from smallpox




Diabetes

First: Your numbers are misleading

According to diabetes.niddk.nih.gov the 26 million number appears to be an extrapolated estimate based on a nutrition survey. 7 million of them are classified as "undiagnosed." I interpret that to mean that they may technically be diabetic, but the symptoms are so benign that they don't even know about it.

Second: Few of those people are taking medication for it

You can't claim they're benefitting from pharmaceuticals when they're not taking any. Obviously if 7 million of these people who allegedly have diabetes are "undiagnosed" they're not taking any medication for it.

There are two primary forms of diabetes. "Type 1" in which the body does not produce insulin, the hormone that regulates the transport of blood sugar into cells. This group constitutes only 5% of diabetics. "Type 2" in which cells don't efficienly use insulin for this process. Additionally, there's a third classification of "pre-diabetics" which is basically people who have been identified as having unusually high levels of blood sugar, but not enough to cause problems. These are people who are likely to become type 2 diabetics later in life if their health doesn't improve.

Of the 19 million diagnosed diabetics estimated by your survey, the 5% that are type 1 are all taking insulin, because they'd die if they didn't. So I'll acknowledge that these people benefit from taking insulin.

As for the other 18 million, however...

Third: Medication is not the preferred treatment

Type 1 diabetics take insulin because their body doesn't naturally produce it. They'll die if they don't get it. But for type 2 diabetics, who constitute roughly 95% of diabetics...

Diabetes management

Modern approaches to diabetes primarily rely upon dietary and lifestyle management

diabetic management consists of a combination of diet, exercise, and weight loss

Diabetes medications are beneficial to a small portion of diabetics, but they're not the preferred solution. If you spend some time reading through the above links you'll see that insulin therapy is dangerous, unreliable, and sometimes worsens the condition. The preferred methods for preventing, managing and even reversing diabetes aren't drugs...but diet, excercise, and simple good healthy living.

Not hiding your symptoms with drugs and allowing the causitive forces to continue.



The rate of diabetes is increasing, nearly doubling between 1995-97 and 2005-07

Of course. There are hundreds of billions of dollars to be be made from people being sick, and from thinking they're sick.

Socratic question:
What incentive do drug companies have to help anyone be healthy?



Moderator note:
9994 characters according to character count, not including moderator notes
Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 08:32 PM
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Sorry the delay but I require my 24 hour extension. Work's been a bear today (just got home), but shouldn't be a problem after today.

Peace
KJ



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 11:44 PM
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So you're saying that bacterial infection is a byproduct of a weakened immune system, not sickness is a result of bacterial infection? I think most people would disagree with that.


Curious since I was simply expounding on your example. To re-quote your original submission “If your immune system is weak, and bacteria infect and kill you, would you suggest that deadly bacteria are fine and good, and that really your immune system is to blame?” The order of events of your example is clear: One has a weak immune system; bacteria invade, person gets sick, and finally dies.

If this was untrue then AIDS has not killed anyone either. AIDS weakens the immune system which increasingly allows other entities to take root and ultimately kill. Is the culprit not AIDS then? Of course it is, and most people would, in fact, agree.



A more apt metaphor would be a drug dealer selling coc aine to people who then destroy their lives with it.


They are both drugs, surely, however the kinship ends there and the metaphor fails. Automobiles are built by reputable companies, regulated by the government to ensure safety, able to have civil cases brought against them to redress grievances or compensate for damages in the same way pharmaceutical companies are.
Drug dealers, on the other hand, are criminal that are not regulated.

But while on the topic of drugs and, by extension, drug addiction:. Effective Treatment Approaches: Medication and behavioral therapy, especially when combined, are important elements of an overall therapeutic process” Prescription medication can be effective in easing an addict off damaging drug habits.(1)
Buprenorphine is used, in two forms (one with Buprenorphine alone and a follow-up mixed with Naloxone, for the treatment for heroin and other opioid addictions. Naloxone is used to blocks the effects of opioids and in treatment for alcoholism. Methadone is also used to block opiate cravings and to reduce the effectiveness of opiates.(1)
These are a few examples of many.



Speaking of which, I notice you completely failed to respond to the entire second half of my previous post discussing medications, psychotropics and gender-bending chemicals in the water supply.


There have been detectable amounts of chemicals found in the water supply, including but not limited to pharmaceuticals. While the levels of contamination are still measured in parts per billion or trillion, there have been signs that some wildlife has been affected.(2)

Some of the unabsorbed medications people take come out in their waste, but it also comes from improper disposal (flushing) of drugs by individuals, hospitals, and medical centers. Those gender-bending chemicals spoken of above, is replacement estrogen to help millions of post-menopausal women, so there’s practically no chance they will stop taking it because some fish are having issues.(3)

This is yet another growing pain along the path to scientific invention needing balance with the environment in which we live. There is little to no evidence that the situation has adverse effects on humans, and considering a good portion of the medication comes from people taking it, we can extrapolate the benefit from those life quality or health improving medications against whatever the detriment would be. Your examples still remain a small subset of the whole.

Fibromyalgia is a common and chronic problem in which the primary symptom is pain and the causes are not known. Fatigue and problems getting to sleep or staying asleep are seen in almost all patients with fibromyalgia, and they feel tired when they wake up. As with practically all medical issues, exercise and diet management can help reduce symptoms, but it often times does not correct the problem and sometimes it doesn’t even really affect them. The symptoms, however, may worsen and continue for months or years; certainly not a recipe for a healthy physical condition.

Treatment involves many facets, to include a variety of prescription medication. It’s hard to function, heal from minor illnesses, have any kind of a positive mental outlook, or even keep a job when you are in pain more often than not and get terrible and/or spotty sleep. Being a “cure” is not the only criteria one can use to measure successful management in the same way a hammer is not going to fix all problems. It is a helpful tool though.(4)

Due to character limitations, there will be brief responses to the following:

- Vaccines: The swine flu scare of 1976 was exacerbated by fears there would be another string of deaths like The Great Plague in 1918. That illness killed 500,000 in the US and 20 million around the world. On doctor at the CDC said that “he and others in on the meetings realized there was "nothing in this for the CDC except trouble," especially because a decision had to be made fast to get the immunizations manufactured by the fall.”(5)

To put things in perspective, 1 death was attributed to the swine flu, 25 deaths to the vaccine, 300-500 had serious damage, and the vaccine was administered to nearly 45,000,000 people. The final number is the most important to relate the others to.

In regards to vaccines in general, there have always been detractors and belligerence towards them, especially when medical science was (to be kind) terrible. This topic could be discussed alone and still the surface would barely be scratched.

If practically all those involved globally are all lying and covering the truth, then it’s a conspiracy for the ages that couldn’t be parsed out in such a limited debate. Here is a helpful link to the Centers for Disease Control about vaccines and what they have done.

- Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is the most prominent form of diabetes; however it is also a progressive disease that generally gets worse at different rates for different people. This means that while diet and exercise may help some and some might stave off the worsening, eventually a fair percentage of those will require additional and more aggressive treatment. The rate of type 2 seems to be accelerating rather than simply increasing.

“The disease has become highly prevalent in Western countries and is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions in the developing world. While the molecular mechanisms involved in the etiology of this disease remain relatively poorly understood, the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) has clearly demonstrated in several investigations that the adoption of insulin therapy in early phases of the disease is capable of attenuating or even preventing massive beta-cell loss and thus the severe metabolic syndrome and its late complications.”(6)



Socratic question: What incentive do drug companies have to help anyone be healthy?


First, most medication treats ailments that have no cure and many that doctors and scientists are having a difficult time even figuring out why they happen. This does not erase the fact that they exist, however, and managing the problem is sometimes the best option for those with no other ones to choose from. Again, curing is not the only criteria to base medical benefit.

Secondly, medications often times either inhibit action or aid the body in doing what it does best, namely heal. Antibiotics are a good example of this, as is the medication in the treatment of asthma. There are so many types of drugs that deal with ailments that, because of modern medicine and medical care, now seem rather mundane.

We simply have the luxury of ignoring many issues that we previously had to deal with and with the continued mapping of the human genome, these improvements should continue to our increased benefit.

Thirdly, to the question. The incentive is to make money by providing medications that are useful in the myriad issues humanity has. The thought seems to be prevalent that the companies want to keep us sick, ignoring the ideas that many of the problems don’t have solutions yet and that human need for medical assistance is (at least at present) practically unlimited.

There’s asthma, allergies of all assorted types, growth disorders, menopause, AIDS, Cancer, Infectious Diseases, Addiction, Mental Illness, Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke, pain caused from a variety of issues to name a very small portion of the health concerns humans face. These problems are not going away and simple diet and exercise isn’t a cure all, although we should all agree that it should be the first step to a healthy life, let alone a treatment plan.

The incentive, again, is to make money by selling products that work. When they don’t, they pay out the nose and their reputation is diminished. Obviously this would hurt the bottom line and we've all seen the negative press this type of thing puts out. It's terrible business sense if it's on purpose.

1) NIDA InfoFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction, National Institute on Drug Abuse, www.nida.nih.gov...
2) Donn, Jeff; Mendoza, Martha Mendoza; Pritchard, Justin, Pharmaceuticals lurking in U.S. drinking water, MSNBC, www.msnbc.msn.com...
3) Pharmaceuticals In Our Water Supplies, University of Arizona, ag.arizona.edu...
4) Fibromyalgia, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
5) Mickle, Paul, 1976: Fear of a great plague, The Trentonian, www.capitalcentury.com...
6) Phillips, Patrick, Type 2 Diabetes – Failure, Blame and Guilt in the Adoption of Insulin Therapy, The Review of Diabetic Studies, Society for Biomedical Diabetes Research, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...



posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 07:48 PM
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The order of events of your example is clear

Nobody's disputing order of events. We're disputing cause. Just because two things happen in sequence doesn't mean one causes the other. If I get in my car and drive to a theater, that doesn't mean getting in the car caused me to go to the theater. Similarly, if someone has a weak immune system, that doesn't cause them to get sick. It simply makes them susceptible to getting sick. It's an external organism preying on that weakened system that causes the sickness.



If this was untrue then AIDS has not killed anyone either. AIDS weakens the immune system which increasingly allows other entities to take root and ultimately kill. Is the culprit not AIDS then? Of course it is, and most people would, in fact, agree.

This appears to be an attempt to distance yourself from the foolish claim you made earlier in an attempt to incorrectly attribute it to me.

In round one you said:


bacterial infection is simply a byproduct of or allowed because of a weakened system,
so it stands to reason that the root cause is not the infection, but the system itself

You stated that infection is a byproduct of a weakened immune system. You then stated that the cause was not infection, but the immune system itself.

If you wish to retract this please say so.

 

Vaccines


1 death was attributed to the swine flu, 25 deaths to the vaccine,
300-500 had serious damage, and the vaccine was administered to
nearly 45,000,000 people.

Yes, 25 deaths due to vaccine. One death due to flu. The vaccine killed more people than the illness. Pharmaceuticals therefore caused more harm. The fact that the ratio of deaths caused by the vaccine was a small overall percentage doesn't change the fact that the ratio of deaths resulting from the disease itself was even lower. Pharmaceuticals caused more harm.

Gardasil:

It is a vaccine that, by the summer of 2009, already caused more than 15,000 thousand reports of vaccine reactions, including more than 3,000 injuries and 48 deaths.

What is gardasil supposed to protect from? Human papillomavirus:

Most HPV infections in young females are temporary and have little long-term
significance. 70% of infections are gone in 1 year and 90% in 2 years

Once again, the harm caused by pharmaceuticals exceeds the benefit.

Vaccines are a risky business: infecting large numbers of people with a virus in hopes that it will do less damage than another virus might do on its own. Such gambles might have made sense hundreds of years ago when the general level of sanitation was poor, but in the modern age gambles of this sort do more harm than they prevent.

 

Chemicals in the water supply


Some of the unabsorbed medications people take come out in
their waste, but it also comes from improper disposal

Whether it gets into the water supply through urine or disposal doesn't change the fact that chemicals produced by pharmaceutical companies are making their way into the water supply.



There is little to no evidence that the situation has adverse effects on humans

According to a report by the National Resourc Defense Council:

no epidemiology studies have been done to link health outcomes
with pharmaceutical contamination in water

Translation: there's no evidence linking pharmaceuticals to human effects because nobody has investigated it. The report goes on to describe that very little testing has been done on detrimental effects of human exposure to pharmaceuticals at all. Testing is done to validate intended effects to get them to market. But it's been conclusively demonstrated that these chemicals are having a wide range of effects on everything else in the environment.

Pharmaceuticals in Our Water Supply Are Causing Bizarre Mutations to Wildlife

Pharmaceuticals have already been linked to behavioral
and sexual mutations in fish, amphibians and birds

Socratic question #1:
What reason do you have to believe that humans are magically immune to these chemical pollutants that have been definitively connected to mutations in wildlife?

And in case you were wondering, that same report specifically confirms that these pharmaceutical residues are being detected in post-treatment drinking water across the country. So yes, humans are drinking that same water that's causing "behavioral and sexual mutations" in wildlife. And while big pharma claims there's no risk for humans...


beyond the clinical trials that test exposure to one drug at a time, they
have not provided any evidence of this “no appreciable risk”

So, the same pharmaeuticals companies that make hundreds of billions of dollars from selling these drugs claim that there's no human risk from contamination of water supplies, but they've provided no evidence to support the claim?

According to an article in Pharma Times, representatives for Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline have been using bribes to get ineffectual drugs licensed for sale.

Socratic question #2
These companies that are bribing public officials in order to continue raking in hundreds of billions of dollars annually on drugs they know don't do what they claim, why would you trust their claims of "no human risk" despite no evidence to support it and plenty of evidence of significant effects on the wildlife that has been tested?

 



most medication treats ailments that have no cure and many that doctors
and scientists are having a difficult time even figuring out why they happen

Yes. Most medication treats ailments that have no cure. Medication does'nt cure people because it can't. Medication does not serve the purpose of making people healthy. It simply makes people more comfortable in their illness..



Topic:
"Pharmaceutical Companies Negatively Effect The Health Of The Population More Than Not.”

I've demonstrated that pharmaceutical companies and their products have a variety of negative health effects. Medication only helps people to be comfortable in their illness.

Let's go back to the example of aspirin. I don't personally take aspirin. But if somebody chooses to take aspirin to stop headache pain, that's fine. There's some benefit to that. But it's not a health benefit.

Medication does very well when it comes to alleviating pain. But it has an awful track record when it comes to cures. It is, however, great at producing side effects that negatively affect the body. This is common knowledge. Look through your medicine cabinet. That same aspirin that helps you hurt less can also cause ulcers, stomache bleeding, Reye's syndrome and encephalopathy and results in thousands of deaths and nearly a hundred thousand hospitalizations every year. These are very real negative health consequences.

Aspirin is a great example because it's something we're so famiiar with. But there are countless other examples: Chantix causes suicidal depression. Mirapex causes hallucinations and amnesia. Paxil, Effexor, Accutaine and Wellbutrin cause birth defects. Raptiva causes anemia, psoriasis and nervous system disorders. Avandia causes heart failure and bone fragility.

Look at the side effects for any medication and you'll see a nasty list of health problems caused by it. Let's go back to that original quote from the World Health Organization stating that all medicines have side effects. That bears repeating: all medicines have side effects. You can list benefits and I can list side effects, but simply listing effects misses the point that fundamentally the purpose of medicine is not to improve health, but to act like a loan. Less pain now, greater health risk later. Your previous example of osteoporosis medications comes to mind: reduced risk of bone fracture now, increased risk of bone risk later and for the rest of your life. Like any loan, there is interest to be paid. And that interest, plus principal, is always greater than the amount of the loan.

Here is an ad for Celebrex that nicely puts this in perspective:

0:25-0:29

"...may increase the chance for heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death."


0:40-0:49

...also increase the chance of serious skin reactions, or stomache and instestine problems such as bleeding and ulcers which can occur without warning and may cause death.

Ok. So those are the health risks. What are the health benefits? Apparently Celebrex is prescribed for relief of arthritis pain.

Relief of pain for increased chance of heart attack, stroke, skin reactions, intestinal bleeding, ulcers and death? Why would anyone in their right mind make that choice? A very insightful answer is given at the end of the ad:

2:11-2:22

For many with arthritis pain, not treating is not an option. Understand the risks.

That sums it up right there. We know these things are bad for you. We know they destroy your body. But for people who are in so much pain that all these problems and possible death is not such an unpleasant prospect, it's nice to have the option.

We make choices like this all the time. We know alcohol wrecks havoc on the liver and brains cells. But we drink it anyway because it helps us have a good time. We know that smoking is bad for us. But some people do it anyway because they like it. It helps them to relax.

But nobody in their right mind would say that alcohol or smoking are good for your health.

This is what modern medicine is all about. Making people more comfortable at the expense of their health. It's understood that medicine is bad for you. It's not intended to make you healthy any more than smoking and drinking are. It's intended to make you comfortable.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 09:21 PM
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05:48 PM

Since my opponent has chosen to forfeit his third round post, I will proceed to closing statements.



"Pharmaceutical Companies Negatively Effect The
Health Of The Population More Than Not.”

As we have established, the negative health effects of pharmaceutical companies fits into three categories: damage directly caused by pharmaceuticals themselves, death and disease resulting from corporate decisions motivated by the pursuit of money rather than human health, and long term, multi-generational damage in the form of birth defects and environmental toxicity.

Damage directly caused by pharmaceuticals themselves
Not only has this been demonstrated, one can look to the medical establishment itself for confirmation of this in the form of drug warnings and side effects. To requote the study conducted by the American Medical Association:


The overall incidence of serious ADRs was 6.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2%-8.2%) and of fatal ADRs was 0.32% (95% CI, 0.23%-0.41%) of hospitalized patients. We estimated that in 1994 overall 2216000 (1721000-2711000) hospitalized patients had serious ADRs and 106000 (76000-137000) had fatal ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death.

Adverse drug reactions alone are between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death.


Death and disease resulting from corporate decisions motivated by corporate greed:
In my opening I briefly mentioned a few horrors committed by these companies motivated by greed, and my opponent has acknowledged these to the tune of referring to these acts as "crimes" and warning us to be leery. I am in full agreement.

Let's revisit some of those.

  • In 1984 Bayer knowingly sold AIDS-infected blood plasma to international buyers. This resulted in lifelong infection and death for countless individuals. This bears repeating: they knew it was infected and sold it anyway.

  • In 1996 Hoffmann-La Roche lied to the FDA about the results of clinical trials for its blood presure medication Posicor. Over a hundred people died during the tests, and this company knowingly withheld that information in order to secure licensing to sell the product. This was a blood pressure medication for which there were plenty of alternatives already on the market. But the company chose to lie so they could sell it for a year before the death reports forced them to withdraw it from the market. Why? They made more money by paying out legal settlements than acting in the health interests of their customers.

  • In 1999, Merck & Co. released Vioxx for arthritis pain. By 2000, they knew that it was causing heart attacks, but they kept it on the market for four more years until the by then 50,000 lawsuits convinced them it was no longer profitable to continue selling it.

  • In 2008, representatives for Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline were arrested for giving out bribes in exchange for the falsification of clinical test results as well as for government licensing for a number of medications that tests had concluded were not effective at treatment.

    These are a few examples. There are many. The pharmaceutical industry has thoroughly and consistently demonstrated that it is more than willing to pursue profit at the expense of health, regardless of the death and tragedy that they cause.

    Permanent damage in the form of birth defects and environmental toxicity.

    Birth defects:
    According to drugs.com, here are a few of the many drugs that can cause birth defects:

    * A variety of psychotropics, such as Ritilin, Prozac and Haldol
    * All general antibiotics in the nitrofurantoin and sulfonamide classes
    * Valproic acid, prescribed as an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizer
    * Hydrochlorothiazide/losartan/related medications prescribed as diuretics
    * Isotrentonoin, prescribed for acne
    * Losartan, prescribed to reduce blood pressure
    * Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin and related antidepressants

    This is just from the first 2 out of 9 pages of search results. I could go on. The list is very long.

    Environmental toxicity
    This has been throughly addressed and my opponent has completely failed to respond to it. It's well established that pharmaceuticals are in our water suppply, especially hormones, and the effects can be easily observed not only in the reproductive organs of wildlife, but also in humans in the form of declining male sperm counts and inreasingly early puberty amongst girls.

    It's common knowledge that drug interactions can cause a variety of unpredictable and increased effects beyond what any single drug is capable of.

    When testing has revealed as many as fifty-six distinct pharmaceuticals in drinking water, common sense should indicate that this presents a health hazard, not only to individuals, but to society as whole. As many drugs as listed above cause birth defects, it should come as no surprise that this would create the problems we're experiencing: The United States is the most heavily medicated country in the world, and our infant mortality rate is ranked 46th in the world, behind third world countries like Cuba and Guam.

    Pharmaceuticals are the cause of that.

     


    Benefits
    So what are the benefits that fail to outweigh these health hazards? There have really only been a few: preventatives, like vaccines, and medications that provide pain and symptom relief.

    Vaccines
    Vaccines were appropriate hundreds of years ago because the general level of sanitation was very poor. These was little understanding of water purifcation. Even the Center for Disease Control has gone on record in their Morbidity and Mortality reports (July 30, 1999, Report#: 48:621-628) to attribute improvements in sanitation, water quality, and hygiene as the most important factors in control of infectious diseases in the past century. Not vaccines.

    To give an analogy, there have been societies in history that have flourished for the reason that they drank exclusively beer. Even infants were given beer. Water was not not consumed. Why? Because they lived in areas with water contaminated with deadly organisms, and the fermentation process killed off the deadly bacteria, and replaced them with relatively benign ones. In a case like this, yes...the benefits may justify the health consequences. Similarly, if 20% of your population is dying from the black plague, then yes...vaccinate. Some people will die, but it's probably worth the lives that can be saved. But situations like this are rare in the context of history, and pretty much gone in modern society because we have a basic awareness of sanitation and water purification.

    Pain relief
    This is something that drugs are genuinely good at. Drugs are generally effective at pain management. They're good for helping people with uncurable conditions cope, by minimizing symptoms. AIDS medications do not cure AIDS, fibromyalgia drugs do not cure fibromyalgia, and no drug can cure the common cold. But whether an illness is curable or incurable, drugs may often help people be more comfortable in their illness

    But this coping action is not unique to "pharmaceuticals" in the context of drugs bought at a pharmacy.

    It's important to understand that the human body does not distinguish between legal and illegal drugs. We know that drugs are bad for our body. Permission from a thrid party to take one drug but not another doesn't change this. Neither does our body distinguish between drugs that require a prescription and drugs that don't.

    Let's remember that from 1920 until 1933 in this country, alcohol was illegal.

    We all know the side effects of alcohol, and it's comical to even list them: loss of motor control, dizzyness, memory loss, liver and kidney damage, death of brain cells, and in exceptional cases unconsciousness and death. We understand that these are negative health consequences.

    But alcohol can help us to feel good have a good time, so we drink it anyway.

    As a society we've decided to accept the damaging effects alcohol has on our bodies in exchange for the high it gives us. Making alcohol legal did not suddenly take away those damaging effects. And neither would requiring a prescription for it. A drug is a drug. If we make the decision to accept those effects in exchange for making our lives easier, more comfortable...that's ok. There's nothing wrong with that. Drinking alcohol to help eliminate stress from our daily lives is not all that different from taking aspirin to reduce the pain of a headache.

    But these are not health benefits.

    Pharmaceutical drugs are no different from legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco, or illegal drugs like heroin and coc aine. The amount of their effect may vary. The amount of their addictiveness may vary. And the amount of raw damage they cause to our bodies may vary. But they are all drugs, and they all have damaging effects.

    The medical establishment acknowledges this, as pointed out by the very first quote of this debate:


    No drug is without risk and all medicines have side effects, some of which can be fatal.


    If you want to have a drink to help you relax, that's ok. And if you want to take aspirin to make your headache go away, that's ok too. But understand that in terms of health, pharmaceuticals and the companies that produce them are just as unhealthy as smoking and drinking.

    And so in conlusion I offer the same advice as offered by that ad for Celebriex: be aware of the negative health consequence as mediciation. It can kill you. But if escaping your pain or stress is worth the health hazard, then partake at your own risk.



  • posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 12:22 AM
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    Personal Note – I did not forfeit my post, I only find a gentlemanly or courteous discussion to be just about dead these days, sadly. Since my space is now halved, I’ll have to be quite brief on some points.


    If you wish to retract this please say so.


    The argument made is clear and will be judged. No retraction needed.


    Gardasil:
    It is a vaccine that, by the summer of 2009, already caused more than 15,000 thousand reports of vaccine reactions, including more than 3,000 injuries and 48 deaths.


    There are a lot of anti-vaccine, even stealth anti-vaccine, movements putting out a lot of information, which is hard to trust if we are looking at global numbers and many governments, the United Nations, and other medical groups have ample supplies of. Let’s get down to brass tacks on this issue because time is short.

    In regards to Gardasil, the FDA and the CDC have both reported that after “millions of vaccinations "by chance alone some serious adverse effects and deaths "will happen in the time period following vaccination, but have nothing to do with the vaccine. More than 20 women who received the Gardasil vaccine have died, but these deaths have not been causally connected to the shot.”The New York Times

    “Gardasil and Cervarix are highly effective in preventing infection with the types of HPV they target. Studies have shown that both Gardasil and Cervarix prevent nearly 100 percent of the precancerous cervical cell changes caused by the types of HPV targeted by the vaccine” National Cancer Institute

    Encouraging news

    Cervical cancer affects nearly 500,000 women and takes the lives of over a quarter million, but HPV has also been shown to cause anus, vaginal, penis, mouth, and throat cancer. “Women in developing countries bear the brunt of this disease, with 85% of deaths from cervical cancer occurring in poor countries, due to extremely limited availability of screening and treatment.” Most in the developed world take for granted the access to medical care, proper diet, lack of exposure to the elements, and general sanitation that a fair portion of the world has to contend with. Vaccines and medications can help to maintain life and lifestyle while a solution to more permanent medical care is resolved. Cervical Cancer Action

    The limited scope of the debate thus far has ignored the poor and those in remote or undeveloped nations.


    Vaccines are a risky business:


    If we are looking for risk factors, the Centers for Disease Control monitor this very type of thing. If one were to review the reaction possibilities for vaccines, “severe reactions” were listed as “very rare” or “so rare it is hard to tell if they are caused by the vaccine”. Long story short, the chances of having any kind of truly serious reaction are, as the CDC reports, “extremely small”. Excess Source Removed

    Adding to that, vaccines are getting better and more effective as time and research continues. TapImmune and Mayo Clinic are close to starting clinical development of a new biotechnology vaccine. The different approach, an immunotherapy innovation, generates remarkably aggressive immune response, which could offer broad reaching therapeutic possibility.

    TapImmune “ is on to something big. Very big. The company has engineered a remarkable, yet elegantly simple, way for the body to recognize tumor and infectious disease cells and provoke an aggressive immune response whereby the body’s own killer T-Cells attack and eradicate harmful foreign bodies. This with respect to any form of cancer or disease via a technology that’s entirely non-discriminate in helping the body eradicate dangerous cells of many kinds. Excess Link Removed


    Whether it gets into the water supply through urine or disposal doesn't change the fact that chemicals produced by pharmaceutical companies are making their way into the water supply.


    Then battery companies should be held accountable for the increasing and dangerous pollution that results in improper disposal of batteries as well. Regardless of the fact that there are recycling centers and information in excess about how to deal with batteries, and medications, correctly, people and businesses still dispose of them incorrectly.

    In regards to the rest, the concentrations are so low as to be hardly called trace amounts. It’s simply easier to blame all on the pharmaceutical companies.


    Medication only helps people to be comfortable in their illness.


    This is untrue; diabetics and asthmatics aren’t just comfortable with their disease, but medication and treatment actually prevent or manage occurrences of more severe medical complications. This isn’t simple comfort. Acting as a preventative measure, they can assist one’s body in maintaining a more normal level of health, impacting everything from function, medical exacerbation due to the illness, and mental health (a much overlooked factor in this discussion).


    Environmental toxicity


    This has been disputed. Without evidence, and there is none which is why none was presented, this point is moot, but even extrapolating about humans based on some species of some animals in some areas is rash to say the least. Humans do not depend on foraged food from one area, cannot be compared physiologically with birds or fish, and ultimately these amounts are so tiny before they are diluted further into the water that some of the people actually drink.


    infant mortality rate is ranked 46th in the world, behind third world countries like Cuba and Guam.
    Pharmaceuticals are the cause of that.


    The prime cause of infant mortality in the US is premature birth. The March of Dimes reports that “The latest research suggests that many cases are triggered by the body’s natural response to certain infections, including those involving amniotic fluid and fetal membranes. However, in about half of all cases of premature birth, providers cannot determine why a woman delivered prematurely.

    Additionally, there are scores of medications used for babies born prematurely and forced to attempt survival in Neonatal Units that save lives every day. Antibiotics, such as Ampicillin or Imipenim, Anitfungals such as Caspofungin, Anti-Inflamitory and Cardiovascular aids like Indomethacin, Nutrition and Respiratory medications are used to give the weakest among us the chance at life.

    Emergency Rooms use medications like epinephrine and atropine for cardiac arrest or anaphylactic shock; Diazepam is used to break seizures, while Alteplase and Retaplase are used for stroke victims. These medications, like all, are helpful tools that even the most stanch pharmaceutical company hater will be happy to have if or when it saves their life.

    At the end of the day, saving a life is about the biggest positive one can attribute to the modern medicine. The opposition has failed to demonstrate the numbers for his point, electing to show small or misleading numbers when the whole picture is so much broader so as to make the examples seem quite small.
    As has been said before, curing is not the only metric by which medical value can be judged. Prevention is also a critical element to medical care.


    Adverse drug reactions alone are between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death.


    We can easily put this to rest by finally applying some numbers to show the benefit over the cost.

    My opposition’s number of deaths caused by Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) each year is 106,000, and we must totally ignore, for math purposes and simplicity, the fact that 60% of those are caused through negligence, ignorance, or error not attributable to the pharmaceutical companies.

    If, according to the American Diabetes Association, 18,800,000 people have diabetes and only 5-10% have Type 1 Diabetes, 940,000 to 1,800,000 people require insulin to live each year. This is ignoring the remaining 16,000,000 people who have Type 2, many of which require medication and/or insulin in addition to diet and exercise.

    This is ignoring the 20,000,000 who take cholesterol lowering medications, which if even 1% (being a very generously low percentage) of which is prevented deadly medication complications then we can add another 200,000 to the list.

    We can add health improvements due to asthma and severe allergy medications, the lives saved by medical professionals daily with the direct aid of medications, seizures prevented or stopped, and the list goes on and on. Trying to even get a handle on these numbers is virtually impossible because records of problems averted or lives saved or even diseases not caught isn’t something we are able to do.

    Can the misdeeds and mistrust applied to pharmaceutical companies erase any of this? Surely no, but it can be easily dismissed by those who only view the issue narrowly.


    This is what modern medicine is all about. Making people more comfortable at the expense of their health.


    “About 20 million Americans undergo surgery with general anesthesia each year.” ~Center for Health Policy at Stanford University

    How would these surgeries take place if it were not for pharmaceuticals? What would happen with the incredible strides made in heart and brain surgery, the amazing and frequently lifesaving operations done on small children, babies, and even at Neonatal Centers? How would cancer, abnormal growth, and birth defects be handled?

    The answer is, they wouldn’t. The large percentage of modern health care would come grinding to a virtual halt if these medications were not either created or manufactured.

    Again, without modern medications, modern health care would be so greatly diminished so as to not be recognizable. The benefit greatly outweighs the cost. Tens of millions, to be conservative, know this reality and live it daily considering the state of health care outside the developed world.
    edit on Tue, 15 Feb 2011 13:12:29 -0600 by MemoryShock because: To remove excess links as per the debate rules listed in the opening post.



    posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 01:13 PM
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    This debate is off to the judges...



    posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 10:36 PM
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    KrazyJethro Has Won The Championship!!!!!

    The judges comments...



    Here you go, decision is for KrazyJethro:

    By the narrowest of margins, I give the win to KrazyJethro.

    Overall, this was an excellent debate on a very complicated topic, and I was undecided through most of it.

    Both debaters occasionally get drawn off into side channels that don't get them anywhere (what the heck was that immune system/bacterial infection blame game about anyway?). Both miss some opportunities (LordBucket doesn't adequately develop the idea that pharmaceutical companies are behind society's quick-fix mentality, and KrazyJethro fails to point out LordBucket's misuse of his own source material on - as just one example - the cause of declining sperm counts).

    LordBucket presents some damaging evidence of corporate wrongdoing and KrazyJethro's argument that much of the blame for that should rest on a lax regulatory environment is less than completely compelling. LordBucket is also more persuasive on the environmental issues, but not enough so to convince me that these problems override the benefits to the overall health of society of pharmaceuticals.

    Throughout, LordBucket seems to assume that risk and harm are the same thing and also that well-being (whether mental well-being or freedom from pain) is not to be counted as a factor in health. KrazyJethro rightly points out that "curing is not the only criteria to base medical benefit."

    There were a couple of technical points against KrazyJethro (for missing answers to the Socratic Questions in LordBucket's fourth-round post and for excess sources both in the closing and in the third round).

    However, KrazyJethro's closing was much stronger than LordBucket's and in the end pushed me over the edge to give him the win.




    Well played debate. I was impressed by both fighters. Both made strong points to prove their side of the issue. I was intrigued from the beginning and found myself moving back and forth between fighters to the end.

    LordBucket laid out his argument in clear form and did a good job of defining the 3 main categories he wanted to theme throughout. He didn't move away from what he wanted to describe, but did concede a few points to his opponent by limiting his position by not considering that "a cure" may not always be the intent of those seeking medication. Where his argument lacked substance was in limiting some of his examples and not attributing them consistently, to the larger population. His opponent was able to take those examples and apply them to a bigger picture with larger percentage of the population accounted for.
    
    KrazyJethro also made a good effort in defining and standing by his argument. He started strong and from the beginning, it was understood that his focus was going to be on the larger numbers and more encompassing affect of drugs to the greater population health and well being. He didn't concede many points to his opponent and the few that were, were later clarified. I found that he used his opponent’s argument against him in a clear fashion and with each rebuttal did not sway from his theme. He did lose momentum when he was unable to complete his 3rd reply, but he rallied at the closing statement.

    Overall, I really enjoy debates that showcase the fighters strengths while limiting the use of sourced material to support the arguments without relying on it to be the weight of the debate, it is always a welcome divide from the norm. This debate came down to the closing statements and in that, KrazyJethro’s was able to drive the point home that access to medications provided by Pharmaceutical companies benefits the majority who seek access to them, in some way, more than not.

    KrazyJethro gets the nod.




    KrazyJethro wins.

    LordBucket simply takes the standard rants about the industry and doesn't actually examine or address the deeper points brought about by KJ. KJ's research and sources are outstanding (the way he cites his sources at the end just makes this scholar swoon with delight). LB's responses get very weak during the second round and he flounders from one accusation to the other, and eventually gets a little personal.


    Congrats to both Fighters but we have a unanimous decision!!!

    KrazyJethro Is The New Champion!!!





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