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Major pharmaceutical companies have been putting profits before patients for far too long. And while some companies still seem to be beating the system, others are finally being held accountable. In today’s news, we’re going to give you an update on a few stories we’ve been following for some time now, and how the greed and lies of big pharma are finally coming to light.
First, Johnson & Johnson finds themselves in even more trouble with new discoveries about asbestos contamination and over $100 million in settlements over their surgical mesh. The company was not the only one to lose big bucks as several major players in the opioid crisis made last-minute settlements to avoid trial.
Finally, more evidence has been found proving that Zantac may be causing cancer, forcing manufacturers and distributors to completely remove it from store shelves.
Johnson & Johnson Caught in Their Own Lies
A little over a year ago, we published a story about how Johnson & Johnson’s talcum products – like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower – contained asbestos. The company denied any wrongdoing and even tried to hide the evidence. Less than two weeks after Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said “we unequivocally believe that our talc and our baby powder does not contain asbestos,” the FDA discovered the cancer-causing contaminant in a bottle of baby powder tested by the department.
The result was a recall of more than 30,000 bottles of baby powder, although company representatives have insisted that the test was an isolated incident and refuse to recall other batches or talc products. The company runs a sponsored website called factsabouttalc.com, which they have used to try and earn back consumer trust. The page currently features information about the recall yet also features a message from Gorsky assuring consumers that their talc is safe.
Although Johnson’s Baby Powder accounts for only a small percent of their nearly $80 billion annual revenue, it is one of the most widely used personal care products worldwide. With one of the most recognizable fragrances in the world, the powder has been used for infants in diapers, as a feminine hygiene product, to prevent chafing, and as an all-purpose freshener.
And its users invariably inhale the carcinogenic, airborne powder.
Johnson & Johnson is currently facing over 15,000 court cases claiming that their talc products caused the plaintiff’s cancer. But these lawsuits are just the tip of the iceberg, as the company is also dealing with lawsuits regarding surgical mesh, antipsychotic medication, and opioids.
Earlier this month, a jury awarded $8 billion to a Maryland man who said that the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal had caused him to grow breasts. The plaintiff, Nicholas Murray, was only 9 years old when pediatricians prescribed the drug. There are thousands of similar cases claiming that Risperdal was marketed without sufficient warnings about the potential of extreme side effects.
The drug can create elevated levels of a hormone called prolactin. In men, the presence of prolactin can lead to the development of female breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia.
“This jury, as have other juries in other litigations, once again imposed punitive damages on a corporation that valued profits over safety and profits over patients. Johnson & Johnson and Janssen chose billions over children,” said Murray’s lawyers in a statement.
With similarly harsh verdicts from juries in recent months, Johnson & Johnson is now looking for ways to mitigate its losses. Last year, the company was ordered to pay 4.69 billion to a group of 22 women who said that talcum products caused their ovarian cancer. A few months ago, an Oklahoma judge found Johnson and Johnson guilty of fueling the opioid epidemic, ordering the company to pay $572 million in damages.
Now, the company is looking to settle. Although they are actively fighting current rulings and denying any wrongdoing, Johnson & Johnson settled a case involving their surgical mesh for nearly $117 million. Although they are still claiming innocence, the settlement follows a rare decision by the FDA to prohibit the sale of all surgical mesh, a major blow to manufacturers.
Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson settled with 2 Ohio counties for over $20 million. The move allows them to avoid another damaging and expensive trial like the one in Oklahoma this summer. But the company is not the only big player looking to pay their way out of accepting responsibility.
Opioid Manufacturers Scramble to Settle Before Federal Trials
Just hours before the start of a landmark federal opioid trial in Ohio – the first of its kind – 3 distributors and one manufacturer settled for $260 million, narrowly avoiding trial. McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and Teva struck the deal around 1am the morning before trial, ensuring that they would not become the first casualties in the coming onslaught of local and federal cases surrounding the opioid epidemic.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this could pave the way for a proposed national settlement totaling over $45 billion:
Lawyers for the plaintiffs and companies said the settlement could be an important step toward a multibillion-dollar deal that brings closure to 2,500 lawsuits and sends needed money to communities hard-hit by opioid addiction. Municipalities have balked at a comprehensive settlement negotiated by state attorneys general that includes $22 billion in cash and up to $26 billion in donated addiction-treatment drugs and services, saying that it isn’t enough money and that they want some control over how it is spent.”
The trial would have been the first to expose the truth about the role of drug distributors in fueling the deadly crisis. While some states support a massive federal settlement, others are more wary. The proposal would bring an end to all opioid litigation against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson, Teva Pharmaceutical, and Johnson & Johnson.
Proponents of the deal say that this would help avoid a long trial and appeals process. It would also make money available that states, cities, and tribes desperately need right now to address the ongoing issue. Opponents of the deal are primarily concerned with the structuring of the deal. In its current form, companies would pay out the settlement money over the course of nearly two decades, even though communities need the money now to start administering treatment.
There’s also a fear that the money will not be distributed fairly. Although the deal would ensure that the money was used to treat and combat opioid addiction (unlike the $206 billion tobacco settlement of the 90s, in which much of the money was used for other budgetary purposes), areas hit hardest feel they may not get their fair share.
If the money is divided by population, there are many states and counties who would suffer. States like Oklahoma and West Virginia have been hit especially hard and may require more infrastructure than larger states. In looking at the data, it seems rural communities were most vulnerable.
States with rural populations were clearly targeted, and opioid deaths in those regions reflect the flood of drugs distributed. For West Virginia, there were 66.5 pills distributed for every single resident each year. They were followed by Kentucky with 63.3, South Carolina with 58, Tennessee with 57.7, and Nevada with 54.7. West Virginia had the highest number of opioid deaths in the nation during this period.
Certain counties were specifically targeted, with manufacturers, distributors, doctors, and pharmacies pumping ungodly amounts of dangerous drugs into the population. From 2006 to 2012, Norton, VA distributed 306 pills per person per year. Martinsville, VA received 242 per person. In West Virginia, Mingo County distributed 203 opioid pills per person each year.
And just a few distributors were responsible for pushing the vast majority of these drugs. Just 6 companies distributed 75% of the opioid pills from 2006 to 2012:
- Cardinal Health
McKesson distributed 14.1 billion pills. Walgreens and Cardinal Health distributed 12.6 billion and 10.7 billion pills, respectively.
While no amount of money will fix the damage that’s been done, it’s encouraging to see states finally taking a hardline stance against pharmaceutical corruption. And there’s at least one more promising development when it comes to exposing the deceit and corruption of the pharmaceutical industry.
Zantac Finally Pulled from Shelves
We reported last month that the FDA had failed to issue a recall or the popular heartburn medicine Zantac after discovering that the drug may be causing cancer. Since then, the drug has been pulled by CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and WalMart. Last week, Sanofi finally recalled Zantac in the U.S. and Canada.
The issue with Zantac and ranitidine (its generic name) is the presence of a cancer-causing contaminant called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA. Earlier this month, the FDA announced that it had found “unacceptable levels” of NDMA in samples of drugs containing ranitidine.
NDMA is an industrial byproduct that can often be found in cured meats like bacon. The FDA says that it is “reasonably safe” to ingest up to one microgram a day. But safety testing has found levels significantly higher. In last year’s valsartan recall, the FDA found up to 17 micrograms of NDMA per dose. Valisure, a pharmacy that tests all drugs it distributes, found that Zantac had NDMA levels reaching 3,000 micrograms.
Valisure petitioned the FDA to recall all forms of ranitidine, though the agency has yet to take any such measures. They claim that NDMA may be “inherent” in the ranitidine molecule and have urged regulators to recall the drug until its safety can be guaranteed. But the FDA, as usual, seems apathetic about consumer safety.
FDA spokesman Jeremy Kahn said in a statement that “the FDA will take appropriate measures based on the results of the ongoing investigation.”
There Is HOPE for the Future
While these violations of morality and ethics in the pharmaceutical have become a terrible scourge on the world, there is a silver lining: exposure. For years and years, these companies have been able to hide in the shadows, manipulating regulators and consumers to generate more money. But people are finally starting to see the truth.
The Sackler family may go to prison or they may escape with their billions, but their reputation as death merchants will follow them to the grave. Johnson & Johnson has tried desperately to present themselves as a family-friendly seller of consumer products, despite earning 90% of their profits from drugs and surgical equipment. Now, the name is synonymous with lawsuits, addiction, and cancer. Sanofi, a prominent vaccine manufacturer, just pulled one of their landmark drugs off the shelves because of the cancer risk.
The truth is that these companies will probably be fine. Despite losing billions in market cap and spending billions more on settlements and litigation, pharmaceutical giants like Johnson & Johnson probably aren’t going anywhere… for now.
Modern medicine has undoubtedly produced life-saving medicine and procedures that make our society better. But a lack of proper oversight combined with the massive influence these companies have over regulators and government officials has led to a terrifying world in which our medicine is literally killing us.
Stories like these are the first step to changing that. We need to first expose these companies and the people that run them so that we can make substantial, fundamental changes to the way we do things. People need to see the problem before they can fix it. Finally, it seems their eyes are being opened.
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It’s a start, but what about all the other products we use, and eat that cause cancer. Why aren’t they being pulled. Oh yah, because the truth is they still don’t care about our health, only about making money. What about microwave popcorn, what about processed meats, GMOs, dirty fruit… just to name a few items.
Edith Cunningham says
I agree….but to ‘pull’ everything harmful from the shelves would probably cause a collapse of the entire infrastructure! So what do we do?
gail christensen says
Name and pull large sections at a time for the long term harm they cause. It’s a limited number of large food production companies that exist in this country, and yet they have convinced people that their foods are safe because they have gotten away without labeling all the gmos, toxins, food colorings, pesticides, etc and more in their junk food. Thank God for local farmers markets that sell organic, even though they can be iffy sometimes too. I also find it very ironic that food “company” sellers are called producers ,corporations, etc and not food “growers”. Pepsi is at the top of this list. Is pepsi a food?
Do you really want cancer warnings on coffee, like California’s Prop 65 business? Overly enthusiastic regulation can be just as deadly as “all those other products.” (I’m actually writing a book about one of those cases: the capsizing of the S.S. Eastland, due in no small part to the post-Titanic cries of “lifeboats for all.”)
To look at the examples you mention: To make microwave popcorn, you need to get buttery flavor (butter normally requires refrigeration) into a state than can be stored unrefrigerated for several weeks to several months. You’re demanding food in a state that it doesn’t want to be in naturally. That’s consumer demand. There’s a limit to what manufacturers can do to satisfy that demand without introducing dangers. Microwave popcorn is a rarity for me, because it’s easier and cheaper for us to use a hot-air popper–and before we got the popper, we used a frying pan (with lid, of course) on the stove!
Processed meats are a similar argument in that there’s consumer demand for the product that can’t be met without some level of adulturation. It’s different in the sense that there are traditional methods and modern methods, which manufacturers consider to be “substantially similar” and fight against anyone arguing otherwise. Sausages and the like have been consumed for centuries without issue, it’s become an issue today because there are so many “fresh” meats that are actually heavily-processed, and because the chemistry has changed. From a regulatory point of view, it’s almost impossible to draw a line between the traditional, relatively safe meats and the overproccessed chemistry. A perfect example of this is the trans-fat bans that have been enacted; they’re meant to go after junk foods, but they’re also netting natural products like milk, which contain small harmless amounts of naturally-occurring trans fats.
GMOs: GMO’s can be beneficial; the problem is that the most well-known GMO’s have all been a result of increasing crop yields with no consideration for how those changes affect what happens when we try to eat them. I liken it to the ban on drop-side cribs. There are a lot of drop-side cribs that worked exactly as intended and never hurt anyone, but the entire concept of drop-side cribs was banned because a few manufactures cut corners about their particular mechanisms and ruined it for everyone.
“Dirty” fruit: Believe it or not, our fruit is so dirty BECAUSE of “safety” regulations. Using manure as a fertilizer risks transmitting diseases, so using manure has so much red tape wrapped around it that it’s easier to use synthetic fertilizers. People are so grossed out about finding worms or bugs in their produce that they demand restrictions on the permissible amounts of “living protein,” which encourages growers to use generous amounts of pesticides to reduce infestation. Then many fruits–apples, for example– get treated for longer shelf life, because we want our apples in February as well as September. If you’re buying fruit off-season, if you’re passing over the “ugly” for the “pretty,” you’re SUPPORTING the continuation of dirty fruit practices.
Angela White says
I love TTAC because nearly 4 yrs ago, I was diagnosed with AL Amyloidosis and was about to “accept” chemo because I didn’t realize that I had a choice, until I started to do my research on TTAC and Ty Bollinger became my mantra when talking to everyone I know! You All helped me make the decision to save my life and to refuse melphalan. It’s now been nearly 4yrs later and I’m still doing very well without the poisons.
Now I have another awful medical situation concerning my youngest son Chris. Because of in my opinion a misdiagnosis many years ago, my son has been prescribed an unbelievable amount of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics since he was about 12 years old. He is 36yo now and is and has been a sweet,kind and thoughtful young man and is loved by everyone who has met him. He’s survived 3 very serious suicide attempts and God gave him back to us and maybe even to do what I may be about to do. First of all, after fighting to get him home again from a 3yr. hospitalization because he, at times, was starving himself, I won. He has been suffering terribly from the horrible side effects, mostly from Haldol, of foot drop(now has a terrible limp),Tardive Diskenesia in his eyes,neck, mouth and some of his toes. After reading your Post, I’ve finally made up my mind to file a Lawsuit against Big Pharma for my son, but I’m not sure which Attorneys to talk to and was wondering if you may be able to refer me to a Law Firm.
I’m sorry for the length of my reply, but these words have been building up in me for years!
Mother/Legal Guardian of Chris
PS-Thank you for all the knowledge you’ve Shared!
Customer Service says
Hi Angela, your post brought tears to our eyes. We are so sorry that you and your son had to go through this. So many people from all over the world are watching this unfold. Unfortunately, we are not able to give medical advice nor do we have any attorneys to recommend. Many people who are currently bringing lawsuits against big pharma are just waiting for more people to speak out. Search the name of the drug, along with the side effect and hopefully something will come to light. Or, perhaps, someone else will see this post and be able to assist more. We will pass this on to our team and message you if we hear of anything. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!! <3
Linda Gatterdam says
What state do you live in?
I realize how communities suffer losses with the opioid usage and homelessness and the issues that follow this addiction. But let me tell you what is worse: families who lose another member through these opioids. We lost our son who was over-prescribed OxyContin along with Ambien after a horrendous accident and multiple surgeries. He just didn’t wake up one morning last year. Why should the communities get payments when the family’s can’t get any. The negativity we would have to endure with a lawsuit isn’t worth it. It will never bring our beautiful boy back.
Customer Support says
Hi Barbara –
We deeply appreciate your sharing this with us.
Please know that our warmest and sincerest prayers, love, and blessings go out to you. This was heartbreaking to read, and I can only imagine what it must have felt like to go through it.
We’ll be keeping your family in our prayers. ❤️
Cancer cures huh !!! Chech up on the background on what the Roosevelt’s did to the Gershon’s And big pharma
one a needle biopsy is done the cancer spreads and then they want to treat what they have precipitated with chemo and radio therapy. Tumours are created to isolate poisons and toxins and then can be reduced by alternative therapies which are harmless. Cancer is big business and a lot of practitioners know that mostly it is all ineffective at the very least.. Some may survive despite chemo and not because of it.
Daniel Arnaud says
What I find amazing and concerning is that the FDA is getting a free pass on all this. After all, the FDA approves all these drugs as safe and effective and does little after it is found that their approved drugs are and “standard of care” treatments are hurting and killing people. The corruption at the agency needs to be publicized and the agency held accountable as well as Pharma. The same applies to the CDC with their immoral pushing of vaccines, and HHS for not doing due diligence on vaccine safety.
Angela, I don’t know where you live, but you will need to research an attorney that lives in a different part of your State, or in another State. Attorneys will not take a medical case in the same city they reside. If there is a large metro city within 3-5 hours of your location that might be where you want to search for a law firm. You will want a law firm very experienced in medical malpractice.
So sorry for your son’s medical issues and prayers for the family.
Jeff Bell says
This is a good start. Next, we need to abolish the so-called “Vaccine Court”. Vaccine manufacturers are the only industry in the world that are legally and financially 100% exempt from any harm that their products cause to consumers. No other industry in the world enjoys such an outrageous shielding. Of course, the vaccine makers insist that the “Vaccine Court” is necessary because otherwise, the inherent product liability in their products would make it too risky for them to continue producing vaccines. Anyone else smell a huge, stinky, festering rat here?
If their products inherently entail such huge liability that even the many hundreds of billions in revenues that they generate does not justify manufacturing them from a financial perspective, then perhaps they are not as safe and effective as claimed. Ya think?
andy jackson says
As a strong voice for the rights retained in the Constitutions, the biggest fraud ever perpetrated is giving immunity to anybody. When the Vaccine companies make drugs to inject into people and are not held accountable you get bad behavior, The judges have immunity from prosecution, the Government has more or less immunity as the judges control what evidence can be presented and are paid by one of the partys (the Government) so they have an obvious conflict of interest. When you have a free market ecomony then the only thing that keeps a company from going out of business is jury judgements from lawsuits and without consequences there can be no honor and duty enforced and bad behavior follows.
dr walter j urban says
TY, YOU MUST READ my new book entitled, THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH CARE,
INTEGRATIVE HOLISTIC TEAM PREVENTION DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT, dr walter j urban
please give this message to ty
thanks read it and promote the truth! please help!
Debra Kopera says
I heard because of their incredible wealth from us, no amount of fines will stop their behavior until Heads, CEOs, and MDs are imprisoned (not just charged). Thank you for the very valuable info.
Dr. Julie Phillips-Moore says
I wish we had a clone of you here “downunder” Tye, to stir things up. Unfortunately, Australia very much follows the American culture and ideas – some good, some bad (like junk food, herbicide etc. on crops and domination of Big Pharma). The main problem is that we’re years behind. E.g. dangerous drugs have been taken off the shelves in the U.S. ages ago but the message hasn’t reached here yet!
I continually get weird looks from friends and acquaintances when I suggest that they don’t buy certain products from the chemist, or suggest a natural alternative, even though I have been a naturopath for years and have a Ph.D in health science!
At least, with your help, the snowball is starting to roll down the hill – can’t wait for the avalanche!!
I hope Ty and Charlene cause avalanches all over the world!
Thank you Ty for all you do. I have followed you for years. I can’t believe people have walked around with blinders on for so long and it’s good to hear that they are starting to come off. We are in NY and I have a non compliant child for the New Law. She was kicked out because they wanted her to have 9 va((ines to even step back into school. We have had depression, anger and lots of crying but they are already a risky to spread them out, that many are sure to have negative impact on the immune system. We need to fight the law that protects the companies that manufacturer this poison and force them to make them safer. We know they can and they certainly have the $ to do it.
Thank you for this uplifting article. Good to hear some progress is being made on the front of an epic battle for our safety and survival as a species, in the wake of being sickened by our destructive synthetic devices being sold as consumer comforts. I’m so happy to read that others are becoming aware of the scam that has been pulled on us all, and are fighting for our safety, and our rights to seek real medicine. May we all be strengthened. God bless.
Irene James says
The allopathic doctors who are the willing, lily-livered, pathetic peddlers for these Big Pharma murderers, should be charged and made to stand in the dock with their co-accused.
It’s time they stood up and showed that they have got the balls to match their deep pockets, or they will be out of a job in a decade or so. The world is catching on FAST, and soon they will not be able to fool any of the people any of the time.
Roll on that glorious day!
audrey sanfilipp says
I had a bad experience with synthroid, it caused diabetes and kidney failure. Suzanne Sommers was on it too , I think Oprah was as well. it is a horrible drug .dow long did the man wait to sue for the original articlee. Armor thyroid wouldn’t do that. I felt a pain in my back and he said it was my kidney, we’ll Ilater I found ou that it is a right kidney artery aneurysm . and I have an adrenal adenoma. synthroid made me so sick .I want to say I had low blood pressure at the time I complained. the doctor did nothing.my lawyer said its been a while , how long do you have . I called Abbie today to see if there a warning on the label
.threy made it seem like it was my fault. any adviceO haven’t been on it for years but I have ringing in my ears.24/7
This is Johnson and Johnson’s NEW TV SPOT!!! I almost croaked when I saw it! It has come out just days after the FDA judgement on their powder.
I wanted to get others input. The company is unscrupulous in my opinion.
judy hannon says
THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESEARCH I WISH MORE CAN BE DONE BUT AT LEAST YOU TY ARE REACHING OUT TO EVERYONE WHO WILL LISTEN AND SPREAD THE WORD.
I posted last nigh t that I had a terrible response to synthroid. I have kidney failure and diabetes and ringing in my ears for 15 years was told not to go to an endocrinologist, what I wanted was armor thyroid that is exactly what your body makes .Ask dr. Steven Hotze about his natural products , Suzanne’s Somer’s had the sam e experience. Read suzanne Somers book and seee who SHE SAYS. IF YOU HAVE AN ADRENAL GLAND PROBLEM THIS DUG CAN CAUSE DEATH. IM SORRY THAT IS WHAT IT DID TO ME , IDONT KNOW EVEN IF STEM CEELS WILL HELP. maybe GEORGE CHURCH CAN BUT BECAUSE OF THIS DRUG POISON IM A SICK AND HAVE FORBIDDEN NY CHILDREN FROM GOING TO AN ENDOCRONOLOGIST , IDONT CARE WHERE THE PRACTICE BUT THSE DRUGS ARE NOT WHt our body is made of I know it sounds crazy but I said over and over that I did not feel, well . it made me hypoglycemic . the first thing the doctor said to me was to go on it slowly or it can cause diabetes and kidney failure and then in the second breath they say it is so good for you. run don’t walk away. they say it is too late for my request because it happened quite a while ago. what time line is there for this info .
Silvia Logan says
Big Pharma never gave us any warning how dangerous that the Johnson and Johnson products which we use are damaging our health. They do not care about our well-being, but just to make a profit.
Cymbalta – I’ve been suffering over 3 years from the life changing side effects of this drug that was prescribed by a rheumatologist for fibromyalgia pain. Tho’ I’ve gone from dr to dr, none are able to help. Each morning I wake up with tingling and pressure in the top of my head which continues all day, each day, which has totally changed my life. Eli Lily, the mfgr, has not, in my opinion or experience, been adequately been brought to task for all the injury caused by this drug.
Customer Service says
Hi Eileen, we are so sorry to hear about your experience. We can’t begin to imagine. Our team is sending our love and prayers and we will continue to share the truth about these corporations.
The story seems encouraging but I just read Merck gave NY state $47 million and that’s when NY removed religious exemption for vaccines. Now that there are no exemptions left, NY is looking to mandate Merck’s Gardasil in order to attend school.
Cindy Conner says
Big Pharma will not collapse until we can get rid of Vaccines which have tons of toxins, chemicals, metals and other things that are killing our children.