Friday, February 5, 2016

Death By Prescription

This article is by Herbalist Wendy Wilson, who write for the International Forecaster. This article was written for the 30 January 2016 newsletter and originally titled "CAUSE OF DEATH BY Rx IS 52%"

It is astonishing that out of the reported deaths caused by prescription medicines we find that the death rate is 52%. This statistic reflects only the reported cases by hospital doctors and or coroners performing autopsies. Are patients overdosing on purpose or are these deaths accidental? For the most part, the prescription drug-related deaths are from patients taking their medications as prescribed. Drugs accumulate in the body and cause a toxic condition. After a while the organs fail to clear the toxins under the strain and death can occur. There are also metabolic changes created by prescription drugs. If patients are on more than one medication, doctors and pharmacists do not know what those changes will be. The risk is high using life-long prescriptions in an attempt to stabilize function. In the long run, the drugs create worse conditions.


An autopsy is a medical examination of a deceased person. It is done to confirm the cause of death or to provide evidence that can point to a cause of death. There are two kinds of autopsies in the US:

(a) Hospital or a clinical autopsy requested by family or physicians
(b) medico-legal autopsy ordered by legal officials.

Coroners across the country have what is called their Cause of Death Quick Fact Sheet. This tool is supposed to help medical examiners arrive at the proper cause of death. In many cases the medications predispose patients to a perfect storm of demise. According to the National Vital Statistic System, the statistic of 52% mortality due to prescribed drugs is their best guess over a thirty-five year period. It is most likely a low estimate because according to the CDC, over 20% of Americans are taking more than one prescribed medicine. The number of autopsies are down as well, dropping over 50% since 1972, which means only a fraction of drug deaths are being investigated.

“Research from 1976 to 2006 showed that 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths, were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors. ” Journal of General Internal Medicine, June 2010.


According to existing data, the elderly are more vulnerable to die due to prescribed medications because doctors put them on multiple drugs. Add to that the complication of a poor memory or onset of dementia and the elderly can mismanage their medications further increasing their risk of death. According the nursing home staff, the elderly have many chronic illnesses which require strong drugs. Although staff won’t admit it, they understand that the elderly in their care are “medicated to death.”


According to the World Health Organization, the top ten causes of death globally are:

1. Heart Disease
2. Stroke
3. COPD (emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)
4. Pneumonia
5. Bronchitis
7. Diarrhea
8. Diabetes
9. Road Injury/trauma
10. High Blood Pressure


According to the CDC, the US has a prescription drug epidemic. A few reasons why this problem will get worse before it gets better are:

Free healthcare ensures more people will be taking drugs and more of them, and....

Doctors and other health professionals often self-medicate and become drug addicts causing them harm.


According to the CDC and reported in the Los Angeles Times, prescription drug deaths out number illegal drug deaths. Other alarming statistics in the CDC report were:

Drugs kill more people than car accidents.
The number of teenagers killed by drugs doubled.
The number of deaths for patients over 50 tripled.
Pain medications killed more people than traffic fatalities.

Dr. Joseph Mercola calls the excessive and unnecessary drug use in America “Pharmageddon.” People seem to have lost their desire to heal themselves and rather take the easy route and hope drugs are their answer. I spoke with a lady the other day who said her doctor prescribed a medication to lessen her symptoms but admitted there was no cure modern medicine could offer her for chronic nerve pain. The lady refused the drugs and went to the Internet to research her condition. She found numerous natural therapies and she tried them one-be-one until she found the one that helped. She states it was her diet making her sick and since making dietary changes she was able to return to work. The adverse drug reactions are a big problem especially when several medications are being taken in varying doses. In addition, some drugs should not be taken with certain foods, supplements or herbs and the combo complexity magnifies.


The pharmaceutical companies are well aware of the influence they are having on mankind. They employ two lobbyists for every member of Congress. We often look at the voting record of politicians, but do we look at the pharmaceutical company track record?

Merk - $5.5 billion in legal judgments.
Baxter - $1.3 billion in criminal fines and civil penalties
Pfizer - $2.3 billion payout to make criminal and civil cases settle out of court and $430 million false claims
GlaxoSmithKline - $3 billion criminal, $2 billion civil and $750 million poor manufacturing practices
Johnson & Johnson - $2.2 billion in false claims
AstraZeneca - $355 million in fraud

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The unfortunate corruption influencing the medical system is proving that crime pays drug companies in the billions of dollars. If a drug company conducts themselves in a deceptive and criminal capacity, why would you trust their products?

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