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The Pharma Farce and America’s Deadly Romance with Prescription Pain Killers

Big Brother is watching you from Roswell, New Mexico with alien binoculars they obtained from Jimmy Hoffa’s killer who stole it from Elvis while vacationing in the Bermuda Triangle with Tupac....Ok, so maybe that’s a little absurd. Conspiracy theory is one of those mysterious things that Americans love to entertain and Hollywood has made millions exploiting. But there are some things that are often passed off as conspiracy theory that if picked apart well enough may hold at its core something truthful. Let’s take a dive into the world of Big Pharma shall we?


Earlier this year, there was a piece written on a documentary that was exposing “Big Pharma” as a player in the war of addiction. Unfortunately, according this article, Big Pharma was on the wrong side. The article was entitled “Prescription Thugs: New Documentary Shows Big Pharma’s Role in Addiction and Tragedy”. In this piece (written by Amy Dresner), the author goes into great detail about this eye opening film created by documentarian Chris Bell who is himself no stranger to the heart wrenching prison of prescription drug addiction. Chris’s older brother Mike was a pro wrestler and a subject of the documentary who became addicted to pain killers due to an injury he’d incurred on the job, after being in and out of rehab and trying and failing numerous times, Mike lost his life. But it doesn’t stop there, Chris goes into detail about about his own battle with prescription pain killers as the result of receiving hip replacement surgery. It started with alcohol and turned into something more.


The purpose of the documentary was to expose the greed of big pharmaceutical companies and the willingness of the medical community to look the other way while both Big Pharma and doctors alike lined their pockets. The excessive accessibility of these drugs is mind-blowing ranging from under the table medical prescriptions to purchases made through Craig’s List and beyond. It also takes a deeper look into how passing FDA regulations doesn’t necessarily equate to drug safety for human consumption.

And what has been more telling than anything else within this documentary is the reality that addiction goes beyond prescription drugs, but it goes into the dark recesses of greed leaving a deadly trail of victims in its wake. It’s no wonder why as Chris Bell states, “America is only 5% of the world’s population but we consume 75% of the world’s pharmaceutical drugs.” *1 There’s something really wrong here.


No, this is not conspiracy theory. These are stone cold hard facts. According to and the New York times, Americans account for 99 percent of the world’s hydrocodone (vicodin) consumption, 80 percent of the world’s oxycodone (Percocet and Oxycontin) consumption and 65 percent of the world’s hydromorphone (Dilaudid) consumption. also states that:


  • An estimated 52 million Americans use prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons at least once in their lifetimes – with some using prescription drugs for recreational purposes.
  • Deaths by overdoses involving prescription painkillers quadrupled since 1999.
  •  Every day, about 50 Americans die from prescription painkiller overdoses.
  •  Every year, prescription painkillers cause more than 16,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits.
  • And painkillers are the leading cause of accidental death *2

The sad reality is that despite the facts that have been presented over and over again, not enough has been done to confront this issue. It begs the question of whether of not there’s a bigger problem from the higher ups who perhaps may have been tainted by the addiction and greed of the almighty dollar. The fight for truth must continue or we will surely become the victims of something more powerful than prescription drug addiction...willful ignorance.


For more details and information on this issue and on the documentary, check out the references below.