PHARMA JUST BOUGHT YOUR DOG AND MIGHT PUT YOU IN JAIL?
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND and
Big Pharma and its modern medicine allies are not content to simply promote products and services to humans that manage to kill 784,000 of us each year, in the US alone. They now have bought their way in to the American Veterinarian Medical Association for the purpose of controlling what kinds of products and services we provide to our animals.
In 1997, amid great fanfare, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced that several transnational pharmaceutical companies, along with a major animal food company had formed a �strategic partnership� for the purpose of improving the financial fortunes of the veterinary industry as a whole. This new partnership is not just the same old corporate sponsorship at trade shows and sporting competitions for advertising purposes, this is a serious donation of $1 million or more a year plus assignment of personnel to the newly-formed National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) to assist in strategic planning to renovate the veterinary business as a whole. NCVEI proudly lists its founding sponsors as Bayer, Hill�s Pet Nutrition, Merial (a joint venture of Aventis & Merck), Novartis, Pfizer, and VPI Pet Insurance. Other regular sponsors include Fort Dodge, CareCredit, and Western Veterinary Conference. A minor coincidence in this new �strategic partnership� is that the head of AVMA, who cut the deal, now is an employee of one of the founding sponsors.
So, what do these �strategic partners� want to do? First off, according to the 30-year-old international corporate watchdog group, ETC Group, the fastest growing sector of animal pharmaceuticals is the �companion animals� group. According to them, most of the leading animal veterinary companies are subsidiaries of pharmaceutical or pesticide firms. The desire of these companies is to move even more deeply into the companion animal market because any drug which has already been approved for human use by the FDA, only needs cosmetic changes (i.e. new name, new color coating on the pill or a minor tweak to the formula), and voila, you have a new 20-year patent lease on life for that drug without going through the hassle of research and development, much less the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars in typical costs for creating a new drug.
Thanks to this new desire for Big Pharma to serve you, you will be glad to know that your dog now has the opportunity to be diagnosed with �separation anxiety� so he or she can obtain a prescription to a cross-over drug first developed as a human antidepressant for obsessive-compulsive behavior and now called �ClomiCalm�. According to PetEducation.com, and the manufacturer, Novartis, even if you opt to use ClomiCalm, you still must consult your vet or an animal behaviorist to utilize behavior modification to resolve the �separation anxiety� issue. In other words, the drug doesn�t actually cure the problem. Furthermore, you are advised to contact your vet if your dog experiences sedation, dry mouth, increased heart rate, weakness, pale gums, or collapses while taking the drug. Emergency phone numbers to Animal Poison Hotlines are provided on the PetEducation.com website.
According to Novartis Animal Health, there are about seven million dogs in the US who suffer from �canine separation anxiety�.
Another crossover drug manufactured by Pfizer to treat symptoms of Parkinson�s disease in humans has now been re-named and is promoted for dogs that suffer from a new disease called �cognitive dysfunction syndrome� and other geriatric behavior problems. Another Big Pharma dogdrug now in the pipeline includes a magic potion to treat �thunder phobia�.
Big Pharma�s first contribution to this new vet industry �strategic partnership� was to invest in several market surveys, one called, �The Brakke Study� and another called, �The Current and Future Market for Veterinarians and Veterinary Medical Services in the United States�. These studies were completed in 1998 and 1999, respectively. What they found:
With all this Big Pharma ammunition, the entire North American vet industry leadership jumped on board to form the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. One look at NCVEI�s website revels exactly how Big Pharma has begun to reach out to control what you can do with your Fifi, Fido, and Flicka (horses are companion animals, too).
The structure of NCVEI has all the de rigueur �working groups� to pump up the industry including a sponsoring council made up of 15 drug industry representatives who, no doubt, are well-trained in strategic planning as strategic planning is a high art for Big Pharma.
We can assume that part of Big Pharma�s interest in taking over control of the veterinary industry was prompted in order to curtail a growing interest on the part of some vets use of natural therapies and products for animals in order to meet the needs of their customers. Under the auspices of the Task Force on Alternative and Complementary Therapies established by the American Veterinary Medical Association, from 1998 to 2001, a national survey was conducted to determine how to define natural healing arts and to provide official guidelines as they related to veterinary medical practice. Current vet practices are basically the same modern medical products and services that MDs use in treating humans.
Interestingly, the results of this study include a most sophisticated understanding of the great philosophical divide between modern medicine and natural world of healing.
Concurrent with the Task Force guidelines project was the development of a model law that is now being used by vet licensing boards in all 50 states to pass brutal anti-customer DVM monopoly laws that has only one goal in mind, to protect and increase the incomes of veterinarians and their Sugar Daddy, Big Pharma.
One of the results of the veterinary practice surveys is to justify ways that vets could run more traffic through their clinics so that they can collect more fees for more services. In an array of vet industry magazines and various other means, DVMs are being told that if they hire a lot of secondary support staff such as �vet techs�, they will be in a position to promote lab tests, preventative evaluations and the like.
Vets are also being told to be more aggressive in recommending more services and specifically capitalize on the emotional relationship the owner has for his or her pet in order to exploit it for financial gain. Yup. You read that right. Like we found with the Katrina hurricane disaster, some people have such a close attachment to pets, they won�t desert them even at risk to their own lives. So, vets are being encouraged to use this special bond as a tool to increase services the owner may not want or really can�t afford. In fact, according to a March 2005 article in Veterinary Economics, vet schools are now starting to train future vets in how to use this human-animal bond as they develop their own practices that are now considered �family practices� not just animal practices.
This notion to gather all services under one roof under the control of veterinarians, is a basic monopoly move which the chiropractic profession was quick to spot thanks to their own monopoly fights with the American Medical Association that spanned nearly a century. Knowing that chiropractic was of benefit to animals as well as humans, the leadership of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) contacted the American Veterinary Medical Association in 1999 to establish a dialogue. This effort was referred to the Task Force on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The result of this effort was as follows:
To make sure you understand the implications of this policy, which is being promoted in passage of new laws across the US, is that DVMs, who have no knowledge, understanding, or training in any natural healing art, have the right to tell YOU, the animal owner, what you can and cannot do to help your animal.
PLEASE LET US REPEAT, the goal here is to CONTROL YOU and what YOU can do for YOUR animal. It is not about the health and safety of the animal. Since natural healing arts are extremely safe and the practice of DVMs, as a modern medical healing art, has the potential of being extremely risky and life threatening, vets have never publicly argued safety as their justification for passage of DVM monopoly laws. They can�t.
The chiropractors, a very-well seasoned group who successfully beat off total destruction as a profession by the AMA, saw the handwriting on the wall and quickly cranked up their own system of credentialing chiros in the fine art of animal chiropractic. This means there is a fight going on in every legislature in the US over who is going to be allowed to do chiropractic work on your pet.
practices, not normally considered natural healing arts in the same
breath like homeopathy, massage therapy, herbalism and dietary supplementation,
are also now in a duel to the death. Horse dentists, whose profession
dates back to 1207 AD, 600 years before the first veterinary school,
are now getting cease and desist orders in states where they find themselves
suddenly outlawed. Horse dentists historically can spend up to 50 hours
in training to learn the fine art of �floating� (a.k.a. filing) horse
teeth, while vet schools, those who actually have some sort of training
on this sort of thing, average less than three hours. Similarly, farriery
also known as horse shoeing, another ancient art, which is learned often
by well-established journeyman programs, is now in danger of becoming
extinct. After all, the purpose of putting a shoe on a horse has to
do with establishing proper posture and movement so the structure of
the horse is well supported. In the crazy world of DVM monopoly, farriers
are now apparently practicing equine podiatry without a license.
Click here for part -----> 2
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Dr. Carolyn Dean is a medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, herbalist, acupuncturist, nutritionist, as well as a powerful health activist fighting for health freedom as president of Friends of Freedom International. Dr. Dean is the author of over a dozen health books, the latest of which is "Death By Modern Medicine".
Elissa Meininger, is Vice President of Friends of Freedom International and co-founder of the Health Freedom Action Network, a grassroots citizens' political action group. She is also a health freedom political analyst and can be heard on the natural health radio show SuperHealth, broadcast weekly on station WKY (SuperTalk AM 930) in Oklahoma City.
Thanks to this new desire for Big Pharma to serve you, you will be glad to know that your dog now has the opportunity to be diagnosed with �separation anxiety� so he or she can obtain a prescription to a cross-over drug first developed as a human antidepressant...