Painkiller rules written by drug makers

Ever wonder why the FDA insists on pushing powerful and addictive pain meds when there are much safer options out there?

Well, wonder no more -- because new emails prove what you've probably already suspected: It looks like FDA experts and Big Pharma drug companies are working together behind your back to make sure you never even hear about those safe and natural options.

The agency's experts on painkillers have been holding private meetings with Big Pharma drug companies in Washington D.C. luxury hotels for at least a decade now, supposedly for "collaboration" sessions.

But since the drug industry reps paid up to $35,000 each to be there, you can bet the "collaboration" wasn't much of a two-way exchange. In fact, for $35,000 a meeting -- a price even Big Pharma drug companies balked at, according to the emails -- you can bet drug industry bosses did the dictating while everyone else took notes.

And it looks to me like they got their money's worth -- because nearly everything to emerge from these meetings has been so favorable to the drug industry that even mainstream scientists are astounded.

For example, one meeting produced a new standard for clinical trials that abandons a core principle of medical research. Instead of randomly assigning patients to take either a drug or a placebo, the new rules allow Big Pharma researchers to screen participants and choose only the ones most likely to respond to the treatment.

Stacking the deck, loading the dice, buying the jury, bribing the cops -- there's no shortage of analogies here, and they all fit because this is flat-out cheating.

And that's not the only problem with this "collaboration." That may not even be the biggest problem.

Prescription drugs -- especially painkillers -- now kill more Americans than traffic accidents. Yet despite the rising toll, the FDA has taken almost no action at all to stop the overuse and abuse of the drugs, limit access to them and improve safety.

And the agency has done absolutely nothing to encourage patients to try safe alternatives such as acupuncture and curcumin, which have been proven in clinical trials to be as effective as meds for some forms of pain.

Why? The emails don't show a reason -- not a single reason, anyway.

They show about 35,000 of them.

It's time to pass on treatments pushed by industry money and stick to the ones backed by science instead. If your own doctor's only answer to pain is a drug, seek the help of an experienced holistic physician instead.