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(Censored Alert) Project Censored

by Project Censored Sunday, Jan. 20, 2002 at 3:15 PM

The following is an abstract of various articles detailing the relationship between The Carlyle Group and numerous political leaders around the world.

Check the Project Censored website for over 1,000 direct links to
alternative, independent news sources:  http://www.projectcensored.org

If you come across news of great importance that you're not seeing or
hearing about from mainstream sources, nominate the article for
consideration as one of the top news stories of 2002 by sending the
article, with name and date of publication and author's name, to
Project Censored.

Project Censored's review process for the Censored 2002/2003 yearbook
has already resulted in an evaluative consideration of hundreds of
news stories. With more articles being nominated every day, Story
Management intern, Dana Small, provides the following synopses of a
couple of  the more interesting stories in store so far:

The following is an abstract of various articles detailing the
relationship between The Carlyle Group and numerous political leaders
around the world.  The websites cited are:
1. Veritas Capital Equity News
2. TomPaine.com
3. Washington Business Journal
4. Truthout - Issues
5. Judicial Watch
6. Emperors-clothes.com - BushLaden

Private equity firms create a capital fund by raising money from a
small group of investors to buy undervalued companies and resell them
for a profit. Defense companies are stable and less risky than most
commercial businesses, and offer an opportunity to work on high
technology, global-scale projects.  The Carlyle Group, based here,
headed by former U.S. Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci, is considered
by analysts to be one of the largest private equity funds active in
the defense and aerospace industry, with a .5 billion capital
fund.  The Carlyle Group's focus on the defense and aerospace sector
comes from its extensive contacts here and in other world capitals.
Former U.S. President George Bush is a senior adviser to the group,
and John Major, the former prime minister of Great Britain, was
recently appointed as the chairman of the company's European

The Group employs a motorcade of former ranking Republicans,
including Frank Carlucci, Jim Baker and Richard  Darman.  The Carlyle
Group even has lured the treasurer and chief investment officer of
the World Bank to the firm as a managing director and partner.  These
political powerhouses open doors overseas for Carlyle's "access
capitalists".  Bush specializes in Asia and has been in and out of
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (countries that revere him thanks to the Gulf
War) often on business since his presidency.  The Carlyle connection
means that George Bush Senior is on the payroll from private
interests that have defense business before the government, while his
son is the president.  Baker, the pinstriped midwife of 'Election
2000' was working his network in the 'stands' before the ink was dry
on Clinton's first inaugural address.  The Bin Laden family
(presumably the friendly wing) is also invested in Carlyle.  George
W. Bush could, some day, benefit financially from his own
administration's decisions, through his father's investments.

Carlyle also gave the Bush family a hand in 1990 by putting George W.
Bush, who was then struggling to find a career, on the board of a
Carlyle subsidiary, Caterair, an airline-catering company.

"Freed from federal restrictions, pharmaceutical companies are
flooding television with ads for prescription drugs.  What does it
mean for our health care when serious medicine is marketed like
soap?" - By Lisa Belkin

Mother Jones March/April 2001
Abstract by Dana Small, Jan 4, 2002

Television ads for prescription drugs, all but outlawed as little as
4 years ago, are now flooding the airwaves.  For nearly ten years ad
agencies, drug companies, and major television networks lobbied the
FDA for less restrictive ads, and were successful in August 1997 when
the rules were "clarified".

Proponents of the new FDA policy argue that this is another step in
the march for Patients' Rights.  Allowing such ads, among other
things, is the best way to inform consumers about available drugs,
says a branch chief within the FDA.

Doctor visits by patients complaining of allergy symptoms increased
from between 13 to 14 million visits a year from 1990 to 1998, to 18
million allergy visits in 1999.  It adds an extra source of confusion
and frustration to the doctor/patient relationship when the patient
starts directing the treatment based on what they learned on TV.

The ads send a strong signal that prescription drugs are just like
any consumer product - soap, cereal, etc.  Many doctors worry about
the dangerous liver complications that drugs called statins, which
have proven very effective at lowering cholesterol, have been known
to cause.  They need careful physician supervision, however it takes
time to speak to a patient about exercise, weight control, and diet;
it takes less time to just write a prescription.

Glitzy ads can also cause consumers to misunderstand the actual
purpose of the medication.  Glaxo-SmithKline's drug Paxil, an
antidepressant approved by the FDA for the secondary purpose of
treating social anxiety disorder, can too easily be seen as a pill
for shyness rather than a powerful drug for a real and debilitating

A study found that nearly half of respondents believed that drug ads
are prescreened and somehow sanctioned by the FDA.  The fact is that
the agency is "forbidden by law from requiring preclearance".  All
the FDA is allowed to do is require that a copy of the ad be sent to
its office when the ad begins to air.

It is likely that some patients are getting stronger prescription
drugs when less expensive, more easily obtainable drugs may be more
appropriate.  Last year alone Blue Cross Blue Shield Association saw
an estimated "25% increase in the cost of prescription drugs compared
with 6 to 8 percent for physician and hospital services".

Advertising is also promoting drugs before many physicians even get a
chance to learn all of the details of the medication.  Also, one can
buy many popular prescription drugs over the internet, without even
seeing a doctor.

*     Project Censored      *
*  Sonoma State University  *
*  1801 E. Cotati Avenue    *
*  Rohnert Park, CA 94928   *
*                           *
*  www.projectcensored.org  *
* "Come & join our listserv *
*    for Censored Story     *
*         updates."         *
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