Cancer, Chemo, and Crony Capitalism


iStock_000007028394XSmallWhen Medicare reduced reimbursements for oncologists in 2003, some physicians started giving their patients more expensive chemotherapy and other cancer treatments—in return for kickbacks from the pharmaceutical companies, a new study has found.

The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, found that oncologists can buy drugs at deep discount and then dispense them at the higher Medicare rate in their offices. It lets oncologists run a kind of pharmacy as a side business (although it is rarely identified as such to the patients). This represents a considerable part of some oncologists’ income.

Talk about a huge conflict of interest! Oncologists prescribe specific drugs to their patients—and are then permitted to sell them those same drugs at a huge profit. Other doctors do not do this. But oncologists had an exception carved out for themselves.

Cancer patients often feel powerless, and they’ll do whatever their doctor tells them to do. Moreover, they can’t go to another source (other than another oncologist) for the chemotherapy drugs. And they often don’t have the luxury of time to explore other options and second opinions. It becomes, in effect, a closed market—crony capitalism at the expense of human health, made possible by a government favor posing as a government rule.

The authors of the study analyzed the records of over 200,000 lung cancer patients treated between 2003 and 2005. Before the Medicare cuts went into effect, 16.5% of such patients received chemotherapy; afterward, nearly 20%. That 2.5% difference could be considerable, especially if applied to a substantial portion of the 1,529,460 Americans that are expected to develop cancer in 2010, according to the American Cancer Society.

The study also found that doctors frequently switched to more expensive cancer drugs like docetaxel, for which oncologist get reimbursed about $2,500 per patient per month.

The bottom line, according to noted medical writer Ralph W. Moss, PhD, who created the important Internet journal Cancer Decisions, is that some oncologists in private practice may make crucial treatment decisions based not on medical necessity but on what is most profitable for themselves.

In his forthcoming book Customized Cancer Treatment, Dr. Moss notes that the public did not know about the existence of the chemotherapy concession until 1999. That year, at a Medicare Advisory Panel meeting in Baltimore, a gastroenterologist complained that the government had reduced his reimbursement rate for colonoscopies from $400 to $108. All the doctors in his internal medicine group were hurting, he continued, except for the two medical oncologists, whom he said were making a fortune running their in-office retail pharmacies. This offhand remark alerted the world to the fact that oncologists were selling drugs at a profit in their offices.

If this isn’t bad enough, it is much debated in the medical community whether many chemotherapy treatments do more harm than good. Dr. Mercola reported on a recent study which found that over four in ten patients who received chemotherapy towards the end of life suffered potentially fatal effects from the drugs, and treatment was “inappropriate” in nearly a fifth of cases. In a study of more than 600 cancer patients who died within 30 days of receiving treatment, chemotherapy probably caused or hastened death in 27 percent of cases.

In fact, as Mike Adams points out, even dispensing the chemotherapy drugs is dangerous, and the doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who handle the toxic medications are giving themselves cancer!

One last point: if you are ever treated with chemotherapy, be sure to review the scientific studies recommending the use of antioxidant supplements with it. Most oncologists refuse to accept any of this persuasive evidence and won’t tell you about it.


    I’ve been aleating everyone I know about the perfect CANCER cure besides Raiology, Chemo or Radiation. If this info gets out to the public the Pharmaceutical Industry will be in real trouble.

    The treatment is HYDROGEN PEROXIDE. Go ahead and GOOGLE “hydrogen peroxide food grade. You will be amazed. There is al a little book called :The One Minute Miracle”. It is about the same thing and is GREAT.

  • berry lee

    I am thankful do have an open-minded honest doctor at the durham VA Medical Center across the street from Duke Hospital, durham NC ! I had borderline high cholesteral but he told me to walk instead of taking Lipitor ect and that was years ago !!!

    I pray we can train new doctors who interested in their patients overal health instead of just making money!

  • The Banking debacle was Disney Land compared with this crime, Greed is the destruction of Mankind.

  • Cynthia B Hill

    In the past 53 years of my life the treatment for Cancer has remained chemotherapy and radiation. If everything else in medicine stood still like that, wouldn’t we be using blood letting and leaches? Wouldn’t we still believe tomatoes to be poisonous? Just what is the American Cancer Society collecting all that money for in their kumba-ya rallies they do?

  • lynn shauinger

    Get rid of chemotherapy now. Get rid of pharmacuticals now. Eat natural and organic and use herbs for healing. We are killing ourselves in this country in the false name of health.

  • There’s a book out now called “What If Medicine Disappeared?” by Gerald E. Markle and Frances B. McCrea

    The answer is… not much.

    Modern medicine hurts as much as it helps.

  • Ira Gottlieb

    Why is it always about profit over peoples lives.It is very dangerous to have oncologists in bed with drug companies it clouds there judgement and its back to the almighty dollar

  • Eugene Saxby

    I am sorry that I did not see this article before visiting my oncologist today. I have good insurance
    so that I usually do not look at the details of the cost of of the chemotherapy drugs. I know that the
    way that they do things are not right and have already decided not to have anymore chemo.

    Sincerely, Gene Saxby

    • KT

      Mr. Saxby and others out there…..this is the Truth about cancer! It is an acronym that stands for cells that have gone bad & are not moving out thru the bodies proper process of elimination. I challenge you & other to look up each one of the words. Then look at your situation!!! “Cursed is man for putting their trust in man.”

      C ells
      A b
      N ormal
      C ausing
      E namasse
      R eactions

  • Wow nothing like greed!!! Oh how I dream of wellness clinics peppered across our nation. Ha fat chance with practices such as oncology. I have never been an advocate of radiation and chemo. I am hypothyroid due to a boat load of xrays and cat scans. It’s like a slow death. And, then you couple that with the FDA removing Armour and Thyrolar from the market in 2009, that led to much suffering for patient dependent upon those drugs. Seems to be quite the control factor with the FDA, pharma companies, and corrupt doctors. This oncology corruption takes the cake and confirms in my mind that radiation/chemo are money makers for money grubbers. What an atrocity!!! What’s happend to a doctor’s oath?!

  • Dan Dee

    Without knowing the inside secret, I knew they were making big money off ‘drugging’ patients. I’ve been saying the same thing for a while now. For the last 3 years of my Dad’s life, the ‘doctors’ treated him to death; from one drug treatment to another including some chemo. I could write a book about all that Dad suffered because of inappropriate ‘medical treatment’. It seems doctors are great at treating symptoms but they have no care nor any training in finding the cause of the disease and actually curing patients (there’s no money in getting people well!!!!!).

    • Chris

      It’s become a joke among many doctors, “like why cure’em when you can treat’em instead?” I think thats money I smell. . . next

  • bob t

    i have seen it all. wife is on chemo&rad for radical masectomy breast cancer surgery. total cost $450,000. it is all about $ and nothing else. 1 big business.

  • Karen Zsude

    I used to think we had a goverment that watched out for its people. now, I think we have to watch out for ourselves! Between the pharmaceutical companies which are very wealthy and our goverment officials who are very rich we the people have nothing, really not a way to pertect our health. Reminds me of what I learned about some countries during the wars!!
    Oh, by the way, I had been diagnosed with lung cancer 2x, and had surgery not chemo treatment. I am also on my 4th onocologists (since 2003) who right now I dont have a lot of trust in but then I didn’t have it in the other three either!!! Oh well, we need to stick together and help each other, sick or healthy, if we stay together we can go back to running our country not the VERY RICH pharmaceutical companies and politicians.

  • The most important drug we put in our bodies is the food we eat! Eat healthy, stay healthy. Clerks at the good stores comment on the fruits and vegetables we buy. The traditional secret to ‘good’ food is sugar, fat, and salt and all you can eat – not to mention the omega-6 oils, hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup. Some stores, you can’t even find whole-grain breads and brown rice. WalMart is notorious for stocking what sells – a healthful food will disappear after a few weeks because not enough people are knowlegeable enough to buy it. How will we ever turn the corner on getting away from junk food?

    Go Figure!

  • I am waiting for a call from my Congressman to educate him on glyconutrients and food supplements and alternative therapy……I will refer him to this site and my site:
    I have over 40 years experience with natural alternative solutions and feeding people to get them well without chemo, radiation,or sugery…..people do not have to die in this country from Cancer or Mal Nutrition.
    Simple treatments like hydrogen peroxide
    vitamin k1,k2,k3, and vitamin 17 and especially glyconutrients and high dosages of vitamin c.
    The 10 year Human Genome Study shows vitamin b6 surpressed the cancer gene and along with vitamin b 12.
    Changing thinking and changing diets and lifestyles is the only non toxic alternatives.
    It has always been about dollars in this society….and Dr. are considered God’s….tooo bad.

  • Teresa Kennett

    A new documentary “Burzynski” is about a doctor who has a non-toxic cure for cancer right here in the US. He and his patients have fought big Pharma and the FDA for years for the right to have free access to this treatment. I know about it first-hand because I was diagnosed with incurable stage 4 non-hodgkin’s lymphoma 26 years ago. I was incredibly lucky to find out about his clinic in Houston; never had a chemotherapy or radiation and have been completely well ever since. Check out the Burzynski Patients Group, Burzynski the Movie or the Burzynski Clinic online. If you do a little research you’ll begin to understand that he is a HUGE threat to the pharmaceutical industry and the whole cancer establishment. We, the PUBLIC, We the consumers really have the ultimate power if we have access to information and demand access to true healing!

  • Kevin Lyons

    Cancer was extremely rare in 1850, a time when people worked hard in daylight on the farm, breathing fresh air and eating what we would call organic food.

    Toxins, lack of nutritional “input” including the big minerals and trace minerals, lack of enzymes as formerly provided by a diet of primarily-raw organic whole foods, and loss of probiotics due to chorine, fluoride, mercury (vaccinations, dental amalgams, air, water and food-chain contamination), low oxygen input and hydration deficit. These together produce an environment where the immune system becomes overloaded while dealing with suppression of cancerous cells.

    Is it possible to change dietary and lifestyle factors, and tip the balance? The answer is yes, but it requires a high level of motivation to succeed.

  • Gail

    I too have been suffering from cancer, ovarian cancer, for the last nine years. I did 25 chemo treatments in total and now I am going to stop because I my body has had enough. I always wind up in the hospital after 8 treatments for poison, cellulitis, dehydration, malnutrition and whatever else chemo does to me. I am now looking into alternative health clinics I too believe that big pharma and the fda are in bed together and the oncologists have very little options but to use chemo or they don’t get ins. payments or grants or whatever else they need to survive. There are very few oncological free thinkers who want to go up against the government, but I praise the ones that do.

  • Erika

    Being a holistic physician myself; by the time I see a cancer patient, unfortunately there is no more money for them to even get a course of vitamin C iv’s.. (which run about 100-150 dollars a pop) $1600 or so a week . (compared to maybe one chemo treatment or maybe half of one).They are so brainwashed by their oncologists, that the reality of having an extended life never even occurs to them .They are told that vitamins and antioxidants are bad while on chemo or radiation. They have never been told by their docs that “hey…the sugar is feeding the cancer…or..lets stop eating everything from packagest, cans and boxes. .some of them are suspicious but most of them are just plain worn out.

    • If you want to save your life., call me./ There is a stemcell clinic in Quito Equator that is saving lives of what they do. Many people have recovered and you KNOW now that tradional medicine in the USA iS corrupt…Starrtng with the FDA and going to the pharmas to the MDs offices… WE ARE ALL HELD HOSTAGE to PROGRESS. . I am not a company, a time share nor, a person with a profitable motive, but rather a concerned individual who is sick of the BS iin this country. Profits rule. Look what happened to Blockbusters after Netflix took over. It’s gone.. 99% of Americans have no clue of the usefullness of this. The big pharmas will loose billions once people are educated about using stemcells.. No klilling babies or hurting. It is safe and will not kill you. Don’t wait until you are on morphine. Call me. I live in Chicago. Marilyn Carroll 312 504-6652. I am not a scam running in some basement called PEGGY! The clinic is run ny American Doctors.