Whitney Houston’s Death Means Lots of Questions About Prescription Drugs: What is Big Pharma?

Whitney Houston’s Death Means Lots of Questions About Prescription Drugs: What is Big Pharma?

This past Saturday night, the world lost one of its greatest talents when Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48 in her suite at the Beverly Hills Hilton while she was preparing to perform at a pre-Grammy’s celebration.  TMZ is reporting that no illegal drugs were found at the scene; however, several kinds of prescription drugs were found at the scene, including Xanax.

Which means that while everyone awaits the final determination by the medical examiner on Whitney Houston’s cause of death, there are already a lot of people that are talking about prescription drug overdoses, the celebrity deaths of Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, and Michael Jackson, and what if any responsibility Big Pharma has in these situations.

Until the toxicology tests are completed and the experts release their findings on what caused the death of Whitney Houston, it is premature to point the finger at prescription drugs.  For all we know, Whitney Houston could have slipped and fell in the bathtub; she could have suffered a heart attack; or maybe she had a brain aneurysm.  These things happen.  We don’t know right now what killed Whitney Houston.

However, this is an opportune time to consider just exactly who and what “Big Pharma” is and what power these few international corporations exert over our daily lives.  Here are the pharmaceutical companies that are usually considered to be the members of that group known collectively as “Big Pharma”:

Johnson & Johnson







Abbott Laboratories

Merck & Company

Bayer HealthCare

Eli Lilly


Why are these companies considered “Big Pharma” — money.  These companies make billions of dollars in revenue each year selling drugs.  They are the Big Pharmaceutical Companies, hence the name “Big Pharma.”

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