Have you ever wondered where all the money goes that you donate to the American Cancer Society ?With the advancement of medicine, you’d think scientists would have unlocked the cure by now with the ACS’s help. Right?.
Is there more to this story than meets the eye?Apparently, the American Cancer Society seems to like the status quo. People with cancer are unnecessarily dying, when a cure is probably within reach of American scientists.
There’s a lot of money to be made by chemotherapy and other primitive treatments especially for the board members and their companies that sit on the ACS board.
“The American Cancer Society is fixated on damage control— diagnosis and treatment— and basic molecular biology, with indifference or even hostility to cancer prevention.
This myopic mindset is compounded by interlocking conflicts of interest with the cancer drug, mammography, and other industries.
The “nonprofit” status of the Society is in sharp conflict with its high overheadand expenses, excessive reserves of assets and contributions to political parties.
All attempts to reform the Society over the past two decades have failed; a national economic boycott of the Society is long overdue.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is accumulating great wealth in its role as a “charity.”
According to James Bennett, professor of economics at George Mason University and recognized authority on charitable organizations, in 1988 theACS held a fund balance of over $400 million with about $69 million of holdings in land, buildings, and equipment.
(1). Of that money, the ACS spent only $90 million— 26 percent of its budget— on medical research and programs. The rest covered “operating expenses,” including about 60 percent for generous salaries, pensions, executive benefits, and overhead. By 1989, the cash reserves of the ACS were worth more than $700 million.
(2). In 1991, Americans, believing they were contributing to fighting cancer, gave nearly $350 million to the ACS,6 percent more than the previous year. Most of this money comes from public donations averaging $3,500, and high-profile fund-raising campaigns such as the springtime daffodil sale and the May relay races.
However, over the last two decades, an increasing proportion of the ACS budget comes from large corporations, including the pharmaceutical, cancer drug, telecommunications, and entertainment industries.
In 1992, theAmerican Cancer Society Foundation was created to allow the ACS to actively solicit contributions of more than $100,000.
However, a close look at the heavy-hitters on the Foundation’s board will give an idea of which interests are at play and where the Foundation expects its big contributions to come from.
The Foundation’s board of trustees included corporate executives from the pharmaceutical, investment, banking, and media industries. Among them:
David R. Bethune, president of Lederle Laboratories, a multinational pharmaceutical companyand a division of American Cyanamid Company. Bethune is also vice president of American Cyanamid, which makes chemical fertilizers and herbicides while transforming itself into a full-fledged pharmaceutical company. In 1988, American Cyanamid introduced Novatrone, an anti-cancer drug. And in 1992, it announced that it would buy a majority of shares of Immunex, a cancer drug maker.
Multimillionaire Irwin Beck, whose father, William Henry Beck, founded the nation’s largest family-owned retail chain, Beck Stores, which analysts estimate brought in revenues of $1.7 billion in 1993.
Gordon Binder, CEO of Amgen, the world’s foremost biotechnology company, with over $1 billion in product sales in 1992. Amgen’s success rests almost exclusively on one product, Neupogen, which is administered to chemotherapy patients to stimulate their production of white blood cells.As the cancer epidemic grows, sales for Neupogen continue to skyrocket.
Diane Disney Miller, daughter of the conservative multi-millionaire Walt Disney, who died of lung cancer in 1966, and wife of Ron Miller, former president of the Walt Disney Company from 1980 to 1984.
George Dessert, famous in media circles for his former role as censor on the subject of “family values” during the 1970s and 1980s as CEO of CBS, and now chairman of the ACS board.
Alan Gevertzen, chairman of the board of Boeing, the world’s number one commercial aircraft maker with net sales of $30 billion in 1992.
Sumner M. Redstone, chairman of the board, Viacom Inc. and Viacom International Inc., a broadcasting, telecommunications, entertainment, and cable television corporation.
The results of this board’s efforts have been very successful. A million here, a million there— much of it coming from the very industries instrumental in shaping ACS policy, or profiting from it.
In 1992, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the ACS was “more interested in accumulating wealth than in saving lives.” Fund-raising appeals
routinely stated that the ACS needed more funds to support its cancer programs, all the while holding more than $750 million in cashand real estate assets
(3). A 1992 article in the Wall Street Journal, by Thomas DiLorenzo, professor of economics at Loyola College and veteran investigator of nonprofit organizations,revealed that the Texas affiliate of the ACS owned more than $11 million worth of assets in land and real estate, as well as more than 56 vehicles, including 11 Ford Crown Victorias for senior executives and 45 other cars assigned to staff members.
Arizona’s ACS chapter spent less than 10 percent of its funds on direct community cancer services. In California, the figure was 11 percent, and under 9 percent in Missouri.
(4): Thus for every $1 spent on direct service, approximately $6.40 is spent on compensation and overhead.
In all ten states, salaries and fringe benefits are by far the largest single budget items, a surprising fact in light of the characterization of the appeals, which stress an urgent and critical need for donations to provide cancer services.
Nationally, only 16 percent or less of all money raised is spent on direct services to cancer victims, like driving cancer patients from the hospital after chemotherapy and providing pain medication…”
When you look at the implications of what this doctor has written, should this “charity” be investigated for fraud and corruption?
(My grandmother suffered from cancer and died after being treated by chemotherapy.)
Chemotherapy, I liken to blood letting in the medieval ages. While there are promising techniques on the horizon, could more be done faster?
Taking advantage of the good will of many cancer survivors and their families to perpetuate a culture of greed and exploitation is just plain wrong.
Maybe we could have solved the problem of cancer long before now, were there to be a true goal of finding a cure for this disease. But as we all have sadly come to realize, there’s money to be made in exploiting the sick in America.
What do you think? Is the American Cancer Society doing all it can to find the cure? Or do they delay finding the solution because there’s money to be made? Finding a cure would put all the extremely well paid executives of the American Cancer Society, “non-profit charity” out of a job?