BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL PUBLISHES NEW STUDY TITLED “REVOLVING DOOR BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY”
For decades it’s been common knowledge that the FDA, BIG PHARMA, and BIG GOVERNMENT have a revolving door between them. In the almost 50 years I’ve been alive, the FDA has gone through 16 different commissioners — a new one almost every three years.
When people attain high positions at the FDA, they typically don’t last too long. Why not — after all, it’s one of those high-paying government jobs (great benefits / great retirement) that people clamor and strive for? Truth is, people can make far more money shilling for industry. As soon as people gain some status and seniority in the organization, they leverage their position in order to get in bed with industry. But remember; they have to “earn” that promotion.
The first time I became aware of the flood of FDA employees fleeing to the pharmaceutical industry was when I read the history Aspartame and how its approval was pushed through by the combined efforts of several FDA reviewers (similar to those we will discuss today) and one Donald Rumsfeld.
For sheer abuse of power and public trust, this story should be bigger than any of today’s political scandals, and much more encompassing (HERE or HERE). Finally, we actually have a study on this topic thanks to Oregon Health and Science University of Portland.
The study (Revolving Door Between Government and Industry), published in next month’s issue of BMJ, declared that, “Although this “revolving door” has been criticized, it has not been studied. We sought to measure how often it occurs at the FDA.” Nowhere is the money bigger than in the treatment of CANCER. And despite everything we’ve been led to believe, it’s not a war we are really winning in any meaningful sense of the word (HERE).
Most of you know that ultimately it’s going to be diet and lifestyle — and not a trillion dollar “MOONSHOT” — that are going to solve our national Cancer epidemic (HERE and HERE). But the money continues to flow.
Because I’m a curious person, I have a habit of asking patients what their (or their spouse’s) cancer treatment — most particularly their chemotherapy — cost them. The per treatment cost is usually somewhere between $12,000 and $25,000, making it easy to see why total costs often soar into the half million to million dollar range. Thus, “haematology-oncology drug approvals,” were a great place for the authors to start their study.
After looking at 55 different medical reviews — mostly by MD’s, some with Ph.D’s as well — over half of them went on to, “work for the biopharmaceutical industry or consulted to it.” This for that. Tit for tat. Quid pro quo. You scratch my back and I’ll make sure you’re set for life.
“Consultant” is an interesting title. It might mean that you do actually do something to earn your money. More often than not, it’s sort of like those high dollar, half-hour speeches that certain politicians have been giving to banks and corporations (some to the pharmaceutical industry). According to CNN…
“Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, combined to earn more than $153 million in paid speeches from 2001 until Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign last spring….. receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address. The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS…”
This does not count the travel, lodging, and other expenses. You already know that these people travel in a manner that makes first class look like the Roach House Motel.
The point here is not to pick on politicians because truthfully, they all seem to fall into schmuckdom when given access to other people’s money. The point is to show you how little you can actually trust anything the FDA says. Just the other day, I talked about FLUORIDE, a nasty, cancer-causing chemical that is still being touted as both safe and necessary by the FDA, even though the ADA itself is publishing studies about it’s ability to harm young children and infants (HERE).
The authors of the study being discussed today concluded that they were, “concerned by these findings. The transition from regulator to advising companies… raises concern as to whether regulators indefatigably act in the public interest. If anything, we underestimate the extent of this phenomenon, as not all reviewer’s future careers could be identified.“
This is the very reason that the so-called “evidence” that makes up EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, cannot be trusted any more than you can trust either of our presidential candidates. Where does that leave you as far as your health is concerned? It means you are going to have to do your own research and trust your instincts.
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