Internal financial documents show that ACSH – The American Council on Science and Health “nonprofit organization that debunks junk science health claims with science-based evidence and common sense” – depends heavily on funding from corporations that have a financial stake in the scientific debates it aims to shape, say Andy Kroll and Jeremy Schulman in their report. The ACSH – Pro-Industry Science Group? – also directly solicits donations from these industry sources around specific issues. ACSH’s financial links to corporations involved health and safety controversies highlighted in the past – such as Bisphenol-A (BPA) and pesticides.
Advisory boards are groups of medical professionals hired to meet and consult with a pharmaceutical company about its product. The medicos might advise on how to get the drug through regulation hoops, on the appropriateness of marketing materials, or how the drug can be dispensed for greatest reach.
As with the fictional fight club, these meetings are secret; doctors involved sign confidentiality agreements and very rarely do companies disclose who their adviser-doctors are. Now we know how much money – but not which doctors – are getting paid.
” The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don’t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs. This is what makes drugs so different from anything else in life…Virtually everything we know about drugs is what the companies have chosen to tell us and our doctors… the reason patients trust their medicine is that they extrapolate the trust they have in their doctors into the medicines they prescribe. The patients don’t realise that, although their doctors may know a lot about diseases and human physiology and psychology, they know very, very little about drugs that hasn’t been carefully concocted and dressed up by the drug industry…If you don’t think the system is out of control, then please email me and explain why drugs are the third leading cause of death… If such a hugely lethal epidemic had been caused by a new bacterium or a virus, or even one hundredth of it, we would have done everything we could to get it under control. ”
The book Deadly Medicines and organised Crime, by Peter Gøtzsche, addresses in great evidence-based detail, a general system failure caused by widespread crime, corruption, bribery and impotent drug regulation in need of radical reforms.
The needs of the drug companies has taken priority over meeting the needs of patients
” Over the past 35 years, patients have suffered from a largely hidden epidemic of side effects from drugs that usually have few offsetting benefits. The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the practice of medicine through its influence over what drugs are developed, how they are tested, and how medical knowledge is created. Since 1906, heavy commercial influence has compromised Congressional legislation to protect the public from unsafe drugs… ”
New efforts to reveal the ties between doctors and drug firms
The earnings picture may be cloudy today in the drug business, but sun is shining in from another quarter. Today is the first day of data-gathering for the newly implemented Physician Payments Sunshine Act.
Over the last decade or so, the FDA has quietly become an agent of organized scientific fraud designed to promote the profits of drug companies at the expense of public health. One of the ways this is accomplished is by rigging drug review panels with industry “experts” who maintain financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.
Wiser prescription drug use could cut health costs by billions: study
Avoidable costs of more than $200 billion are incurred each year in the U.S. healthcare system as a result of medicines not being used responsibly by patients and healthcare professionals, according to a new study released today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. This represents 8% of the United States’ total annual healthcare expenditures and amounts to millions of avoidable hospital admissions, outpatient treatments, pharmaceutical prescriptions and emergency room visits for patients.
The American medical system is corrupt, ineffective and unnecessarily costly
” The American medical system is corrupt, ineffective and unnecessarily costly. These outcomes are due to state violence on behalf of the politically connected elite (namely private insurers, physicians, pharmaceutical and medical device companies). Artificial scarcity, price-gouging, misallocation of research funding and the suppression of alternative (non-patentable) therapies can be ameliorated by revoking state-conferred elite privilege and re-establishing cooperative, mutualized healthcare financing. ”
Fears of a crisis in drug innovation have grown over the years
” Despite the more than $50 billion that U.S. pharmaceutical companies have spent every year since the mid-2000s to discover new medications, drugmakers have barely improved on old standbys developed decades ago. ”