I enjoy watching some of Joe Rogan’s video interviews because he occasionally has some very interesting people on his show. He also has some real idiots and shills on his show and Peter Hotez is one of them.
“It is scary how many similarities there are between this industry and the mob. The mob makes obscene amounts of money, as does this industry. The side effects of organized crime are killings and deaths, and the side effects are the same in this industry. The mob bribes politicians and others, and so does the drug industry.” — Peter Rost, former Pfizer Vice President of Marketing (source)
Overcoming the belief that the healthcare industry is largely free of corruption and criminality can be a formidable hurdle for anyone to navigate. Even if one accepts the overwhelming evidence, it is yet another leap to actually factor-in this knowledge when considering information provided by healthcare professionals. Many people simply will not question the information and advice provided by their doctor, especially when it is a desperate patient facing a life threatening issue. To be sure, healthcare professionals are not always wrong and it is not necessarily they that are to blame for disseminating inaccurate information, but rather it is the healthcare complex as a whole in which the fault lies. I use the term ‘healthcare’ because it’s recognizable, but the more accurate term is ‘disease management’ because the truth is, this industry isn’t interested in curing disease. Which is more profitable; to cure, or to treat indefinitely?
There is more to it than simple greed however; there is also the public mindset that the available science, which is often biased by the same for-profit corporations, is unbiased, well tested and well established. There is also the mindset of the healthcare professional who has paid an enormous amount of money for their education and who thusly seems largely incapable of considering any information from non-mainstream sources which challenge that which they have been taught, regardless of the validity of the conflicting information.
Here we shall primarily concern ourselves only with blatant criminality beyond the level of caregiver, focusing instead upon the corporations and institutions that dictate policy, procedure, and manufacture drugs. Following is a small sampling of some of that criminality. It should be noted that the billions of dollars paid in settlements and fines by pharmaceutical companies seem to be viewed as simply the cost of doing business and rarely are the responsible individuals held accountable for their actions.
In an agreed statement of facts filed in the criminal action, Abbott admits that from 1998 through 2006, the company maintained a specialized sales force trained to market Depakote in nursing homes for the control of agitation and aggression in elderly dementia patients, despite the absence of credible scientific evidence that Depakote was safe and effective for that use. In addition, from 2001 through 2006, the company marketed Depakote in combination with atypical antipsychotic drugs to treat schizophrenia, even after its clinical trials failed to demonstrate that adding Depakote was any more effective than an atypical antipsychotic alone for that use.
In a press release issued last year, one that almost no mainstream media sources have bothered to report, it was announced that Dr. Brian Hooker had finally received documents from the CDC through a Freedom of Information Act that revealed the CDC had access to data linking Thimerosal in vaccines to autism, non-organic sleep disorders, and speech disorders.
Two members of Congress helped Dr. Hooker draft his letter to the CDC, after having spent nearly 10 years submitting over 100 Freedom of Information Acts to no avail.
This information was completely blacked out of the mainstream media. This information is very damaging to the CDC, which has stated for years that there are no studies linking the mercury of Thimerosal in vaccines to autism. […] Thimerosal is still used today in the flu shot that is administered to pregnant women and infants.
CDC researcher Poul Thorsen, who famously headed up the “Denmark Study” that many claim disproved any link between autism and vaccines, has been indicted in Atlanta by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, money laundering and defrauding research institutions of grant money.
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based subsidiary of Novelion Therapeutics Inc., has agreed to plead guilty to charges relating to its prescription drug, Juxtapid, the Justice Department announced today.
As charged in a criminal information filed today, Aegerion introduced Juxtapid into interstate commerce that was misbranded because, among other things, Aegerion failed to comply with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). The resolution also includes a deferred prosecution agreement relating to criminal liability under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). In addition, Aegerion has agreed to settle allegations that it caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs for Juxtapid. Aegerion has agreed to pay more than $35 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from these matters.
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Gregory G. Katsas and acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Laurie Magid today announced the filing of a criminal information against Eli Lilly for promoting Zyprexa for uses not approved by the FDA. Eli Lilly, headquartered in Indianapolis, is charged in the information with promoting Zyprexa for such off-label or unapproved uses as treatment for dementia, including Alzheimer’s dementia, in elderly people.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chairman of Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and Rolf Hazlehurst, the father of a vaccine-injured child have petitioned Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the conduct of two DOJ attorneys, Vincent Matanoski and Lynn Ricciardella.
The two attorneys represented the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), otherwise known as the “Vaccine Court,” in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP). The alleged actions of the two attorneys in the OAP were fraudulent and obstructed justice.
Kennedy and Hazlehurst allege that Matanoski and Ricciardella acted together to intentionally misrepresent the opinion of one of their own witnesses, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, to conceal evidence of his true opinion from the Special Masters who presided in the “Vaccine Court” and the petitioners who were seeking justice and compensation.
The evidence that Matanoski and Ricciardella concealed was a report authored by Dr. Zimmerman showing how vaccines may cause autism in a subset of children with underlying mitochondrial issues.
In the largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $3 billion in fines for promoting its best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top diabetes drug, federal prosecutors announced Monday. The agreement also includes civil penalties for improper marketing of a half-dozen other drugs.
The criminal information filed today alleges that SB Pharmco’s manufacturing operations failed to ensure that Kytril and Bactroban finished products were free of contamination from microorganisms. The criminal information further alleges that SB Pharmco’s manufacturing process caused Paxil CR two-layer tablets to split. The splitting, which the company itself called a “critical defect,” caused the potential distribution of tablets that did not have any therapeutic effect and tablets that did not contain any controlled release mechanism.
The criminal information also alleges that Avandamet tablets manufactured by SB Pharmco did not always have the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved mix of active ingredients, and, as a result, potentially contained too much or too little of the ingredient with the therapeutic effect. Finally, the criminal information alleges that SB Pharmco’s Cidra facility suffered from longstanding problems of product mix-ups, which caused tablets of one drug type and strength to be commingled with tablets of another drug type and/or strength in the same bottle.
Breaking news out of Philadelphia as Reuters is reporting that Johnson & Johnson must pay $8 billion in punitive damages to a man who previously won $680,000 over his claims that it failed to warn that young men using its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could grow breasts. The case is one of thousands in Philadelphia alone with more than 13,000 across the country making the drug yet another product Johnson & Johnson must defend against legal challenges in courts across America.
Johnson & Johnson’s public relations department was already in shambles from its legal loss in Oklahoma in which it was ordered to pay $572M in the landmark legal case for causing the opioid crisis in that state.
The deal represents the government’s third-largest settlement with a pharmaceutical company, yet the deception may still have been worth it for J&J: It sold $24.2 billion of Risperdal from 2003 to 2010.
Johnson & Johnson and its pharmaceutical subsidiary, Janssen, agreed to a $20.4 million settlement with two Ohio counties Tuesday in an effort to avoid a lengthy and costly federal trial about the opioid addiction epidemic.
The opioid manufacturer company said the settlements with Cuyahoga and Summit counties include no admission of liability and removes the Johnson & Johnson from the federal trial scheduled to begin this month in the Northern District of Ohio, according to a news release.
There has been documented evidence that the HPV vaccine has caused more injuries than any other vaccination in history. Despite this evidence however, the HPV vaccination has continued to be hailed a success by the pharmaceutical industry and governments alike.
According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) VigiAccess database, as of April 09, 2018, a total of 85,329 reports of adverse reactions have been filed regarding the HPV vaccination. These reports include 37,699 reports of nervous system disorders; 2450 cardiac disorders, (including 38 cardiac arrests) 533 reports of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS); over 3200 reports of seizures or epilepsy, 8453 syncope and 389 deaths.
There are currently two major federal lawsuits against Merck that are being litigated in U.S. courts: a whistleblower lawsuit from former Merck scientists claiming fraud regarding the MMR vaccine, and a lawsuit against the Gardasil vaccine claiming fraud from a 16-year-old girl who allegedly suffered Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) after receiving the Gardasil vaccine.
In a lawsuit against Merck that was originally filed in 2010, and continues to this day, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, former Merck virologists, claim that they “witnessed firsthand the improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged to artificially inflate the (MMR) vaccine’s efficacy findings.”
The former Merck scientists claim that Merck’s faulty MMR vaccine has caused the United States to pay “hundreds of millions of dollars for a vaccine that does not provide adequate immunization.”
“As the largest single purchaser of childhood vaccines (accounting for more than 50 percent of all vaccine purchases), the United States is by far the largest financial victim of Merck’s fraud,” according to the 2010 False Claims Act complaint.
“But the ultimate victims here are the millions of children who every year are being injected with a mumps vaccine that is not providing them with an adequate level of protection.
And while this is a disease that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (‘CDC’), was supposed to be eradicated by now, the failure in Merck’s vaccine has allowed this disease to linger, with significant outbreaks continuing to occur.”
Merck has tried, unsuccessfully, to end this case for almost eight years now, in an attempt to hide it from the American public.
WASHINGTON — Merck & Company has agreed to pay more than $650 million to resolve allegations that the pharmaceutical manufacturer failed to pay proper rebates to Medicaid and other government health care programs and paid illegal remuneration to health care providers to induce them to prescribe the company’s products, the Justice Department announced today. The allegations were brought in two separate lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act.
Poul Thorsen is a key figure in the shaky research that denied justice to thousands of families whose children suffered a vaccine related neurological injury (brain and nervous system) that developed into autism spectrum disorder (ASD or autism). Thorsen’s influence on US vaccine projects and policies is extensive.
The studies he led had strong influence on the review and outcomes of the Institute of Medicine (now known as the National Academy of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences when looking at thimerosal in vaccines. Today, Thorsen is a fugitive from justice since a warrant for his arrest was issued in April 2001. Thorsen was added to the HHS Office of Inspector General’s ‘Most Wanted’ list in April 2012.
According to court documents, Dr. Eduardo Montaña colluded with pharmaceutical company Aegerion to sell their drug Juxtapid to teenagers with heart problems, even though the drug was not approved for their conditions.
Dr. Montaña violated HIPAA laws of patient privacy by supplying the pharmaceutical company private medical records of 280 teenagers without patient knowledge or consent.
Drug company Aegerion was found guilty of criminal wrongdoing in a Massachusetts court, and a sales representative of the company apparently knew that what they were doing was wrong, as the sales rep allegedly wrote in an email:
“By the way, I am sending this to you from my personal email because of the patient info :)”
Three years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Ketek (telithromycin), lauding it as the first of a new class of antimicrobial agents that circumvent antibiotic resistance. Since then, Ketek has been linked to dozens of cases of severe liver injury, been the subject of a series of increasingly urgent safety warnings, and sparked two Congressional investigations of the FDA’s acceptance of fraudulent safety data and inappropriate trial methods when it reviewed the drug for approval.
A routine FDA inspection of the practices of the physician who enrolled the most patients — more than 400 — uncovered fraud, including complete fabrication of patient enrollment. The inspector notified FDA criminal investigators, and the physician is currently serving a 57-month sentence in federal prison for her actions. Inspections of nine other sites enrolling high numbers of patients revealed serious violations of trial conduct, raising substantial concerns about the overall integrity of the study. In the end, 4 of the 10 inspected sites were referred for criminal investigation.
Despite these discoveries, FDA managers presented study 3014 to the advisory committee in January 2003 without mentioning the issues of data integrity.
In September 2012, Public Citizen published an updated analysis of all major financial settlements and court judgments1 between pharmaceutical manufacturers and the federal and state governments from 1991 through July 18, 2012. At the time of the report’s publication, over $30 billion had been paid by the pharmaceutical industry to settle allegations of numerous violations, including illegal off-label marketing and the deliberate overcharging of taxpayer-funded health programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Boyle and Destefano’s Role in Agent Orange Pseudoscience
The CDC study (which lists no authors) that was published did not study any specific mechanism by which Agent Orange might have caused health issues in veterans. Instead, it studied dioxin levels in Vietnam veterans compared to non-Vietnam veterans. The 646 Vietnam veterans studied by CDC who all served in units that were most likely exposed, did not have elevated levels of dioxin as compared to non-Vietnam veterans. This retrospective study seeking differences of levels of dioxin nearly two decades after exposure is a type of epidemiologic study with only a long shot of success. The aims of the study were to determine whether military records could be “used to identify US Army Vietnam veterans who were likely to be exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange”.
Dioxin is stored in fat. The study measured dioxin levels in serum.
It is my professional opinion that no, neither of these individuals is sufficiently competent to be involved in vaccine safety science and interpretation of studies.
Further, it is my professional opinion that both are guilty of intentional and scientific fraud, perpetuated repeatedly and consistently, to hide the association between vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders.
(1) Boyle informed Congress that no studies have been conducted that compares the rates of autism in vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans. Yet the CDC website clearly reads “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism”. How could any competent scientist make such as stunning conclusion when the science required to answer the question has not been conducted?
(2) Destefano removed results showing increased risk of autism from on-time MMR prior to presenting to the Institutes of Medicine, and prior to publishing the fraudulent study known as “Destefano et al., 2004”. Two subgroups are missing: African American boys, and isolated autism. The latter group had increased risk, included boys and girls from any race, who had no other conditions other than autism. That means “anyone”.
(3) Boyle personally attempted to reconfigure the study design of that same study in an attempt to make the association of on-time MMR and autism go away. The team played with study design after knowing the increased risk of autism had been found, which is not allowed in objective research. They worked very hard to attempt to make the association go away. They play games with birth certificates, and age-group definitions. Nothing worked. So they simply removed the results.
“There are four federal studies that have looked at CDC and said the vaccine program at CDC is a cesspool of corruption.” — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., from the forward to the book, Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC, 2015 (source)
‘Interlocking directorate’ refers to corporate board members who sit on multiple boards, however for our purpose interlocks will also include relationships between pharmaceutical companies and government or other entities where such relationships present an obvious conflict of interest. An example of this is when when a board member of a pharmaceutical company simultaneously holds a position within government which regulates the same drugs the company manufactures, or when a government official leaves their position to work for a pharmaceutical company which benefited from regulations the person introduced while they held a position in government or visa-versa.
One must understand that the U.S. government and the mainstream media have strong political and financial motives for protecting the pharmaceutical industry. Many board members of the larger pharmaceutical companies hold highly influential positions in government, including within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, with lobbying expenditures totaling $277,784,999 in 2017 alone, the pharmaceutical industry is the number one lobbyist by far, doling out more than double that of the second biggest spender that year, the insurance industry.
As for the mainstream media, their relationship with the pharmaceutical industry is obvious given simply the number of drug advertisements one is inundated with in virtually all forms of media. Drug advertisers spend roughly $5 billion dollars in ad revenue annually which in turn rake results in hundreds of billions of dollars in profits. The vaccine industry alone was estimated to be worth $24 billion in 2016 and that figure is expected to nearly triple by 2020. Also consider the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is well represented in much of the mainstream media in the form of corporate board members. Let’s have a look at some of the interlocks regarding Johnson & Johnson for example, which Wikipedia tells us is the largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals according to revenue which totaled a record $76.5 billion dollars in 2017. As of February, 2018:
Mark B McClellan, a board member of J&J, also happens to be the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, the administrator of the Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Senior Director for Health Care Policy of the White House Office and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy of the U.S. Department of the Treasury
Ronald A Williams, a board member of J&J, must have a particularly busy schedule. He has relationships with more than 20 other companies, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield of California where he is the Executive Vice President. He is also a member of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council which is apparently composed of 120 of the world’s most powerful chief executives. In addition, he is a member of the Director of National Intelligence Senior Advisory Group and a board member of both the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and the President’s Management Advisory Board.
Anne M. Mulcahy, a board member of J&J and former CEO of Xerox, is also a board member of The Washington Post and the Graham Holdings Company, a Washington, DC-based newspaper company that owns Harman Newsweek LLC
Melanie Healey, who holds a position at J&J, also sits on the board of Verizon Communications. Interestingly, she is also a director of Bacardi USA, Bacardi Limited and Hilton Hotels.
Harry C. Alford, who holds a position at J&J, is also the Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State
Charles Prince, the director of J&J, is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is not the only one.
Sherilyn McCoy, the worldwide chairman of J&J, is also the CEO and chairman of Avon Products
The above list is only a sampling of the many interlocks which exist between pharmaceutical companies, government and the mainstream media. You can research these kinds of interlocks further using resources such as the LittleSis website.
The study also found crossover between these media corporations and several large pharmaceutical companies, such as Eli Lilly, Merck and Novartis, whose profits would also likely be negatively impacted by a single-payer system. Out of the nine media corporations studied, six had directors who also represented the interests of at least one pharmaceutical company. In fact, save for CBS, every media corporation had board connections to either an insurance or pharmaceutical company.
Medical students are subjected to a barrage of advertising that inevitably leads to a physician-industry connection that can be harmful to our health care system. Medical students’ exposure to pharmaceutical marketing begins early, growing in frequency throughout their training. Students receive gifts such as free meals, textbooks, pocket texts, small trinkets and even drug samples.
Some resident physicians report an average of six pharmaceutical gifts annually, up to 70 industry sponsored lunches, and nearly 75 promotional items in one year, and a survey showed that 41 percent of emergency medicine departments allowed their residents to be taught by drug company representatives.
As medical students are increasingly subjected to pharmaceutical marketing throughout their education, their skepticism towards the practices of the pharmaceutical industry gradually diminishes.
In order to prevent our future physicians from becoming puppets of the pharmaceutical industry, the current medical education system must undergo key reform.
Corruption exists in every major institution. It is an inherent component of greed; greed for money, power, control. And the more money at stake, the greater the risk of corruption. We are taught to blindly trust our healthcare professionals with our lives and with our children’s lives, yet the healthcare industry is no less susceptible to corruption than any other. Case in point:
For approximately two decades, into the 1950s, the public was repeatedly told that cigarettes were safe while, at the same time, information was available that linked smoking to lung cancer. From a 2005 article titled When was the link between smoking and cancer established? by The Guardian, we read:
Evidence had been gathering for more than a decade beforehand. In 1949, Richard Doll, a researcher working for the Medical Research Council, and Bradford Hill, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene, began looking at lung cancer patients in London hospitals. The patients were asked about family history, diet and previous diseases. In 649 cases of lung cancer, two were non-smokers. Doll immediately gave up his own five cigarettes a day habit.
Doll and Hill extended their research to Cambridge, Bristol and Leeds and, after speaking to some 5,000 people, found the same results.
Doll and Hill followed up their work and, by 1956, the link was incontrovertible: more than 200 heavy smokers had died in a four-year period while the incidence among non-smokers was negligible.
Cigarettes were recognised as the cause of the epidemic in the 1940s and 1950s, with the confluence of studies from epidemiology, animal experiments, cellular pathology and chemical analytics. Cigarette manufacturers disputed this evidence, as part of an orchestrated conspiracy to salvage cigarette sales. Propagandising the public proved successful, judging from secret tobacco industry measurements of the impact of denialist propaganda. As late as 1960 only one-third of all US doctors believed that the case against cigarettes had been established.
Possible connections between tobacco and cancer were made approximately 62 years prior to 1960. From the same paper we read:
In 1898, a medical student by the name of Hermann Rottmann in Würzburg proposed that tobacco dust—not smoke—might be causing the elevated incidence of lung tumours among German tobacco workers. Rottmann’s mistake was not corrected until 1912, when Adler proposed that smoking might be to blame for the growing incidence of pulmonary tumours.
Historical evidence of a tobacco-cancer link aside, one simply might wonder what it was that the tobacco companies might have known that caused them to target the healthcare industry as a marketing vehicle.
The tobacco issue is just one glaring example as to why it can be a bad idea to blindly trust healthcare professionals who are often incentivized to promote products which are known to have wide-spread adverse and sometimes deadly consequences to our health.
When examining the roles of conflicts of interest in academic publishing, most research focuses on transparency around the payments authors receive. But what about journal editors? According to a new Peer J preprint, two-thirds of editors at prominent journals received some type of industry payment over the last few years – which, at many journals, editors are never required to disclose. (The findings echo those reported by another recent paper in The BMJ, published six days later.)
The above is an excellent example of where the bulk of corruption lies in many areas — healthcare, government or otherwise — and that is with the gatekeepers. Those who implement policy, in this case doctors, are basically well-meaning people i think, however the decisions they make are often based upon policy makers whose interests may be wildly different than their own, such as when editors of medical journals refuse to publish data that is critical of a company which is paying them. I found the above article linked to from another titled, Dissolving Illusions – “Authoritative” Medical Information Sources Are Corrupted, which was published in 2017 by the AHRP. In it they write:
Among the numerous examples of corrupted science that can be attributed to the illegitimate intervention by journal editors who are financially tied to pharmaceutical companies, is the case of an Israeli study headed by Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld, an internationally acknowledged, foremost expert on autoimmune disorders.
(2) The Shoenfeld study, Behavioral Abnormalities In Young Female Mice Following Administration Of Aluminum Adjuvants And The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Gardasil, was first submitted to the Journal of Human Immunology where it languished for 8 months and was then rejected by the editor-in-chief, Dr. Racke. According to the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Racke received personal compensation from EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck, the manufacturer of one of the HPV vaccine.
The article was then published in the journal Vaccine (January 2016), until it was summarily withdrawn by that journal’s editor-in-chief, Dr. Gregory Poland, who is chairman of Merck’s safety evaluation committee for vaccine trials.
More recently, former CDC director, Brenda Fitzgerald, was forced to resign her position because she was trading tobacco stocks. From a 2018 article by Politico:
After assuming the CDC leadership on July 7, Fitzgerald bought tens of thousands of dollars in new stock holdings in at least a dozen companies later that month as well as in August and September, according to records obtained under the Stock Act, which requires disclosures of transactions over $1,000. Purchases included between $1,001 and $15,000 of Japan Tobacco, one of the largest such companies in the world, which sells four tobacco brands in the U.S. through a subsidiary.
The purchases also include between $1,001 and $15,000 each in Merck & Co., Bayer and health insurance company Humana, as well as between $15,001 and $50,000 in US Food Holding Co., according to financial disclosure documents.
These are not isolated cases and until one acknowledges the level of corruption and criminality that exists throughout our society, one cannot fully appreciate how broken the system is as a whole. When a study is published in a highly respected, peer-reviewed medical journal that indicates there is no link between a vaccine and neurological damage, complete with high confidence levels and low ‘p’ values, what is that study worth when it was funded and conducted by the same company that manufacturers the vaccine and reviewed by those with a vested interest? What validity do such studies hold in the minds of thousands of parents who literally watched their child regress shortly after receiving a vaccine? From a 2016 Truth in Media segment by Ben Swann, Understanding Big Pharma’s Propaganda Machine, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Marcia Angell, stated:
This is corrupting research and making the public–and doctors–think that prescription drugs are much better and safer than they actually are. I saw an enormous change in the relationship of academic medicine and clinical research to the drug companies. And i saw more and more bias introduced into the research. And one of worst forms of bias is that the drug companies will not permit researchers to publish negative results. If the drug doesn’t look good, it’s not published. It’s buried.
Science today, in all fields, is plagued by corruption. Yet, more often than not, attempts to create awareness about scientific fraud — an issue that few journalists have been willing to address — are met with the response, “Well, is it peer-reviewed?”
Although good science should always be reviewed, using this label as a form of credibility can be dangerous, causing people to dismiss new information and research instantaneously if it doesn’t have it, particularly when that information counters long-held beliefs ingrained into human consciousness via mass marketing, education, and more.
Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that we are being lied to about the products and medicines we use on a daily basis.
If you’re one who commonly points to the “peer-reviewed” label, then you should know that there are many researchers and insiders who have been creating awareness about the problem with this label for years.
Pharmaceutical advertising has inundated all forms of popular media including television, print, radio, internet, billboards and direct mailing, however this was not always the case. In the 2011 article, Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising (DCPA), on the National Institutes of Health website, we get a glimpse of what preceded the explosion of direct-to-consumer drug advertising:
During the 1980s, the political climate in the U.S. became more favorable to the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, a cultural shift occurred that caused patients to start actively participating in medical decision-making with their health care providers. In response to both of these changes, an increase in DTCPA occurred. In 1981, Merck ran the first direct-to-consumer (DTC) print advertisement for its new antipneumococcal vaccine, Pneumovax (pneumococcal vaccine polyvalent) in Reader’s Digest.
The pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars annually on direct-to-consumer advertising which is permitted only in the U.S. and three other countries according to Wikipedia. That it is permitted at all raises serious ethical concerns for many, including some healthcare professionals. Consumers who may never research a drug beyond the boundaries of an advertisement, are running to their doctors in record numbers asking for specific brand-name drugs to treat real or perceived health issues without possessing the necessary knowledge as to whether their drug of choice is even applicable, much less whether it’s the best treatment available for the problem they may be experiencing. Compounding the problem is the fact that some doctors prescribe drugs based largely on the patients choice. From the 2014 article, Patient requests for specific drugs have major impact on prescribing, reports study, on the ScienceDaily website, we read:
Patient requests for specific medications — including requests for brand-name drugs spurred by direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising — have a substantial impact on doctors’ prescribing decisions, suggests a study in the April issue of Medical Care. The journal ispublished by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
The findings add to concerns over the potential safety and economic impact of prescription drug requests driven by DTC advertising. The United States is one of only two countries that permit DTC advertising — familiar to television viewers as “Ask Your Doctor” ads — for prescription drugs.
The increased use of mass media advertising for prescription drugs has been controversial. Opponents of DTCA argue that it misleads consumers into taking costly prescription drugs that they do not need and that in seeking to sell products, pharmaceutical marketers turn normal human experiences with things like hair loss or shyness into diseases (Angell 2004, 123–26; Mintzes 2002).
Predictably, the sales of prescription drugs has skyrocketed as a result of direct-to-consumer advertising. Are drug ads the new form of healthcare education for consumers?
incentivize me baby!
Pediatricians have the potential to rake in a substantial amount of money through various vaccine incentive programs. From the 2016 Performance Recognition Program by Blue Cross Blue Shield we learn that doctors are paid $400 for each vaccinated child meeting the ‘Combo 10’ requirement, meaning that the child has received the following vaccinations: 4 DTaP, 3 IPV, 1 MMR, 1 VZV, 3 HiB, 3 Hepatitis B, 4 PCV, 1 HepA, 2 or 3 RV and 2 Influenza vaccinations. According to a 1999 study published on the National Institutes of Health website, Size and age-sex distribution of pediatric practice: a study from Pediatric Research in Office Settings, the average pediatrician has 1,546 patients which equates to potential earnings of $618,400 and this is only for the ‘Combo 10’ vaccine incentive program. According to a 2014 article, How Many Patients Should A Primary Care Physician Care For? in MedCity News, the actual number of patients a doctor has is much higher, often exceeding 2,500. In an example given in the Blue Cross Blue Shield incentives document, we see that ‘Dr. A’ earned a total of $7,000 in a single year for 10 of the BC/BS incentive programs in addition to the one for vaccinations.