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Does the Medical Industry Have a Fundamental Lack of Integrity?

Two recent articles—one in the New York Times, the other in the Wall Street Journal—speak to a crisis of integrity in the medical industry that has led insiders like Dr. Jerome Kassirer of Yale and Tufts to muse that some of their colleagues appear to act as “paid prostitutes for the drug industry.”

The Times article discussed a Colorado company that drug and medical device makers paid to oversee patient safety during clinical trials, prompting a Congressional hearing on whether such companies adequately supervise medical trials. The hearing follows incidents in recent years in which patients have died during clinical trials or companies have submitted fraudulent data to the FDA to get new medical products approved. During this period, the oversight of clinical trial safety has shifted from academic medical institutions to commercial firms like company in question.

The company was snared when undercover federal investigators created a sham medical study to see how closely firms evaluate the studies they are paid to review. This company approved a trial, involving a make-believe surgical product and researchers who did not exist. There was testimony at the Congressional hearing that some companies “shop for an accommodating oversight board” when their research is questioned by more stringent reviewers.
The Wall Street Journal article reported that the Alliance for Human Research Protection has protested the “unprofessional and intimidating” tactics from the editor-in-chief and executive deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. An academic questioned the lack of acknowledgement by JAMA of the financial relationship between a drug company and a study’s author.

We would expect the FDA to be outraged over these claims, since they are sworn to protect Americans’ health. Yet the FDA appears to only mind the interests of the companies whose fees add to their coffers. Medical device makers and pharmaceutical companies have their eye on the bottom line, but the FDA is supposed to balance these vested interests. The time to reform the FDA from the ground up is NOW.

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11 thoughts on “Does the Medical Industry Have a Fundamental Lack of Integrity?

  • Monica M. Mears

    I couldn’t agree more – the FDA is just the paid cop on the block for big Pharma. Witness it’s attempt to shut down Armour thyroid and natural thyroid supplements.
    Is your organization doing anything to protest this take over of the natural thyroid market? It is reprehensible that the most effective, oldest treatment for hypothyroid has been hijacked in order to line the pockets of the synthetic thyroid companies. I do not see anything about this on your site, yet it is another angle on the FDA’s total corruption. If you know of an organization that IS working on restoring this critical drug to the 2 million or more who use it, would you please forward that information? Thank you for working to defend natural, preventative forms of medicine for all of us.

    • Angela Sheehan

      Hi Monica,
      Do you take the natural thyroid supplements? I have hypothyroidism and am taking levoxyl. I would like to try the natural supplements and need more info.

      • Mike in MI

        Ms. Sheehan, (and anyone interested in treatments for thyroid problems) –
        Dr David Brownstein, MD is the head of Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI, 48322
        You may contact them at (248) 851-1600. I’m not connected to them in any way, but have healthcare contact with people who have successfully utilized some of his natural approaches to thyroid hormone abnormalities. I can’t guarantee that he’s got all the answers but hopefully his natural methods can help with things others may not have touched on. Please do something beneficial instead of just waiting and hoping FDA might do something reasonable by accident.

    • Juliana Hill

      I am being injured by the lack of proper hypothyroid treatment. Synthetic thyroid hormone has caused marked and sudden hair loss. Lack of proper treatment also causes cholesterol problems. Does the FDA care? Is the agency here to serve citizens or corporate profits?

    • Truth

      It’s true! I witnessed it first hand. There is a medical device company that my ex ‘worked’ for by doing sexual favors for sales! And yes, some of their products are considered voo-doo! Yes, medical device companies use prostitutes (or girls willing to do what it takes to get their products purchased). FACT. Yes doctors and decision makers in purchasing sell their soul to get off and put innocent people in danger. Yes the medical device industry is corrupt. I know for a fact because I caught an employee doing it multiple times without her knowing.

  • maria miller

    The fact that the no. 1 addiction problem in the US is a clear indication that there is no integrity in our current medical practices.
    Pharmaceutical companies who knowingly release drugs that are addictive and are not held criminally responsible is an example of corruption and conspiracy

    • I was hoping that Katherine Sibelius might clean up the FDA. They failed every aspect of their assessment of duties. They pass every new drug without double blind studies, and just add a black box on drugs when they screw up. Avandia is a perfect example, for years it has been known that is causes cardiac problems. Januvia may be next.
      The Armour thyroid ban is reprehensible. It has been used for decades, without contraversy.and is far superior to the drugs. When is Corporate Welfare going to be addressed?

      • Mike in MI

        It is not likely that Corporate Welfare and legislative favoritism will ever be fixxed, It’s hopeless until we (voters) decide to toss from office or make a mechanism to recall any Senator or Congressman who entertains lobbyists with the intent of extracting campaign bribes to buy laws to advantage their business interests. The worst offenders are regulatory agencies like FDA and others who have authority to makeup rules and regs, set fees, fines and punishments, and impound, confiscate and destroy property like jackbooted terrorism experts. Smaller government is the only way.

    • Juliana Hill

      I agree that the manufacturers of psychiatric drugs do not come close to warning of the severe and long term withdrawal effects, this is NOT addiction. Addiction is the compulsion to use a substance . A physical dependency is the often painful illness that appears when discontinuing the drug.. The drug most be tapered often for years as the patinet endures agony.
      The drug manufacturers continue to ignore the tragedy. Calling the victims, drug addicts, is injury on top of injury.

  • sherry dickerson

    i have a 16 yr. old son that was forced to take chemotherapy, and any and all the medications his doctor wanted to try on him without his approval and without my consent by a court order, and enforced by the children’s protective services, from April 4/15/2009 to JANUARY/2010.The CPS.ATTY.and the JUDGE charge me with NEGLECT,because i didnt want to do the conventional medicines, and i wanted a second opinion,well the JUDGE and the CPS.. atty worker, and my son’s Doctor from the E.R. continued to do what they wanted to do when they wanted to do by threat to remove him from our sight permanently. The CPS. WORKER ATTORNEY MADE ALL OR MY SON’s MEDICAL DECISIONS UP TO THIS DAY WITH THE END RESULT OF NOW BEING HOSPICE, A COURT ORDER NOT TO RESUCCITATE AFTER THEY NOW DECIDED THAT CHEMO DIDN’tT HELP,AND COULD NOT HELP HIM AS OF TODAY,AND THE COURT ORDER WAS TO MOVE ME OUT OF THE WAY SO THE DOCTOR COULD OFFER HIM A CHANCE OF A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE NOW THEY HAVE TOLD HIM MANY TIMES TO HIS FACE IN THE LAST ^ MONTHS HE WAS GOING TO DIE, he’s here at home and we dont haven any medical insurance, or any money for him , im not working and we can get any help right because of the court is blocking all decision to get what he needs as a poor person.HE been left with the drugs that was given in his body and only straight morphine for pain.we still are fighting to get him another doctor, as we have never since his diagnosis seen no cancer test xray , or medical proof that he has cancer, theCPS, WORKER AND THE COURT HAS ALL OF THAT STUFF IM HIS MOTHER AND I WAS AND STILL HAS BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO THESE THINGS STILL TO THIS DAY 3/14/2010.WOULD YOU OFFER ME A SUGGESTION AS TO WHERE I CAN GET SOME ASSISTANCE,PLEAS!!!! and THANK YOU.MY PHONE NUMBER- 616589-2182 sherry or taffy dickerson.

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