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Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs—Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, as Summarized on Green Medicine Radio

Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs—Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, as Summarized on Green Medicine Radio
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(Why the incredibly long title to this article? Because some might dismiss a shorter title for the article as “just another rant by a “crazy health food nut.” Hard to do that when the title includes the source, a professional journal, published by the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, whose website——tells us the organization originated in 1911.)
Do you listen to Green Medicine Radio? Broadcast and “streamed on-line” from KVI AM 570, it’s a two hour “live broadcast,” “call-in” radio program from 12 noon to 2 PM Pacific Time. Callers ask about health concerns and what might be done about them; answers are based on “what does Nature do?” as well as on 44 years of clinical experience and nearly 100,000 medical journal articles accumulated—and actually read—since 1973.
Green Medicine Radio also has a website, where nearly every two hour broadcast is archived, starting in October 2010.
Entire programs or any segment of any one program can be accessed and heard at any time of the day or night.
On June 10th (2017), the opening remarks (thankfully for listeners, these opening remarks are limited to 20% or less of the entire two hour program) were based on the June 2017 issue ofGreen Medicine Newsletterwhichhad just been published. In that issue, an article about research fraud was published which included a very short quote taken directly from theFall 2013 issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics,pages 590-600. The title of thearticle being quoted actually was“Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs.”
This article was originally published in 2013 and the situation it describes continues to worsen. Instead of just listening to my opinions about what government and industry have done to your health care for the last century, I thought listeners to Green Medicine Radio should hear what a 2013 faculty member at the Harvard Center for Ethics, a health policy professor at York University in Toronto, and a research fellow at Harvard Medical School had written.
So in addition to listening to all the questions and answers about health concerns with those who called that day, here’s what listeners to Green Medicine Radio also heard.
    From page 590:  “An extensive range of studies and lawsuits already documents strategies by which pharmaceutical companies hide, ignore, or mis­represent evidence about new drugs; distort the medi­cal literature; and misrepresent products to prescribing physicians.” Also from page 590: “…through large-scale lobbying and political contributions, the pharmaceu­tical industry has influenced Congress to pass legis­lation that has compromised the mission of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…turn­ing to industry-paid ‘user fees’ since 1992 has biased funding to limit the FDA’s ability to protect the public from serious adverse reactions to drugs… industry has commer­cialized the role of physicians and undermined their position as independent, trusted advisers to patients.”(My comment: these medico-legal experts are telling us FDA can’t be trusted!)
From page 591: “…these companies are mostly developing drugs that are mostly little better than existing products but have the potential to cause widespread adverse reactions even when appropriately prescribed…This deviation from the principles of health care by institutions allegedly dedicated to health care is institutional corruption. We present evidence that industry has a hidden business model to maximize profits on scores of drugs with clin­ically minor additional benefits.”(My comment: it’s been obvious for years that the goal of the “health care industry” is profits, not our health.)
Page 592: “…Congress has authorized billions in taxpayer contribu­tions to support R&D, exemptions from market competition, and special privileges…lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry have successfully pressured Congress to provide sev­eral forms of market protection beyond patents…The preponder­ance of drugs without significant therapeutic gain dates back at least 35 years…An analysis of data from the National Science Foundation by Donald Light and Joel Lexchin indicates that pat­ent-based pharmaceutical companies…in fact devote only 1.3 percent of revenues…to discovering new molecules…revenues spent on pro­motion is about 19 times more than the amount spent on discovering new molecules.” (My comment: taking “tax dollars” from all of us to support R&D—research and development—of patent medicines to be sold at insanely high prices is not only unethical, but also immoral.)
Page 593: “Most new drugs approved and promoted since the 1970s lack additional clinical advantages over exist­ing drugs and (as with all drugs) they have been accompanied by harmful side effects…a total of 6.8 percent of hospital patients having serious ADRs.Applying this 6.8 percent hospital ADR rate to the 40 million annual admis­sions in U.S. acute care hospitals indicates that up to 2.7 million hospitalized Americans each year have experienced a serious adverse reaction…an estimated 128,000 hospitalized patients died annually, matching stroke as the 4th leading cause of death. Deaths and serious reactions outside of hospitals would significantly increase the totals…An analysis conducted in 2011, based on a year of ADRs reported to the FDA, came to similar conclu­sions: Americans experienced 2.1 million serious injuries, including 128,000 patient deaths…in 1933…Employees of drug makers wrote to Congress, arguing that requiring companies to make honest claims about safe drugs would put thou­sands out of work.” (My comment: according to a 2015 report from the U.S. National Poison Data System, there were zero—0—deaths from dietary supplements in 2013, which appears to be the ‘most recent’ data analyzed by this group.)
Page 594: “In his review of new pharmaceutical products in the 1940s and 1950s, Dr. Henry Dowling, an AMA senior officer and expert, found that companies launched 200-400 a year but only three on average were clini­cally useful.Physicians, swamped with far more drugs than they could know much about, relied on sales reps to brief them, entertain them, and leave an ample supply of free samples as gifts that the physi­cians could then give to their patients…three key features of the mod­ern drug-testing system actually work for industry profits and against the development of safe drugs that improve health.” (My comment: Patent medicines—as just noted—are almost entirely about insanely high profits, and minimally about for good health and product safety.)
Page 595: “Articles that present the conclusions of commercially funded clinical trials are at least 2.5 times more likely to favor the sponsor’s drug than are the conclusions in articles discussing non-commercially funded clinical trials…companies are much less likely to publish negative results, and they have threatened researchers who break the code of secrecy and con­fidentiality about those results.Positive results are sometimes published twice (or even more often) under different guises. This further biases a method of statistically combining the results of multiple studies and clinical guidelines used for prescribing. The result is a massive distortion of the clinical evidence.….For decades, the FDA has kept silent about these practices and about the discrepan­cies between the data submitted to the FDA by com­panies and the findings published in journal articles, to the detriment of patients but much to the benefit of the companies.”(My comment: That last sentence says that FDA supports false information—lying—about patent medicines.)
Page 596: “After approval, aggressive marketing of new drugs to doctors for both approved and unapproved uses before good safety information is available maxi­mizes the number of patients exposed to risks from the roughly 25 to 40 new NMEs [New Molecular Entities] approved annually.Field studies find that most drug representatives do not discuss adverse side effects.” (My comment: If patent medicine companies don’t tell “the whole truth” to physicians, how can non-physicians trust the patent medicines prescribed?
Page 597: “A 15-month investigation by the Committee on Government Reform of the U.S. House of Represen­tatives found ‘a growing laxity in FDA’s surveillance and enforcement procedures, a dangerous decline in regulatory vigilance, and an obvious unwillingness to move forward even on claims from its own field offices.…The resulting 2006 report also documented a 53.7-percent decline in warning letters. Since then, FDA leadership has shifted to talking about being a ‘partner’ with industry to get more drugs to patients more quickly. For the reasons we explained above, the proportion of new products with clinical advantages seems to have moved from about 1 in 8 down to 1 in 12, while the proportion with serious harms has gone up from 1 in 5 towards 1 in 3 as the number of drugs given priority status increases.”     (My comment: FDA’s recent regulatory campaign against compounding pharmacies was actually enabled by a law—the Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013—that was passed by Congress because of the “New England Compounding Center disaster”; this disaster happened because FDA neglected to follow-up on “warning letters” they had sent to that very same New England Compounding Center, allowing them to continue for several years the very same unsafe compounding practices criticized in those original “warning letters”!)
Pages 597, 598, 599, and 600 contain 85 reference citations backing up every assertion made by the authors of this article. Now, I hope you have that pen or pencil to record where to go “on-line” to download the entire article to your own computer. Into the search engine, put the words “Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals.” When I did this yesterday, the third entry on the first Google page was a downloadable-for-free “pdf” of the entire article. This entire article describes—with footnote documentation—the largest problem in American health care. No wonder that safe, effective natural medicine has been attacked by the FDA for most of the 20th and (so far) all of the 21st century. No wonder so-called “health care” is so expensive, with patent medicine companies charging $1,000 per pill for “new drugs.” Until this racket ends, true health care—and freedom of choice in your own health care will continue to be attacked and suppressed!

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