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More Crony Capitalism at the FDA

handshakeThree years ago a government report found the FDA completely lacking in scientific expertise. The agency’s response? Hire scientists from Big Pharma!

The sixty-page 2007 report, “FDA Science and Mission at Risk,” also said the agency “cannot fulfill its mission” because its scientific base was weak and lacked sufficient capability. In response to this and many other failures, we launched ReformFDA.org, our campaign to completely reform and restructure the US Food and Drug Administration.
Now that three years have passed, instead of reinforcing its own scientific arsenal, FDA’s response is to spend $25 million to collaborate with outside scientists, including drug industry scientists and other scientists who are funded by Pharma. The agency’s $4 billion budget for the fiscal year that began October 1 includes a $25 million budget request to build additional partnerships with academia (heavily financed these days by drug company money), government agencies—and the pharmaceutical industry itself.
As the Associated Press notes, the FDA has already instituted a series of user fee programs in which drugmakers and medical device makers help pay for the agency’s review of their products. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg stated that the new budget item will improve scientific standards, which will in turn help speed up the approval of new drug products.
So the FDA receives money from drug companies to review their products, and now will rely increasingly on drug company scientists to advise them about science? An old Latin phrase springs to mind: Ovem lupo commitere. It means “to let a wolf guard the sheep.”

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20 thoughts on “More Crony Capitalism at the FDA


    What is wrong with this picture? I am so sick and tired of hearing about how crooked our FDA is that I am ready to help get them all fired. My thinking on our FDA is that they are trying to control the US population by killing off as many people as they can by allowing people to be given most of these drugs that have been taken off the market in other countries. I don’t trust anything the FDA approves and I will stick to good organic food and supplements and hope like hell I never have to see a Dr. Why don’t we the citizens get a vote to get the crooked ones out of the FDA?

    • Welcome to the world of “Corporate Rule” and pay offs. The problem is good organic is hard to come by because of the noxious aerial spraying. It’s all a plan. Check out Monsanto. I think your correct in the killing of the population but it’s a slow death because sick people need meds and the pharmaceuticals are there with the answers. Just listen to the pharma commercials on TV and they may coincide with some of the symptoms you may have. It’s just all a web but webs always break and the more people that get the real dirty picture the easier it is to break that web. Wake the world up quickly!

  • Julie R

    I decided not to vote today because no matter whose name I tick off on the ballot, they will not be representing me or anyone I know. They will continue to legislate in favor of big business (Big Agra, Big Pharma, Big Oil, the Military-Induatrial Complex… and against the citizenry. I do not believe it is possible any longer to work within this failed system.
    I abhor violence but I would not cry too much if some disaster befell the House of Representatives during the next State of the Union address.
    Perhaps beforehand, states that want to save themselves could secede from the “Republic.”

    • shirley jacobson

      Better off t write in the candidates you would like to see elected rather than let them think you just don’t care

    • Susan

      Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!! Julie, do you want to rephrase your statement about “abhorring violence”, when you can make such a statement about hurting people you do not agree with?? I am very unhappy about the current state of our country,but if you think that all the people in government are evil, I really feel sorry for you. We are now in really bad shape- based on the people that just took over the Congress, who won because of lies and distortion, it is going to get worse. None of the politicians agree with me 100% , but I feel very well represented by my Senator- Frank Lautenberg.He has been a champion for the environment, the working person and the poor. He also has the guts to stick up for what he believes in. I am sorry he is in his 80’s, because there are not many leaders like him left in this country. And just who would run the States that want to leave, and who would you allow to live there? If we do not all work together, and keep fighting for what is right- you are doing the bidding of all those groups we both detest. Write letters, talk to anyone who will listen and even run for office yourself. Above all, find positive ways to change what we can. If the name calling and hate filled words keep up, we will never achieve good health – or peace. I wish the “Sanity” rally had taken place a few weeks before the election- maybe some sane dialog could have made people make sane decisions on election day. Don’t give up, our voices will be heard! Susan

  • Marta de la Puente

    Are we going back to the Dark Ages of medicine? How about leaches to get your blood for cleaning? Or the leaches are Big Pharma?

  • tevet tee

    The FDA looks out ONLY for the intersts of Drug companies. All ties with them must be cut.
    Work for the victimized consumer.

  • Jim King

    Well, several sayings come to mind.
    1. It’s the same old, same old at the FDA.
    2. When you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always got.
    In order for the FDA to get the kind of real fresh research needed to actually serve the American public, is to get completely outside of big pharma, academia, etc. But then, the FDA would have to eventually get rid of the required disclaimer on all supplement packaging. This would also mean that all of the big pharma companies and the FDA might find their agenda for complete control of all supplements having the wind kicked out of their “sales”. (Pun intended)
    It looks like all the “hen-houses” throughout the U.S.will ultimately fall to the foxes if the reins are not pulled in hard on the FDA. This agency has been out of control way too long.

  • Hello, my name is Lynn, and I’m a recovered alcoholic. I caught genital herpes fm. my last sexual partner, b/4 I got sober. I had 2 successive vaginal births in sobriety. It’s well-known that the fetus can ‘catch’ herpes fm. the vaginal canal. However, I’d already been taught abt. taking Lysine for the trt. of herpes. I, cuz of the stress of the pregnancies, had outbreaks, but tested NEGATIVE for active herpes!! I attribute that to taking Lysine, ESP. on the days I’d feel prodrome symptoms; mine was itching or tingling in my vaginal area.[These were both normal vaginal deliveries.] In addn., modern science has taught us that one can slough off the herpes virus to a sexual partner, even when not in an active outbreak. Pls. make this more well-known; I keep Lysine on hand at ALL times, and take it in loading doses, when I feel the prodromal symptoms.

  • dana walsh

    The gov’t favoring BIg Companies is NOT Capitalism, it’s Corporatalism. Capitalism is little mom and pop shops, and small businesses growing.

  • Lisa

    that’s great… what is it Grover Norquist likes to say – shrink government to the size where you can drown it in a bathtub… then what – hire a bunch of FDA hacks to tell the government what to do? How is THAT independence and freedom? This is disgusting.

  • Arthur Lupien

    The FDA can easily be forced to change course by exutive order from Obummer. (Caution: don’t hold your breath while waiting for this to happen.) Too bad Julie R. didn’t vote, because that’s the only way to affect change. But there’s a catch: you cannot vote for any incumbent. Political party does not matter as much as incumbency. The long-standing, boneheaded, corrupted incumbents of both parties are the ones in control and must be got rid of. We now have two years of breathing space since the Republicans will control the House and may be able to blunt, if not completely gut, Obummer’s health care disaster. Meanwhile, blast your rerpesentatives with your outrage continually, get ready for 2012, and DON”T RE-ELECT ANYBODY, EVER!

  • Randy

    None of it will EVER change for the better until enough of us citizens stand up for our rights and demand that Congress be dis-banded. We have nation-wide instant communication through the Internet these days and therefore no longer need to send 400 to 500 rich and corrupt politicians to D.C. to act on our behalf. We are now quite capable of voting directly online on any and all truly necessary legislation and yes, it will have to be majority rules unless you’ve got a better design.
    Absent the dramatic change noted above (which is long overdue) the horrendous and growing corruption will continue to get worse until we experience total economic collapse. We are unfortunately already at the brink of that scenario as I type this note.
    Only after we take back our government will we be able to truly overhaul the FDA or replace it entirely with something that truly works for the citizens of this country instead of just the greedy and power hungry corporations.
    While we are at it we had darn better demand the dissolution of the IRS and all its arcane rules, regulations and mis-directed enforcement and move immediately to a a federal income tax based on a fixed percentage of our gross income. It will apply to all equally as a percentage of whatever their total gross income is, with no exemptions, no exclusions and absolutely no deductions of any kind whatsoever for anyone!
    If we don’t rise up in America very soon and demand these changes and refuse to rest until we get them.. we are finished and the smart ones will gather up all of their remaining assets and relocate outside the U.S. to some place where they can’t steal the rest of whatever we have (as you may already know, they are presently working on plans and legilsation to go after our IRA, 401k and pension monies and once that gets implemented, we won’t be able to escape with anything).
    All we are doing with our votes is changing the faces we send to D.C. The lies continue, the corruption continues and our nation moves closer to financial collapse for the middle class. If you truly think that this time it is going to be different and that politicians care about us and will do right by us, you simply haven’t been paying attention at all during the last 30 years or so.

  • Cakes Downey

    to make it especially sweet, big Farma doesnt know a damn thing about crops. so u can ask for advice all day and it cant help.

  • Denise Porter

    Actually, this was the first time in over a century that we have actually had a choice in our vote. Too often we get cynical & see futility not because there is no answer or truth —-but because we refuse to live in line with it. Let the cynical and scared establishment types try to explain away the reality & need of moral grounding —and the ‘separation’ of their chosen vices & usurpations from the ‘economy’ or ‘social progress’… It doesn’t work for either the left OR the right.
    Our Constitutionally bound & limited system is utterly unique, and returning to it is our only hope. The answer to this abuse is the same as what we can realistically & truly do for the abuse the Europeans are facing from the tyrannies that would impose their collective will over free individual choice & free market business there ——-so the response submitted there fits here as well:
    As we are currently facing in our Constitutional battles with Washington establishment power from both the left & the right in this nation ——–so, too, in this European outcome issue —-the moral & conscientious form the essential ground that any action must rest upon. Denying & turning from self-evident truth —-callling Truth itself ‘Religion’ —is neither freeing nor productive: it’s self-defeating & paralyzng idiocy , & easily exploitable intellectual disarmament & impotency that only aids tyrannical actions like this.
    If we don’t ‘get’ THIS philosophical fundamental before we begin to act —-then no amount of money or power or negotiation will ‘fix’ or ’solve’ this problem in a beneficial way because the argument & the ‘goal’ will be constantly morphing, shifting & changing. It’s futile to pour money into a whirlpool draining into a boundless, nondistinctive void which can never be satisfied because truth distinctives are ruled out. Radical neutrality & distinctionless, boundary-less equality & multiculturalism based on relativism such as the EU is embracing ————are the very definition of lawlessness & tyranny. Nothing will —or can—-change in this issue, unless that tyranny-guaranteeing form changes.
    We won’t find ’salvation’ in liberal, global political systems of ‘oversight’ regarding the availability & quality assurance of natural substances —-OR by blindly trusting in free market business —-which always, and inevitably, morphs into non-free market business when not limited, checked, balanced & held accountable to self-evident truths by INDIVIDUALS.
    Private profits & property drive free markets & are imperative—because it is true that the worker’s hunger drives him on & that the worker has a right to the fruit of his labor; but profits & personal property/rights must not rule over & define us, superceding every other consideration or else they become tyrannical, ruling over our souls & making merchandise of us. We become ‘for sale’ —willing prostitutes, & open to unthinkable compromises & impositions. We consider giving over the ‘burden’ of personal responsibility & the spread & diffused risk of our privately held capital —-for the burden of subjection to, & dependence upon, whatever consolidated, oligarchic powers we cede our responsibilty and diffused capital to. Or, we scheme & struggle to take our place among the elite that seeks to seize & manipulate what isn’t rightfully theirs.
    Put another way: we are our brother’s neighbor & must freely share, but we are not our brother’s keeper, superior or god; and no one, or no class, or no elite oligarchy, has the right to assume such a superior station or to seize and then ’share’ what is not theirs. Is that not what is happening here? An oligarchic power wishes to seize & control the free supplement & nutritive market, managing and redistributing, or eliminating it, as it sees fit for the gain of a few. Socialism is not everything held in common. Socialism is the many ruled over by an elite few who run & control all capital as they see fit.
    What we consider ‘left’ and ‘right’ these days must both be checked in this issue and all others, because both are corruptible. Both need to be held accountable by us re-assuming personal responsibility for our own choices —and freely holding one another accountable. Neither ’side’ can exclude truth as the standard they are measured, defined & justified by —-and both ’sides’ are US.
    We need limited, open & accountable regulation HERE as an example & hope for the Europeans to see, and potentially to choose to emulate. We cannot control —or force—-their choices, and as explained above —-it’s futile to even try. The only thing(s) European we should emulate or accept in our American healthcare system is the true & the beneficial —-not the false or the non-beneficial.
    We need open access to information about health research & the flow of all special interest monies here. Focus on defending & promoting these things.
    We need to repeal Obamacare & get to work on legislation limited in length & scope in which the clear Constitutional grounds for the legislation is cited. This legislation must severely limit overlapping layers & easily exploitable & corrupted layers of unaccountable regulatory agencies AS WELL AS forms of insurance that promote consumer ignorance & irresponsibility by taking away all incentives for responsible personal education & choice, and that ignite unrealistically high standards of health & perfection. At the same time, we need to change the aspects of our insurance system that negatively impacts & limits research & treatment plans, that inflates costs through monopoly-creating payment schemes & unbearable regulatory burdens; that hide real costs & the lack of competiveness & effectiveness of certain, approved treatments; and that insure unaccountability & detachment of consumer interest & oversight through the use of pre-paycheck money.
    What we pay for —we consider carefully & hold accountable. What we have a real choice in, we consider more carefully because there are consequences.
    And, yes, knowledge of the use of herbs should be promoted. Learning the distinctively human art & pleasure of small plot or container gardening, and even the medicinal nutritive side of the art & joy of cooking holds immense value that empowers & dignifies humanity & our life experience above and beyond what can be bought or sold. It is empowering & human dignity- & life-enhancing to seek truth by what we know & do; and to learn to steward our blessings well.
    Home and family and life and wellness and all true community-building & -sustaining are two-way, participatory arts —not one-way things solely acquired or applied from without sans any inner choice response.
    When we realize & internalize the reality that all of life is not about, or necessarily driven by, money or power exclusively —-we look at our legislators, our providers, and ourselves differently.
    If we sacrifice our Constitutionally-protected individual liberties by not defending & protecting our national sovereignty & limited, truth & law-defined governance HERE regarding choice, personal responsibility & maintaining limited governance in the area of health—then we will not only follow the EU into increasing tyrannies & indignities such as this threat, but we will experience far worse because there will be no remaining hope & example of limited power & individual liberty anywhere in the world.
    This is our role as a nation: to exemplify & to defend liberty & limited governance —–not to attempt to police and to adjudicate the whole world. If we abandon our post, or refuse to return & to limit ourselves by it ———-then not only will we suffer, but the individuals under all of the world’s tyrannies will suffer worsening injustices without the checking hope & example of our unique system of truth-bound & limited law & governance.

  • Marcey Siegel

    This discussion here is interesting, but not helpful. Write to your senators, representatives, the President and do the action alerts on this website. Share these articles with your social networking lists. We have to each be responsible to take action to improve our world. Certainly giving up, nor promoting violence are the answer for a better and more just society.
    If more people who understood that the anti-administration groups were promoting lies and half truths had spoken up before the recent elections, we might have had a different result.
    Stay involved. Do not give up!

  • Alfred Cacatian

    Got my first letter yesterday! Loved it. I feel like I am a part of something great that is just starting to happen. Feeling a strange sense of community around it all. Maybe you’re on to something here! Who would have ever thought that people would actually print out words on paper just to have it sent through the mail to another person’s mailbox. Next thing you know, peoe will be growing their own food and walking or riding bikes everywhere. It’ll never work, damn progress.

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