Prescription for Disaster August 24, 2006Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
What is going on with the Food and Drug Administration, entrusted to protect public health from unsafe food and drugs? FDA seems more concerned with protecting the public from emergency contraception and dietary supplements than dangerous drugs or foods, due to inside influence by industries the agency is supposed to regulate, with disastrous consequences. The award-winning Gary Null documentary Prescription for Disaster exposes the corruption and bias built into the medical system. From the ranks of government, medicine, and the drug industry, some people are concerned enough to shed light on the money machine masquerading as the best health care system in the world. Vioxx whistleblower Dr. David Graham expounds on how dangerous drugs like Vioxx get approved and promoted to lure in the trusting public.
Conflicts of interest are rife at FDA, causing it to look the other way at the incredible corruption, waste, and side effects of Big Pharma. Detail people are trained, not in medicine, but to sell doctors drugs, while slick marketing campaigns manipulate people to pressure their doctors to prescribe drugs, often against their better judgment. Doctors working for a HMO are not allowed to spend much time with patients, not enough to determine the cause of a complaint or whether a drug the patient requests is warranted. Most nations do not have this problem because marketing prescription drugs directly to consumers is not allowed. The pressure to go along with the system takes many forms, bribery, intimidation, firing whistleblowers, smear campaigns, armed raids. Dr. Jonathan Wright describes such a raid on his clinic. FDA claimed it was after pure B vitamins made in Germany. Meanwhile Americans spend half the world total on prescription drugs. Behind the scenes schemes CODEX, part of the free trade agenda to freeze dietary supplements out of competition with drug-based medicine. Only citizen outrage has kept FDA from regulating most supplements into the dumpster as unapproved drugs.
The mind altering component of medicine is another scam of unimaginable proportions. Votes by a psychiatric committee determine which symptoms get an official ID number as a mental disorder, despite the lack of objective criteria for diagnosis. The profit margin on some popular drugs makes oil companies look magnanimous by comparison. Manufacturing cost has little to do with price; some antidepressants are especially cheap, costing pennies a bottle, but the price is what the market will bear. The imperative to maximize profits applied to medicine means profits rise, not from curing or preventing a complaint, but from keeping the patient coming back for more medicine. Medicine driven by the profit motive generally tars alternative approaches as quackery or outright illegal, since these cannot be patented, but might actually help people, unlike the standard approach to chronic conditions, alleviate the symptoms regardless of side effects. One might well ask, who are the real quacks in this system? Where is the scientific integrity? When doctors are getting bad information they are trained to accept as reliable, blindness prevails, people are on their own, far better off to do their homework than to have blind faith in professional competency, and scandals such as Vioxx, hormone replacement therapy, making children docile sheep with psychotropic drugs, as horrendous and unnecessary as this film extensively documents they are, may be just the tip of the iceberg.
The DVD and a trailer are available at garynull.com, as well as the related Drugging of our Children.
Update 9/13/2006: USA Today reports on Dr. Graham blasting the replacement for Vioxx Merck is trying to get approved.
FDA whistle-blower Graham blasts new Merck arthritis drug
Updated 9/12/2006 9:51 PM ET
By Rita Rubin, USA TODAY
The arthritis drug that Merck has developed to compete with Celebrex may be as risky for the heart as Vioxx, writes Food and Drug Administration whistle-blower David Graham in an editorial posted online Tuesday by a medical journal.
In considering whether Arcoxia should be approved, “the FDA, academia, and the medical research enterprise are once again faced with the opportunity to forsake common sense by willfully accepting misdirection and disinformation presented in the guise of science,” Graham writes on the Journal of the American Medical Association‘s website.
An editor’s note says the FDA allowed Graham to write the editorial as a private citizen, not as an agency employee. The editorial and the two studies it accompanies will run in the Oct. 4 JAMA, but they were posted online early “because of the public health implications,” a JAMA press release says.
Graham, a physician in the FDA’s Office of Drug Safety, made news nearly two years ago when he told a Senate panel that the agency was “virtually defenseless” in preventing a “tragedy and profound regulatory failure” such as Vioxx.
You can see Dr. Graham giving that testimony in this movie. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears, so nothing of any significance has changed.