Attorney Discusses Pharma, Government and FDA Corruption_Featured_, Big Pharma Saturday, July 3rd, 2010
According to Emord, who has defeated the FDA seven times in federal court, the FDA operates as a dictatorship that is “unaccountable to the courts, Congress, and the American people”. He maintains that the agency primarily serves the self-interest of the individuals in charge of it, along with the interests of the drug industry and the American government, which Emord says has transformed from a constitutional republic to a “bureaucratic oligarchy”.
Throughout the interview, Emord cited numerous pieces of evidence and little known facts about the FDA. He remarked that the dictatorial system is run by the FDA Commissioner, a political appointee, and that every decision made on the approval of a drug is made by these political appointees, who frequently overrule scientific staff. Furthermore, he points out that the FDA’s approval process demonstrates an obvious conflict of interest, since many FDA officials often leave the agency to become employed by pharmaceutical industry, or become lobbyists, further demonstrating that these unelected FDA dictators “determine their fate based on what drugs they approve”. Also talked about was the evidence showing that the FDA actively censors health information regarding nutrients, foods, and supplements, such as when cherry tree farmers were told they would be prosecuted if they claimed that cherries had anti-inflammatory properties, even though university studies had found that to be true.
Another shocking, little known fact brought up in the interview is that the FDA doesn’t actually conduct any scientific clinical trial of any drug it approves; it relies entirely on a drug company’s self-funded tests to determine whether the drug is safe or not. “If the drug company doesn’t present evidence that there’s a safety problem, the FDA presumes that the drug is not unsafe”, says Emord, who also discussed how drug scientists who carry out safety tests are forced to sign confidentiality agreements, which prohibit them from talking about any clinical trials that show damaging results for any particular pharmaceutical product. Emord says that Congress supports and condones this system because it’s in its financial interest to do so.
Emord’s claims are even supported by the current FDA associate director of the Office of Drug Safety, Dr. David Graham, who has stated that the FDA “is inherently biased in favor of the pharmaceutical industry. It views industry as its client, whose interests it must represent and advance. It views its primary mission as approving as many drugs as it can, regardless of whether the drugs are safe or needed.”
One stark example of the corrupt system is the case of the former FDA Commissioner, Lester Crawford, who was involved in 2005′s Vioxx scandal. As Commissioner, Crawford approved Vioxx (made by Merck Pharmaceuticals) which was linked to 140,000 heart attacks and 60,000 deaths. After his resignation from the FDA, he was hired as senior council by Policy Directions Inc, which just so happened to be the public relations firm that represented Merck, creator of Vioxx.
During the interview, Emord also discussed the fact that even in spite of the the occasional lawsuit settlements, the pharmaceutical industry still profits off of the initial sale of harmful drugs because “proof of causality is so hard”, that a company can make hundreds of millions of dollars off of a product before it’s taken off the market. He also confirmed that proper testing would also take years, which further discourages drug companies from keeping harmful products off the market.
Listen to this informative interview here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list