The ´Dirty Little Secret´ between the FDA and Drug Industry
The Nature of Government $1.2 billion to buy the FDA? What, you say “never happen” – read the following:
This is yet again proof that the governments work for the industry under the pretense of looking after our interests. Most new drugs are produced with expediency at the expense of safety and efficacy. Frequently, they are not as effective as the older ones that they may be replacing… Secrecy & Conflict of Interest Why the Government “just said no” to Less Sugar Chris Gupta The Dirty Little Secret of the FDA and Drug Industry (the original is here at the bottom of the page) The Food and Drug Administration is at it again. It has recently become dependent on the multibillion-dollar drug industry that it’s supposed to be policing. With virtually no public debate, Congress has passed a law that dramatically increases the FDA’s dependence on large drug companies for its funding. It’s an expansion of a law passed in 1992 intended to speed up the approval process for new AIDS medications. But this time the emergency was of a different sort. The FDA was running out of money to keep its new employees. Going before Congress and asking for more money amidst a war on terrorism was going to be a tough fight. And the drug companies offered an easier solution.
Negotiate a deal in secret, attach it to the widely popular bioterrorism bill, and the drug companies would pay for the FDA’s new employees and more. The FDA and the drug companies are getting awfully cozy… The details of discussions leading to this ’solution’ were never made public. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the program was created in private meetings between the industry and the FDA. It was never debated or voted on in either chamber before going to the negotiators. And it’s moving forward before a General Accounting Office review of the current program can be finished and made public. According to the Post, the user fees from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies would add almost 500 employees to the FDA centers that review proposed new drugs. That would bring the FDA workforce funded by the drug industry to at least 1530. And that would constitute more than 55 percent of the FDA staff involved in reviewing drug applications. What was the price of the FDA sellout? $1.2 billion over the next five years.
The report that’s due from the GAO is supposed to tell us how well the public has faired under the current smaller program of drug company support for the FDA’s drug approval process. But the truth probably won’t come out:
- Over the last 10 years, the FDA has approved nine drugs that proved to have deadly side effects year from the side effects of FDA-approved drugs.
- The FDA approved the sale of Baycol (later found to cause fatal rhabdomyolysis) and continues to approve the use of other ’statin drugs’ to lower cholesterol that are also associated with this deadly side effect.
- Beefed up by drug company funds, the FDA has aggressively suppressed natural alternatives to drugs. Red yeast rice, for example, known to be a safe and effective alternative to cholesterol-lowering drugs, was banned by the FDA in 2001.
- The next time you are offered a drug, ask questions. Why do I have to take it? If I take it, what’s the plan to get me back off? Are there alternatives? What are the side effects? How can I get more information?
- Most importantly, keep yourself healthy. If you need help to get back to good health, choose as natural a therapy as possible. You will be less vulnerable to these dangerous products of a questionable approval process.