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‘Armed and Dangerous’ – Wake up Call by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick (Drug companies buy i
Thursday, January 21, 2010 1:47 pm Email this article
For some time now, I have been following the work of a UK parliamentary committee which has been looking into the activities of the pharmaceutical companies, and their influence over the healthcare system. Whilst this committee was sitting you could even watch the proceedings on television, although I wouldn’t recommend it - other than as a cure for insomnia.
(This article was written by Malcolm Kendrick, MD, author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .)
"Many a man stumbles across the truth, then picks himself up and hurries on as though nothing had happened."
-- Winston Churchill
Despite the superficial slowness and dryness, the conclusions were, in fact, rather dramatic. And last week [ 2005 ], the British Medical Journal (BMJ) woke up and took notice, and wrote a series of articles based on the committee’s findings. You can see the resultant editorial ‘Say no to the free lunch,’ here.Drug Companies Buy Influence
British Medical Journal says drug companies buy influence over doctors, charities, patient groups, journalists, politicians and opinion leaders
The BMJ didn’t pull any punches.
‘The power of drug companies to buy influence over every key group in health care—doctors, charities, patient groups, journalists, politicians—has clearly shocked a UK parliamentary committee. It should shock us all. Can we console ourselves that companies’ lavish spending on research and marketing, which far outstrips spending on independent research and drug information, leads to truly innovative treatments? No, says the committee’s report. Can we rely on regulatory bodies to keep the industry in check? No, again.
What we can rely on, says Slattery-Moschkau, a former drug rep and creator of a hard hitting new film on the industry, is that drug reps are “armed and dangerous,” selected for their ability to seduce and persuade rather than their scientific skills, and armed with, among other things, details of your prescribing behaviour.’
I don’t suppose any of this comes as a great surprise to readers of Redflags. Or, frankly, to anyone with the remotest interest in this area. As we all know, for years the industry has been infiltrating and influencing every nook and cranny of the healthcare system, from medical societies, to regulatory bodies, even ownership of accredited medical education providers.
Opinion Leaders Paid By Drug Companies
Opinion leaders engage in ‘professional self-delusion’ according to British Medical Journal
Various ‘troublemakers’, like Nick Regush had been warning us all about this for many years; and for many years their warnings have been smoothly brushed aside by the medical ‘establishment’, only too eager to see the lucrative status quo maintained. Opinion leaders, for example, have constantly reassured us of their complete scientific objectivity, maintained at huge personal cost in the face of merciless bombardment by extremely large sums of money. A mental state, incidentally, that the BMJ characterises as ‘professional self-delusion.’
FDA and NIH Close Connections to Drug Companies
US Food and Drug Administration, and National Institutes of Health have financial ties to drug companies
Of course, one UK parliamentary committee report, even with the support of the BMJ, will not change the world. But this is far from the first attack. In the USA, the FDA and the NIH have been reeling under some pretty heavy artillery fire as the close connections between these regulatory bodies and industry have been exposed.
So, are we now at the high water mark? Have we reached that moment when everyone finally wakes up, looks around and thinks, ‘my God, this has gone too far?’ Or is this just another spasm of self-righteousness that will pass. A case of the establishment suddenly ‘stumbling across the truth, only to pick itself up and hurry along as though nothing had happened?’
Watch this space for further developments.
Article Previous Published on THINCS.org
This article was previously published on THINCS.org
This article was previously published on THINCS.org (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics).
I republished the article here with Dr. Kendrick’s permission.
Malcolm Kendrick’s Contact Info
Malcolm Kendrick, MD is the author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .)
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