The Influence of Big-Pharma On The FDA

Submitted by Green Monkey

Big Pharma’s influence on the FDA

“War on Health” is a must see documentary showing the conflicts of interest that governs the US Food and Drug Administration where powerful multinational corporations have come to have an undue influence on FDA regulators with regards to determining the safety of nutritional supplements, pharmaceuticals and new foodstuffs containing genetically engineered substances.

The FDA does no testing on new pharmaceutical products itself, but relies on the reports produced from the testing carried out by the drug manufacturers. In too many cases the drug manufacturers ignore or down play possible side effects in these reports in order to get permission to put their drug on the market.

The documentary gives numerous examples of how the pressure and influence of “big-pharma” on the FDA leads to unsafe drugs being let onto the market, and after the serious and debilitating side effects (including in some cases significant increases in death rates) can no longer be ignored or glossed over, the FDA is forced to issue recall notices to take these drugs off the market. However by that time many unnecessary deaths or injuries to consumers may have occurred.

0 thoughts on “The Influence of Big-Pharma On The FDA

  1. This is a topic which would never get traction in Barbados because we believe that what gets stamped FDA is gospel. It is reminiscent of the credit rating agencies fiasco who are paid for analysis and whose rating have contributed to where the world find itself today.

    We have to model what WE want to do, how WE want to build out our society. We depend on the opinions of others too much.

  2. When we leave food security and food safety to others we are giving up our fundamental right to existence by allowing them to dictate to us on how long we should live, the quality of life and the quality of food we should eat.

  3. @islandgal

    The problem is that the players who deliver in the medical industry are influenced by the system which produced them. It is therefore very difficult to see how the health establishment can be turned around. Here we are again, leadership.

  4. Money Money money…that is all this FDA is a big wrap.This is a Govt consortium of the who is who in the Drug Industry and who calls the most influential shot…..Control and regulated to the max…..Another one is the Food and Agriculture….Dept.A caravan of dupes and capriciousness if there be any….

  5. Under informed and sometimes unwittingly complicit providers help in the short circuiting of any attempt at regulation. The assumption by a consuming public that an MB, BS, MD, FRCS or similar qualification is the blessing of infallibility may also be a part of this problem. Many people enter medical practice with the perception of being able to walk on water. A sub specialty or two later there is a halo which was delivered with blessings of infallibility and a package of excuses for ineffective therapies. Approaches and attitudes of a like nature are passed on through the protracted contact that is the apprenticeship of following generations of doctors, pharmacists, administrators and other providers. The contamination of this inbreeding of attitudes is intensified by cheap pens, sample drugs, mugs, food and snacks, speaking fees, travel and other encouragement given to individuals, boards, institutions and any other port of entry for the selling of products…effective, ineffective and downright harmful. Political oversight is also important and it is in this regard that organizations like the FDA fall short with more than acceptable frequency. In the USA, it has been shown that the FDA and others have been affected by inappropriate board members appointed by political power with the morals of leeches. Their functionality is further compromised by intentional underfunding. None of this is easily corrigible. The easy availability of information which is often current and correct directs us to the level at which adjustments may be made in the three card monte sometimes found in the selling of pharmaceutical products. Buyer beware, trust but verify and other generations old advice must become a viable option of all consumers….the public and those whom provide healthcare.

  6. The whole Western controlled pharmaceutical industry is just one big money making exploitative business owned and controlled by patented drug barons. The only difference between them and their illicit rivals in the cocaine and marijuana trade is that one openly produces revenues for the State and provides financial contributions to capitalist political parties.

    It’s time we in the Caribbean make use of the God-given plants to develop our own pharmaceutical industry based on natural plant materials. It’s also time the UWI and the many doctors around the place experiment with and use indigenous resources, local knowledge and research to “green” our medicine and health.
    I am not saying that certain Western medications don’t work but why waste precious forex to support a foreign industry from which we get little benefit other than profits and commissions to the local distributors and doctors.
    This is one area that is ripe for investment and development under the changing and challenging economic times. Like RE we can save a lot of precious forex by building a niche industry (at the regional or CSME level) like India based on the indigenous plants such as neem, aloe vera, blue vervain, soursop, noni (aka dog dumplings) numerous herbs, berries and cannabis sativa. The lady who writes a weekly column in the newspaper about the use of local plants in medicine, health and beauty should be commended highly and given more national recognition rather than those parasitical “import and sell” business people. One notes a growing business of importing Chinese packaged “health’ products some of which contain unknown or suspect ingredients.

    Until we tackle the sources of the fast expanding NCD’s we will always be dependent on the quick fix cure–alls or panacea (a pill for every ailment under the sun) supplied by the overseas patented drug barons aided and abetted by their local pushers called distributors and authorized prescription writers. As the NCD’s spread at an alarming rate among our school children hooked on GM and processed (junk) foods one can expect the growing presence of the local authorized pushers peddling synthetic quick fixes and placebos in the form of pills instead of leaves as nature intends.

    Even the so-called local Christian community should also be as strident in obeying Biblical injunctions when it comes to using plants and herbs as they are in condemning homosexuals, disabled people and sex. Zoe and his ‘fire and brimstone’ band of followers read on:

    Genesis 1: 29-31 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
    Psalm 104: 14-15 “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart”
    Ezekiel 47: 12 “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
    Revelation 22:2 “Through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

  7. It is easy these days to distribute your beliefs widely around the world at the click of a mouse. Some people’s beliefs are credible and based on investigation and fact; some are less so.
    I find it’s useful to check the backgrounds of the people who produce videos like this. It gives you a sanity check and enables you to understand where they might be coming from and whether their presentaion is biased, either knowingly or unknowingly.
    The wonders of Wikipedia tell me the following about Gary Null:
    – He is an American talk radio host and author on alternative and complementary medicine and nutrition
    – His credentials and the rigor of his Ph.D. program were questioned by Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch
    – TIME has written about his “conspiracy claims”: “From a young reporter this is to be expected. But two decades later, Null, 54, is still warning of a variety of medical bogeymen out to gull a trusting public.”
    – He has argued that HIV is harmless and does not cause AIDS
    – He believes that the medical community is guilty of “suppressing alternative cancer treatments”
    – The president of PBS expressed concern that by showing Null’s videos, the network was “open[ing] the door to quacks and charlatans.”
    – He was poisoned and nearly killed by ingesting one of his own dietary supplements. The New York Post said this was “not exactly a ringing endorsement.”
    Evidence, I suspect, that the claims in this video have to be viewed with a certain degree of scepticism

    • We can quibble about the messenger but there is enough research out there to prove that money plays a heavy part in the pharmaceutical business in the USA.Listening to the Obama healthcare debate recently exposed it.

  8. The FDA: Friendly Neighborhood Watchdog? Or Big Pharma Lapdog?

    The other day a friend of mine, a nurse, by the way – touted the benefits of a weight loss remedy that has helped her to lose 31 pounds. Confident in her results, the only drawback she saw is that the drug was manufactured in China. Faces around the table fell. Manufactured in China: melamine poisoning and lead contamination. No, thanks. “But when you think about it,” I commented, “you don’t have to go to China to get tainted drugs. We have plenty of unsafe drugs right here in the good, ‘ol U.S. of A.” Turn on the tube and you see some drug maker pushing a new pill; turn the channel and there’s a lawyer suing over its adverse effects. It’s the job of the FDA to ensure that drugs released to the market are both safe and effective. But when it comes to the approval of pharmaceuticals, half of the medical evidence concerning them is hidden – the evidence that the drugs don’t work. Drugs just aren’t policed as they should be because the FDA and U.S. drug companies make very cozy albeit very strange bedfellows. Never mind the “U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” a more accurate description of the FDA might be “Federal Drug Aid”.

    No government agency can operate effectively when there is a revolving door between it and the industry it is supposed to regulate. But in America the door of separation between the FDA and Big Pharma is turning 24 hours a day. A survey released by the Consumer Reports National Research Center in 2007 showed that 84% of us think that drug companies have “too much influence over the government officials who regulate them.” Over two-thirds of us are concerned over the fact that drug companies actually pay the FDA to review and approve their drugs. (Americans know their stuff, it turns out. When drug studies are funded by drug companies, positive outcomes are found at a rate of 4 to 1 over independent studies.)


    60% of survey respondents agreed that doctors and scientists with a financial conflict of interest should not be allowed to serve on FDA advisory boards. Doctors who earn thousands of dollars in “consulting fees” from drug companies are not only allowed to vote on recommendations for FDA approval of their drugs, there is not even any FDA requirement to disclose such conflicts of interest. (To further muddy the waters, salesmen or researchers funded by Pharma present findings at conferences funded by Pharma using presentations prepared by Pharma….!)


    What we have in America is a research mess that is flawed in 3 ways: 1. What gets studied depends on who’s paying for it, so drug companies don’t pay to study therapies that might work better, like diet and exercise. 2. Drug companies, aided by the FDA, suppress, hide or do not publish negative studies, only positive ones. This leads physicians to believe that the studies provide actual evidence instead of corporate propaganda. 3. Doctors and patients believe they have the truth even when it’s too late. The data is there but no one publicizes it.

  9. Critique of the FDA, Big Pharm and generic doctors is easy. Open discussion of healthcare in the Caribbean is often deflected with unsupported bluster, misinformation and the avoidance of very obvious defects. We continue striving for the USA way even when they seek to run away…even to our shores to push more pharmaceuticals and procedures on an unsuspecting and trusting population.

  10. .Why Does Monsanto Always Win?

    If you’ve ever wondered how Monsanto―a company that admits it wants to own the world’s food supply through its patented genetically engineered seeds―gets away with not having to label its products, all you have to do is follow the trail of money leading from their coffers into the pockets and campaign funds of well-placed politicians and regulators.

    According to OpenSecrets.org1, Monsanto basically lives at the doorsteps of legislators in Washington, where it spent $5.3 million last year lobbying the nation’s lawmakers, and has already spent $1.4 million in the first three months of this year.

    Needless to say, they can afford it. According to, Monsanto had an annual revenue of $11.8 billion last year, so a $5.3 million lobbying investment is far less than one percent of one percent of their revenues.

    The influence they’re trying to buy doesn’t stop in Congress, though. Monsanto’s legislative agenda also includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); all of which have a say in whether or not you get to know whether the food you’re eating has been genetically engineered.


    An interesting article from last year by Mike Ludwig, titled “Why Monsanto Always Wins,” sheds light on the shady approval process of genetically engineered crops3.

    According to Ludwig, there’s evidence of “cooperation” between federal regulators and the biotech industry that crosses the line of acceptable involvement during the regulatory review. He also cites Bill Freese, a policy analyst with CFS, who told Truthout that “the approval process for controversial genetically engineered (GE) crops like Roundup Ready alfalfa is basically a ‘sham’ designed to increase consumer confidence in the controversial GE crops,” and that in his years of battling against biotech, “he can’t remember a single case when regulators failed to eventually grant approval of a GE crop.”

    To get an idea of just how broad and deep Monsanto’s reach is, take a look at the following chart. Over the years, this biotech giant has successfully infiltrated an ever increasing number of high-level federal regulatory positions in the U.S. government (including the FDA /GM); many of which are positions meant to protect your food safety…

  11. Deadly anemia drugs like Procrit made billions – FDA kept their dangers a secret to protect pharma profits

    The agencies and bureaucracies of our Leviathan government were created for our own good, we are constantly told, which is also the excuse we’re given anytime a group of lawmakers or citizens calls for any of them to be dismantled.

    That excuse may no longer hold water for the Food and Drug Administration which, according to a recent Washington Post report, could have some liability in covering for a drug that a growing body of research says is dangerous and deadly.

    For many years, the report said, three drugs known as Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp were among the top-selling prescription drugs in the U.S., raking in more than $8 billion annually for a pair of Big Pharma corporations – Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. In fact, these two companies were stars among stars; for a number of years, Epogen was the single costliest medicine under Medicare, costing U.S. taxpayers as much as $3 billion a year.

    “The trouble, as a growing body of research has shown, is that for about two decades, the benefits of the drug – including ‘life satisfaction and happiness’ according to the FDA-approved label – were wildly overstated, and potentially lethal side effects, such as cancer and strokes, were overlooked,” the Washington Post reported.

    Shocking, to say the least, but there’s more.

  12. FDA panel that approved Yaz and Yasmin had ties with industry

    There are, in fact, over 10,000 individual lawsuits pending over injuries and deaths related to drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol tablets. You may know them better as Yaz (or Yasmin in Canada), as well as Ocella (generic Yasmin). New safety warnings published last April in the British Medical Journal now suggests a two to five-fold increased risk of thromboembolic or blood clot-related injuries in women taking birth control medications that contain drospirenone, which generally provide no greater benefits than those seen with older, safer birth control pill formulations without drospirenone.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Wolfe happened to also serve on an FDA advisory panel that was meeting in December 2011 to determine if the benefits of drospirenone-containing birth control pills outweighed these increasingly alarming concerns about the pills’ side effects But when the FDA found out about Dr. Wolfe’s prior consumer guide warnings about drospirenone, the agency told him that he would not be allowed to vote at this meeting because of this apparent conflict of interest.

    So far, this story seems perfectly reasonable – until you find out that four other members of the FDA advisory panel had reported receiving money from Bayer, the company that makes Yaz and Yasmin. The difference: all four were allowed to vote on whether these drugs were safe.

    And – quelle surprise! – all four voted in favour of drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives. This joint meeting of the Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee voted 15-11 in favour of the drugs.

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