Drug Companies Funding FDA Presents Conflict Of Interest

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Back in 2018, when the mainstream media wasn’t so entirely captured and beholden to the leftist narrative, Forbes published a telling article titled, “The Biopharmaceutical Industry Provides 75% Of The FDA’s Drug Review Budget. Is This A Problem?”

Yes, it’s a problem.

According to a more recent article by UConn from May of this year, “nearly half of the agency’s budget now comes from ‘user fees’ paid by companies seeking approval for medical devices or drugs.” Mind you, the Forbes article specifies 75% of the drug review budget, while this UConn article generalizes to the agency’s entire budget.

MarketWatch also published an article in July of this year regarding the erosion of trust in the FDA’s ability to be objective due to financial pressure from the companies it supposedly regulates. The article quotes former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, as saying,

“If you are an FDA drug reviewer and your salary is paid mainly by drug companies, you will naturally be tempted to smile favorably on their drugs. But it’s a clear conflict of interest, and it should be seen as such.”

The Forbes article, which would likely never be allowed to be published today, references another article written Caroline Chen which challenges the ability of the FDA to be objective in its approval of new drugs. In her article, “FDA Repays Industry by Rushing Risky Drugs to Market,”

“Chen contends that the agency is beholden to the biopharmaceutical industry which pays three quarters of the FDA’s budget used for the drug review process. This is an astounding number. Is any other federal agency supported to this extent by the industry it regulates? Given this level of support, one might assume that the FDA would bend over backwards to meet the needs of its financial backers.”

Chen quoted Dr. Michael Carome, director of the health research group for the nonprofit advocacy organization Public Citizen, and a former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official, saying,

“Instead of a regulator and a regulated industry, we now have a partnership. That relationship has tilted the agency away from a public health perspective to an industry friendly perspective.”

Dr. Jerry Avorn, a professor at Harvard Medical School, is quoted as saying,

“The virginity was lost in ’92. Once you have that paying relationship, it creates a dynamic that’s not a healthy one.”

Dr. Thomas Marciniak, a former FDA medical team leader, said,

“You don’t survive as a senior official at the FDA unless you’re pro-industry. The FDA has to pay attention to what Congress tells them to do, and the industry will lobby to get somebody else in there if they don’t like you.”

Essentially, the drug companies (like, say, Pfizer and Moderna perhaps?) foot the bill for the FDA reviews of new drugs. Then the FDA returns the favor of their pharmaceutical financial backers with a speedy review that finds their drugs to be “safe and effective.” Then the drug companies can make billions of dollars on the newly approved drug and fund the FDA in the future.

It’s just legal bribery, at this point.

And then consider the fact that the former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb joined the Pfizer board of directors in June of 2019, shortly after stepping down from the FDA in April of that year. It’s an entirely incestuous relationship.

For all intents and purposes, the billion dollar drug companies are just paying off the FDA to approve drugs that will make them billions of dollars, and then hiring the people who know how to and are willing to play the game.

It’s always easier to ask forgiveness than permission, so if a few people die unnecessarily and the drug has to be pulled later, at least they made billions of dollars in the meantime and can probably outlive or tie up any potential lawsuits that might be brought.

And to make matters worse, the money is in the treatment and not the cure. That’s billions of dollars worth of incentive to keep you sick.

A close family friend is doing chemo for breast cancer and just sent us a video showing us her $28,000 weekly bill. You don’t honestly think they want to cure your cancer when they can charge $28,000 per visit every week for months of cancer treatment, do you?

To be clear, I support the right to try. I’m not saying that every drug must be proven to be completely safe and irrefutably effective, because that’s unrealistic and unfair to people who may be out of other options and might benefit. For example, I think it’s ridiculous not to allow people to try things like Ivermectin and HCQ if they’ve shown even modest potential benefits, especially considering how safe they’ve been proven to be.

What I’m saying is that people don’t realize how captured these agencies are. The public is largely unaware of how beholden our government agencies are to the private companies who benefit from their agency decisions. So the public mistakenly thinks that our government agencies only have the public’s best interest at heart and are making objective decisions to benefit the public, when the reality has much more to do with money. The same is true of the military industrial complex being beholden to private contracting companies who then hire the government military advisors who made decisions that benefitted the private companies, even at the unnecessary cost of American lives and taxpayer dollars.

It’s not about public health. It’s not about the best interest of the American people.

It’s about money and control.

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