Feel free to jump to the heading "Safety Net #4" below, everything stated until then is a repeat of what was written on the first post.
When it comes to products that are available for purchase, there are many safety nets that are established, to protect consumers from dangerous products, and to ensure that products are designed, manufactured, and distributed in such a way that potential harms can be more easily minimized, and/or identified more quickly once in distribution. Unfortunately, there are shortcomings in many of these consumer safety nets, or industry has found a way to bypass some of those protective measures. As a result, unsafe products continue to be made and distributed widely. What’s more unique to vaccines though, is that every single safety net that was established to protect people and ensure product safety, all those protective measures have actually all been neutralized by the pharmaceutical industry. This neutralization has happened either by direct financial funding from pharma, or indirectly through Governmental conflicts of interest that affect internal policy, bureaucracy, and legislation. But before explaining how the consumer protective safety nets have been neutralized when it comes to vaccines, I’ll first list what those protective measures were, or should be. (Bolding in the list below denotes which topic point will be discussed in this article).
The consumer safety nets for vaccine products are:
Government and our political leaders who represent the people
Federal agencies that oversee vaccine regulation, research, safety, and distribution: These agencies include: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), The Institute of Medicine (IOM). Yes, these agencies are all based in the United States, however their policy are often adopted on a global scale.
Scientific research and medical journals
Our doctors and the institutions where they are educated and employed
The legal system
Safety Net #4: Our doctors and the institutions where they are educated and employed
In this post, we will be discussing how the medical institutions where our doctors are trained and employed, have been compromised by pharmaceutical financial influence.
The medical institutions where our doctors are taught, those institutions are heavily affected by powerful pharmaceutical influence. Conflicts of interest within these institutions range from seemingly minor things, like students being offered pens, prescription pads and meals paid for by pharma, to more significant conflicts of interest which include:
ghost writing, where professors receive financial compensation for signing on as author in research that was actually written by pharmaceutical companies
lectures that are given by pharmaceutical representatives
course textbooks that were written by pharmaceutical companies
funding that is provided by the pharmaceutical companies to the institution for research or classes, sometimes in the range of millions of dollars
donations to the institution, and those donations can also range in the multi-millions of dollars.
To quote a Time’s article (Link Here):
Of Harvard's 8,900 professors and lecturers, 1,600 admit that either they or a family member have had some kind of business link to drug companies — sometimes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — that could bias their teaching or research. Additionally, pharma contributed more than $11.5 million to the school last year for research and continuing-education classes.
What's more, pharma's largesse also flows to the schools themselves in the form of multimillion-dollar endowments. Whether or not the companies are trying to curry favor, they're also building labs and bankrolling scholarships — something that becomes increasingly important as the deteriorating economy causes philanthropic giving to dry up.
Another article touches on the subject, this article states (Link Here):
...consider the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The Oklahoma facility is a medium-sized medical school with two campuses, one in Oklahoma City and one in Tulsa. It had 585 students in 2004.
About 13.5 percent of the medical center's budget came from industrial-pharmaceutical sources in fiscal 2003. Drug giants such as AstraZeneca gave $818,440; Merck gave $801,858; Novartis gave $677,944; and Pharmacia & Upjohn gave $591,430. There were 183 industrial-pharmaceutical grants that year totaling $13.8 million.
A New York Time's article had the following to say (Link Here):
In a first-year pharmacology class at Harvard Medical School, Matt Zerden grew wary as the professor promoted the benefits of cholesterol drugs and seemed to belittle a student who asked about side effects.
Mr. Zerden later discovered something by searching online that he began sharing with his classmates. The professor was not only a full-time member of the Harvard Medical faculty, but a paid consultant to 10 drug companies, including five makers of cholesterol treatments...
Dr. Marcia Angell, a [Harvard] faculty member and former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, is among the professors who argue that industry profit motives do not correspond to the scientific aims of academic medicine and that much of the financing needs to be not only disclosed, but banned.
Brandy Vaughan, a former sales rep for Merck, explains how the pharmaceutical industry has infiltrated the various institutions that doctors use to educate themselves. She explains that as a result, medical literature has become little more than pharmaceutical marketing. In an interview (Link Here), she says the following:
"In terms of medical schools, there are certain medical schools which are taking over half their funding from the pharmaceutical industry itself. Pharmaceutical companies have ghost writers writing text books...
"Some professors in medical school now...take more than half their salary directly from the industry, in consulting fees. One great example of this is, unfortunately, our new head of the FDA...[he] used to run Duke's Medical School and he himself has taken millions of dollars in consulting fees from pharmaceutical companies himself. And he ran the research program at Duke, which took in 60% of its funding from the industry itself. He's known for a quote, that says "Regulation hinders innovation." And he is supposed to be regulating the Food and Drug Administration and making sure that food and drugs and vaccines are safe for our populace....
"There are a lot of doctors who spend more time with pharmaceutical reps than they do patients, and that's where they get their information...
"In the field of research, we are seeing pharmaceutical companies hiring scientists and researchers to do studies, and if those studies show any type of negative effect, they can stop the study without alerting anybody...not the FDA, not the CDC, not the Government, and that's what happened with Vioxx, which was a drug that I sold for Merck, that ended up being the largest drug recall in the US.
So we are seeing a lot of what is considered medical science and medical research, actually being marketing for the pharmaceutical company that's selling the product."
Times Article Here
Article Here that lists pharma funding for University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
New York Times Article - Harvard Medical School in Ethics Quandary Here
Interview with Brandy Vaughan, former Merck Sales rep Here
Continue to the next post in this series: Here
You are currently on Part 11 of a 14 Part Series.
View a Post in the Series Using the Links Below:
Part 1: Consumer Safety Nets Here
Part 2: HHS
Part 3: The FDA Here
Part 4: The CDC Here
Part 5: The DHHS & IOM Here
Part 6: Scientific Research Here
Part 7: Scientific Research Corruption Here
Part 8: The Medical Journals Here
Part 9: Our Doctors Here
Part 10: Doctors Responsibility Here
Part 11: Medical Institutions (You are on this page)
Part 12: VAERS Here
Part 13: The Media Here
Part 14: The Legal System Here