Investigative journalist Ben Swann shows in a four-part series how Big Pharma influences the US drug authority FDA, the media and the medical community.
Earlier this year, a million case was filed against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and former FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg and her husband Peter F. Brown. Hamburg would have tried to hide the harmful drug and with deadly side effects popular antibiotic in order to continue to sell. They proved themselves to have a financial interest in the product.
Old brand strategist Laurie Powell explains that the FDA is a stepping stone to the pharmaceutical industry for many people. They often go to work for the companies they oversaw a long time.
Through the media pharmaceutical companies know to bring their medications in a positive light, regardless of whether their claims are correct or not. Powell reveals that agencies working with pharmaceutical giants to write articles that extolled certain medications. These subjective items are then submitted to medical journals.
This “scientific papers” are obviously anything but scientific, explains Powell, who doctors had years to convince of the benefits of certain drugs, even though there was no evidence of their efficacy. They are actually disguised ads, said Powell.
Marcia Angell worked for years as an editor of the leading New England Journal of Medicine. She says that the pharmaceutical industry research and corrupts the people and let doctors think drugs are much better and safer than they actually are.
The worst part is that drug makers do not allow negative results are published. “If the drugs does not come clean, the report will not be published. Then they keep it under wraps,” she said.
It also appears that pharmaceutical companies regularly overloaded physicians with money and gifts. In return, doctors prescribe certain medications or funded their research. “It is sad that the pharmaceutical industry is involved in the investigation,” said US Senator Chuck Grassley. “She has ties with regulators and also affects the training of doctors. She has been directly involved in any part of the medical industry and enjoys it. ”
Peggy Ryan worked as a representative for Endo Pharmaceuticals and went over 10 years undercover to reveal the corruption within the company. She was pushed to sell the product Lidoderm, a drug that was prescribed for conditions where it was not intended for.
Endo eventually had to pay a fine of 193 million dollars, but had by then earned more than a billion dollars.
Professor Doug Bremner of Emory University discovered that Accutane, which is prescribed for acne, can cause depression and suicidal tendencies. Between 1982 and 2000, hundreds of cases of depression and 37 suicides were reported.
Accutane was banned in 11 countries and resulted in 7,000 lawsuits against manufacturer Roche. The company arranged for millions, but had earned more than 800 million of the drug. The FDA has never withdrawn the approved drug from the market or labeled as deadly. Swann wonders aloud why the FDA actually still exists.