FDA may go from bad to worse
As President Trump makes good on the changes he promised in Washington, there’s something that he needs to give a big second look to.
Perhaps he didn’t realize how powerful the FDA is, or how the agency is practically run by Big Pharma already.
And unless he’s a daily eAlert reader, he may not know how the FDA errs on the side of drug makers, leaving us with risky meds that many patients have paid the ultimate price for.
If he knew the real story, it’s unlikely that industry shill Scott Gottlieb would be getting ready to take charge of the agency — basically picking up where the last pharma-friendly boss left off.
Gottlieb is no stranger to the FDA. He’s also an expert in how to dive deep into Big Pharma’s collective wallets.
And while he may be a doctor, he’s also a “classic Washington insider” who knows more about the ins and outs of how pharma gets rich than how to treat sick patients. He’s someone who is said to be “entangled in an unprecedented web of Big Pharma ties.”
Gottlieb helps feather his nest by working with multiple drug makers — especially GlaxoSmithKline — receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past couple of years for consulting, speaking and “other services.”
It also looks like he may have his very own parking space at Pfizer, Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo and plenty of other pharma giants.
As I said, Gottlieb is also pretty familiar with how to get around FDA headquarters already. He wandered the halls for a while during the Bush Administration as a deputy commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs.
But he had so many conflicts of interest that he had to remove himself from making any decisions on matters involving NINE big drug makers… for up to a YEAR!
So how, exactly, will he handle these touchy matters as the head of the whole FDA?
One thing we don’t have to do is bring out a crystal ball to figure out what Gottlieb is planning if he does get in. In his critiques of the already pharma-controlled agency, he’s said that FDA reviewers currently emphasize safety while neglecting their obligation “to bring new medical innovations to market.”
He’s even gone so far as to actually disparage one of the greatest achievements in FDA history back in 1960 — when the agency’s mission was to protect Americans from dangerous drugs.
It was that year when an FDA drug reviewer, Frances Kelsey, stopped the devastating morning sickness med thalidomide from being sold in the U.S., saving untold numbers of babies from horrific birth defects.
But apparently, Gottlieb thinks we need to get over that idea that the FDA’s job to protect us. According to him, it’s now all about how fast drugs can get in and out of its door.
Along with this industry insider, who’s cozy with most of pharma land, we’ve also got another very dangerous situation to deal with, called the 21st Century Cures Act.
That was signed into law last December, and took our already shady approval process for drugs and medical devices and made it even worse. Cures was a Christmas gift to Big Pharma like none other, giving it ways to bring these things to market with even less knowledge of how they may harm or kill.
No matter what happens in Washington, the bottom line is it’s up to us to protect ourselves and our family from devious drug makers and policy pushers who think the FDA’s only purpose is to serve industry.
You can tell President Trump what you think by contacting him here: whitehouse.gov/contact/
“Farewell to drug regulation? Trump nominates a ‘bona-fide pharma shill’ to head the FDA” Michael Hiltzik, March 16, 2017, The Los Angeles Times, latimes.com