Big Pharma’s Influence on the Media

by Jul 29, 2017Health & Vaccines, Liberty & Economy1 comment

With the exception of CBS, every major media outlet in the United States shares at least one board member with at least one pharmaceutical company.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

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1 Comment

  1. Andrew Kinsella

    Thanks for this Jeremy.
    The complaints about the unethical behaviour of the pharmaceutical industry have been widespread for a long while, and have been covered by many authors, looking at individual instances of corruption in many areas of medicine.

    The three I am most familiar with are price fixing in the vitamin market by Hoffman La Roche (who used their monopoly on some rare vitamins to ensure that no manufacturer could get those Vitamins unless they bought everything from Roche. The book Roche Vs Adams, by Stanley Adams (the whistleblower on this case) gives the details of tactics used by Roche.

    Then there was the case of Vioxx, the antiinflammatory that was found to cause heart attacks and taken off the market amongst a barrage of legal actions. The FDAs own scientists recommended against licencing this drug, even on the limited evidence they had (as the manufacturer had concealed studies showing undesirable results. The head of the FDA over ruled his staff and licenced the drug. The pharmaceutical company was Merck (ever heard of them before ?) and I believe the head of the FDA later moved to a high paying job in the pharmaceutical industry. In 2011, Merck agreed to pay $950 million and pleaded guilty to a criminal charge over the marketing and sales of the drug.

    The lawyer Jonathan Emord has discussed the constitutional issues in the US that allow this to happen (and much policy outside the US falls in to line with FDA policy due to political and economic leverage.

    The third cse is the gross overselling of powerful antipsychotic drugs- detailed by James Davies in his book “Cracked, Why Psychiatry is Doing more Harm Than good”.

    This book goes into great detail about the way the pharmaceutical companies do business. They manufacture Key Opinion Leaders, who generally do not get to understand how they are being manipulated until it is too late, and they have already gotten used to the income stream that they get from the lecture tours they do for the companies (fees up to 250,000 per year (ON TOP of professorial salaries and earnings from private patients) are well known.

    The industry then uses focus groups directed at the target audience to find out what sort of presentation we find impressive, to see if we are paying attention to their advertisements etc. The problem here is that the increase in medical litigation has made medical professionals much more wary, and the advice from our Defence Organisations is to be sure not to deviate from “accepted practice”. In practice this means that accepted practice gets codified into a set of hard guidelines, and as long as you stay within those guidelines you are safe from a lawsuit- because any expert witness brought in would be forced to agree that you were following accpeted protocols, therefore could not be guilty of malpractice.
    The problem is that those protocols are produced by small committees- who are very prone to capture, either because one or more of their members are pharma created “key opinion leaders”, or are in reciept of pharma funding of their research.

    So by the time you look at these different levels of corruption, you can see that big pharma has got it pretty well sewn up. They have bought just about everyone they need to uy and they have demonstrated that the US constitution is weak and easily corrupted.
    See “The Rise of Tyranny, by Jonathan Emord”

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