Sunday, March 04, 2007

Crony driven FDA puts pharma profit over public health

The FDA is about to approve a new antibiotic to treat cattle "despite warnings from health groups and a majority of the agency's own expert advisers that the decision will be dangerous for people." The high powered antibiotic is among modern medicine's last ditch defense against current antibiotic-resistant infections that were caused when previous antibiotic use was allowed against experts' warnings.

In fact it was this previous meteoric rise in antibiotic resistance that ultimately led to the rapid growth of the organic food industry as consumers became increasingly concerned about what products the government was allowing the comericial food industry to foist off on unsuspecting Americans. Yet the FDA say they are all but required to allow the use of this new class of super-drug under "a recently implemented "guidance document" that codifies how to weigh the threats to human health posed by proposed new animal drugs."
The wording of "Guidance for Industry #152" was crafted within the FDA after a long struggle. In the end, the agency adopted language that, for drugs like cefquinome, is more deferential to pharmaceutical companies than is recommended by the World Health Organization.
In other words if it's bad for big business profits, its use can't be prevented until after the damage is done to the public health. Not that this is surprising. The Bush administration has a long history of appointing hacks and criminals to head our regulatory agencies. Current FDA chief, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, is just one more industry crony.

A long time Bush family friend, extraordinarily close to the president's grandparents, he has good credentials on the surface but digging a little deeper reveals the darker side of his past.
It is quite clear that Andrew von Eschenbach has put in his time as an oncologist, researcher, and administrator involved with the cancer issue. Any person taking the time to look past the glowing résumé quickly finds out that he is well connected to Big Pharma and his emphasis is on using drugs to manage disease, a highly profitable approach to health care for Big Pharma. In fact, this approach has very little to do with positive health outcomes for patients.
Therein lies the problem with our pharmaceutical industry today. We're told drugs are so expensive because they need the money for research. Yet all they turn out are "new" variants on old drugs that are still effective, but are less profitable. The money is in treatment, not in cures, so when a promising cure appears, the pharmas won't touch it if they can't make the obscene level of profit they have so become accustomed to under the FDA's protection of their racquet. Meanwhile, they can probably make a pretty good profit expanding their antibiotic sales to cattle farmers and will make a bundle coming up with a yet more powerful antidote to the next resistant strain of bacteria, the public health be damned.

They all ought to be prosecuted under the RICO Act.
Bookmark and Share


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it scary the stuff they are allowed to inject into our food? Antibiotics, growth hormones, genetically altered animals, the list goes on. Here is something you never hear about but I actually know several people with prepubescent girls are are being treated with hormone suppression because they are developing too soon. Remember when we were growing up? The only place you heard about stuff like this was in the Enquirer, usually about young girls in South America having children at 9 or 10 years old. I used to think it was just hype, but, given how some of these countries had so little in the way of controls, you have to wonder...
I get most of my meat from private sources where the animals are being raised without added drugs. It means I have to buy 1/2 side, but I have a freezer and I can trust the meat. I do pork and beef this way and I am now looking for a source of unaltered chicken. It's amazing how the consequences of all this poisoning is totally ignored by "our" government.

3:22:00 PM  
Blogger Rudi said...

They sure have made a fortune on satins on ED. But if we don't fund their reseach for better pimple or wrinkle drugs, the EU won't.

3:25:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It all comes down to the money kids. The corporations pay for the elections and they're going to get what they want -- bigger profits and less regulation.

5:52:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home