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New Harvard paper slams FDA, says agency 'cannot be trusted'

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: FDA, Big Pharma, Harvard University

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(NaturalNews) A prominent Harvard University professor has compiled a new report that slams the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its failure to honestly and ethically approve new drugs. Set to be published in a special issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the damning report declares that the FDA "cannot be trusted," noting that virtually all new drugs approved by the agency over the past 30 years are little or no better than existing drugs already on the market.

Entitled "Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs," the report by Professor Donald W. Light provides solid evidence to show that the FDA is nothing more than a pay-for-play front group that caters strictly to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. Since drug companies are what primarily funds the FDA these days, the agency has lowered the barriers to entry for new drugs, speeding up the approval process while at the same time putting patients at increased risk.

Prescription drugs used as prescribed kill at least 125,000 people annually, says report

As the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., prescription drugs are among the most dangerous substances in the world. According to Prof. Light's research, tens of thousands of patients are hospitalized annually due to adverse effects from prescription drugs, and another several thousand die -- and all this from taking prescription drugs as prescribed.

"[O]ver the past 30 years, approved drugs have caused an epidemic of harmful side effects, even when properly prescribed," explains a preface to the Harvard report. "Every week, about 53,000 excess hospitalizations and about 2,400 excess deaths occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier."

Much of this is due to the fact that FDA scrutiny of new drugs is on the decline. Based on the evidence, the FDA spends far more time rushing new drugs to market than it does actually assessing the safety and efficacy of new drugs, many of which are nothing more than old drugs repackaged with minor changes. These changes, of course, allow drug companies to renew their patents and thus earn new record-breaking profits.

"The FDA in effect serves as the re-generator of patent-protected high prices for minor drugs in each disease group, as their therapeutic equivalents lose patent protection," explains the report. "The FDA routinely approves scores of new minor variations each year, with minimal evidence about risks of harm. ... One in every five drugs approved ends up causing serious harm."

"This is the opposite of what people want or expect from the FDA."

FDA conspiring with Big Pharma to market 'diseases' that don't even exist

If this is not bad enough, the FDA is also actively complicit in a massive Big Pharma scheme that involves inventing new diseases and marketing them to the public in order to sell more drugs. So-called "preventative" drugs for diseases like Alzheimer's, for instance, are the drug industry's latest form of snake oil that the FDA is welcoming with open arms.

"The New England Journal of Medicine has published, without comment, proposals by two senior figures from the FDA to loosen criteria drugs that allege to prevent Alzheimer's disease by treating it at an early stage," explains Prof. Light. "The proposed looser criteria would legitimate drugs as 'safe and effective' that have little or no evidence of being effective and expose millions to risks of harmful side effects."

Prof. Light's paper can be accessed in full at the following link:
http://papers.ssrn.com.

Sources for this article include:

http://papers.ssrn.com

http://www.ethics.harvard.edu

http://www.centerwatch.com
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