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Originally published July 11 2006

Medical journal reveals that 70 percent of drug decision-making panel members have financial ties to industry

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

The journal Nature has published studies showing that 70 percent of the drug decision panels run in this country are rigged with decision-makers who have strong financial ties to the very drug companies whose products are affected by these decisions.

So much for evidence-based medicine. Drug approval decisions have little to do with evidence and everything to do with materialistic greed and cold, hard cash. That cash is doled out to decision-makers in the form of research grants, consulting fees and outright bribes. These decision-makers, who are often physicians, generally do not reveal their conflicts of interest. Yet they accept positions on decision-making panels where these so-called experts sit around and decide what should be the standard practice for various diseases, symptoms and conditions. Write-ups of those practices are then distributed to physicians around the country who follow the procedures. The journal Nature has revealed that 70 percent of these panels are rigged with decision-makers who have conflicts of interest.

Conventional medicine tries to say this is all evidence-based. They say you should trust all this information because doctors are trained in medical school and their studies are published in peer-reviewed journals. What they don't tell you is the reality of the situation, which is that pharmaceutical companies pay for most of the clinical trials conducted on drugs, and nearly all drug trials magically produce results that favor the firm footing the bill.

They also don't tell you that the negative studies are swept under the rug and censored by the drug companies. You only hear about the positive studies. They could conduct trials on a particular drug in which five trials reveal that the drug kills people and five other trials reveal that it helps people, and guess which five you will hear about? Guess which five the mainstream press will cover in the news? Guess which five will show up in a published peer-reviewed article in the medical journals? They also don't tell you about the influence of medical journals themselves.

Drug-pushing medical journals

Drug company advertising brings in hundreds of millions of dollars a year that fund these medical journals and pay the salaries of the editors who determine which studies the journal will and won't accept. So guess what gets into the journals? That's right -- the studies that promote prescription drugs. The benefits of these drugs are routinely exaggerated and the risks are routinely minimized.

When something goes wrong with the drug and it starts killing tens of thousands of Americans, guess what? They convene a decision panel. This is what happened with the FDA recently, when they convened a panel to decide whether Vioxx was dangerous enough to be banned from the marketplace. It turns out Vioxx has probably killed more than 60,000 Americans, according to a senior drug safety researcher at the FDA, Dr. David Graham. He revealed this in testimony before the U.S. Senate. According to the FDA, that's not dangerous enough to pull the drug. The FDA panel voted to keep Vioxx on the market.

What they did not tell you is that many of those panel members had strong financial ties to drug companies. They were being paid consulting fees or receiving research grants from the very companies that were affected by their decisions.

Once again, so much for evidence-based medicine. The only evidence that I'm finding here is evidence of a giant drug racket. There is ample evidence of corruption and collusion. In fact, the more you look at this industry, the more you realize just how deeply the American people have been conned. It's a giant scam. There are really no other words to describe it. To call it scientifically based medicine is a hoax. It's an insult to real science and honest scientists.

Prescription drugs are a leading cause of death in America

Conventional medicine wants you to think these drugs are recommended because they've been scientifically proven, because they have undergone safety testing and have been approved as safe by the FDA. They don't tell you the rest of the story. Prescription drugs are now the fourth leading cause of death in this country. The drugs approved as safe by the Food and Drug Administration are now killing 100,000 Americans a year.

Prescription drugs make deaths from terrorism, murder, automobile collisions and illegal drug use seem tiny by comparison. The number of deaths from prescription drugs dwarfs just about everything else that's happened in this country in terms of fatalities. That's the story they absolutely do not want you to know about. In fact, it has taken years for the truth to surface about these decision panels populated by experts with ties to the pharmaceutical industry. They don't go out of their way to tell you about their conflicts of interest. They keep them hidden until someone comes along, does the research and finds out that these people have been taking money from the very companies whose products they are testing.

Intimidation of critics

Do you know what happens when you're a doctor on one of these panels and you vote against the approval of one of these drugs? Take a guess. Your research money suddenly dries up, and you have no more research grants. Your career fizzles out. In fact, this was happening at the Harvard Research Medical Center. One of the people there, Dr. James Fries, characterized it as "a pattern of consistent intimidation by the drug companies." That's his quote, and that's what's happening to experts who don't say good things about prescription drugs.

Critics can easily be blackballed by the industry, so there is tremendous pressure on doctors and decision-makers to always vote in favor of brand-named, high-profit prescription drugs anytime they sit on decision panels. Now, they will tell you they have no conflicts of interest. They say, "We only decide based on the evidence." And yet they consistently decide in favor of dangerous drugs, even when clear evidence of harm is right in front of them.

They are heavily influenced by drug company money, intimidation, threats and the medical profession's "circle the wagons" mentality. For years and years, I've been warning about collusion in the drug industry and the magnitude of the drug racket in the United States. This industry is largely a scam. In fact, what's going on today is criminal in nature.

If you wish to be a healthy individual, then you have to find alternatives to prescription drugs. You have to say no to unnecessary surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. You must get outside this corrupt system and move on to something that actually promotes healing like naturopathic medicine, nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy or massage therapy. These are the areas of medicine in which you can experience and discover lasting human health.

Don't be a financial slave to drug companies that are only interested in turning your body into a profit center. Remember, they can only make more money by expanding the definition of disease and using your body as a system for generating financial profits. They're exploiting your health to generate shareholder profit. That's the reality of what's going on out there today, and thanks to the Internet, the truth about conventional medicine is finally beginning to be told.

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