Originally published April 18 2008
Merck Caught in Massive Scientific Fraud as In-House Authors were Disguised as Independent Scientists (opinion)
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Drug giant Merck has been caught red-handed in a scheme to deceive the FDA and the public over the integrity of its scientific studies, say top medical authorities. According to reports that were (amazingly!) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and detailed in the Washington Post, Merck waged a "campaign of deception" to disguise its in-house study authors as independent scientists working for universities. This scheme made the studies appear independent and unbiased, allowing them to carry more apparent credibility to FDA officials, doctors and other scientists.
This fraud was conducted to boost the apparent scientific credibility of the studies backing Vioxx, a drug that has caused well over 100,000 heart attacks and likely killed well over 50,000 Americans, according to Senate testimony by the FDA's own senior drug safety researcher Dr. David Graham. Vioxx earned Merck $2.3 billion in 2003 alone, and was one of the most lucrative drugs ever sold by any company. But since 2004, when some of the real dangers of the drug became known, a tremendous amount of evidence leading to fraud has surfaced.
It now appears quite clear that Merck deliberately lied about the dangers of the drug, misrepresented the results of scientific studies, deceived the FDA to win drug approval, knowingly covered up evidence of the drug's dangers, and now it seems Merck even conducted a deliberate campaign of deceptive ghostwriting designed to attach independent-sounding names to in-house studies that were essentially pro-Vioxx promotional pieces disguised as scientific reports.
NaturalNews has reported on many of the fraudulent actions conducted by Merck over the years. See our reporting on Merck here: www.NaturalNews.com/Merck.html
... and read our stories about Vioxx here: www.NaturalNews.com/Vioxx.html
Why Merck wants to keep the truth hidden from the publicWhat's interesting about this latest revelation of Merck fraud is that the documents revealing the depth of this fraud were only made public due to lawsuits filed by citizens who claim they were harmed by Merck's drugs. And yet at the same time, Merck and the FDA are arguing that such lawsuits should not be allowed at all -- that they should be "preempted" by FDA approval for drugs, thereby keeping Merck's dirty secrets buried forever, even as consumers harmed by Merck's drugs are denied any right to sue for damages caused by such drugs!
It is now rather obvious why drug companies like Merck so desperately want immunity from lawsuits -- because the "discovery" phase of these lawsuits is causing Merck's dirty science to be publicly aired! It's allowing the public to have a peek at the skeletons in Merck's closet. Merck no doubt wants its secrets to remain secret so that nobody is really aware of the scientific fraud we're now learning so much about. I often wonder: What else is Merck hiding that it doesn't want to become public knowledge?
Shouldn't Merck be brought to justice?Now, I have an important question to ask you. Given the magnitude of the scientific fraud being discovered about Merck, and the number of people who have reportedly been killed by Merck's products, why does Merck still manage to escape any real scrutiny from the Dept. of Justice and the FDA? Why does Merck seem to have an unlimited "get out of jail free" pass from the U.S. government? Even while it's arguing for immunity from public lawsuits, it seems Merck has already achieved a silent, practical immunity from U.S. government regulators and law enforcers.
Can you think of any other corporation that, if caught engaging in widespread fraud that resulted in the death of over 50,000 Americans, wouldn't be hung out to dry by Congressional investigations and Justice Dept. arrests? It is flatly unbelievable to me that a corporation engaged in such massive campaigns of deception and death could be allowed to continue conducting business as usual in the United States. It's far worse than what Enron engaged in. We're not talking about simple white-collar crimes here; we're talking about an ever-expanding collection of body bags, corruption, bribery, secret payoffs, science fraud and, in my opinion, crimes against humanity. And yet the mainstream media keeps on running Merck's deceptive ads, holding their noses while they pocket Merck's illegitimately-earned cash.
When individuals commit fraud and engage in deceptive practices that result in the deaths of other people, we charge them with crimes: Involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide or even murder. So why, then, does a powerful corporation get to go free for committing essentially the same crimes?
In other words, shouldn't corporations be held to the same laws as the People? Why, in our nation, are individuals charged with murder or manslaughter when they kill people, but corporations are allowed to kill any number of people with absolutely no consequence? They are not arrested, not charged with crimes and not prosecuted. And on top of that, they have the audacity to argue that they should be granted legal immunity from ALL lawsuits that might be filed by the people their products harm or kill! It's truly astounding...
Do not allow Merck to conduct further business in this countryI believe that law enforcement authorities in America have both the right and the responsibility to arrest top Merck executives, seize Merck's inventory, and deny Merck the right to conduct any further business in this nation by cancelling its corporate charter. I believe Merck is engaged in serious crimes against the People and that its business practices are clearly being conducted in violation of federal law (not to mention in violation of basic business ethics and human compassion). If this was any other corporation we were talking about here -- and not Merck -- this company would be subjected to a massive campaign of media scrutiny and Congressional scrutiny. But not Merck. It's too powerful, too influential.
Merck should be renamed "The Teflon Company" because even though it's pushing dangerous chemicals, nothing seems to stick.
Let me break it down for you and tell you what's really happening here. It's the same old story, after all: Rich, powerful white-collar criminals get away with murder, while the poor, the disadvantaged and the sick get shafted.
I pray for the day that Merck is put out of business, shut down by law enforcement authorities who finally decide to apply existing federal law and prosecute this dangerous, destructive corporation for its organized-crime-like operations. Americans would be far safer if Merck were shut down. In fact, the threat to Americans' health from Merck far outweighs any threat to national security by terrorists. Think about it: The current war in Iraq has killed 4,000 Americans. Just one drug from Merck has killed over 50,000 (and that's a conservative estimate). That's more than ten times the number of Americans killed in our current war!
Is Merck a terrorist organization? No, it's a dishonest, corrupt corporation that pretends to be engaged in good deeds and genuine science. But if you peek behind the curtain, you find nothing but fraud, deception, and the complete disregard for human life. Merck isn't a terrorist organization, but it's killed far more Americans than any terrorist organization could. Even a dirty bomb set off at the Superbowl (which was one of the FBI's recent terrorist concerns) wouldn't kill as many Americans as Merck's drugs have in the last five years. That's no exaggeration.
In my opinion, Merck is an evil, out-of-control corporation that's destroying lives and obliterating any remaining credibility of the pharmaceutical industry. One day, when the truth finally emerges about the totality of Merck's crimes against the People and the depth of its willful deception, the public will be stunned, frozen in a state of disbelief that they could have tolerated such heinous crimes right under their noses. They will think the same thoughts of Nazi supporters seeing Hitler's concentration camps for the first time... How could we have allowed this to happen right here, on our own soil? To our own children? To our own families?
It's time to apply federal laws to Merck and start making arrests. Too many lives have been lost already, and the extreme fraud being routinely exhibited by Merck should not go unpunished. It's time to finally protect Americans from Big Pharma.
Also worth reading: Merck Engaged in Blatant Scientific Fraud with Vytorin Cholesterol Study? http://www.naturalnews.com/022485.html
Merck denied blood pressure screening services to doctors that did not prescribe its brand-name drugs http://www.naturalnews.com/020604.html
FDA, Merck may have conspired to discredit whistleblower, says U.S. Senator http://www.naturalnews.com/019728.html
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