Originally published December 20 2011
FDA revokes voting rights from key advisory panel member who publicly opposes Bayer birth control drugs
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A prominent expert in health-related issues and pharmaceutical drugs, Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, Director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group (HRG) and member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, was recently stripped of his voting power just days before an important safety review of two popular oral contraceptives was to take place.
Janet Woodcock, Director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), declared that Dr. Wolfe, who began working at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) back in 1966, would not be allowed to participate in the review of Bayer's "Yaz" and "Yasmin" pregnancy-control medications because his expertise in their dangers was an alleged "intellectual conflict of interest."
Dr. Wolfe had previously written extensively in his Worst Pills, Best Pills newsletter and elsewhere about the side effects of both Yaz and Yasmin, which include the potential development of deadly blood clots. Dr. Wolfe is so outspoken against the two drugs that he has actually recommended that nobody use them -- and this recommendation, of course, is based on years of scientific research.
But apparently this knowledge, which is exactly the type of knowledge needed on an FDA advisory panel, is unacceptable to FDA officials, many of whom previously worked for drug companies. Janet Woodcock herself has a very cozy relationship with Big Pharma, which is the embodiment of a true conflict of interest.
But just like what happened two years earlier to Sanjay Kaul, another FDA advisory panel member that was silenced, Dr. Wolfe is being punished for his stance against the drugs in question, even though that stance is sound -- even the FDA itself has admitted that birth control drugs greatly increase the risk of deadly blood clots (http://www.naturalnews.com/034074_birth_cont...).
By all appearances, Bayer stepped in and used its influence to get Dr. Wolfe ejected from the voting proceedings on this important review. And in the process, the FDA, which was quick to satisfy its drug lords, has once again exposed its systemic culture of corruption. After all, it is drug companies like Bayer that pay the FDA's bills, so to speak, including Ms. Woodcock's salary.
Obviously Dr. Wolfe's position on Bayer's birth control pills is not a legitimate "intellectual conflict of interest" -- Dr. Wolfe's intellect is exactly what is supposed to be present on an FDA advisory panel meeting. But money talks the loudest at the FDA, which leaves little room for any genuine voices of truth to be heard at the agency.
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