Corruption and the Revolving Door
In an effort to explain Vermonters’ Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, St. Johnsbury clinical nutritionist Alison Despathy has authored a three part series. Part One was published yesterday. Below, Part Two.
By Alison Despathy
Prevalent corporate influence and revolving door conflicts-of-interest have plagued the Food and Drug Administration for decades.
The FDA’s mission is to regulate industry and keep food and drugs safe through product regulation. But in ‘real time,’ do the FDA and other related agencies serve the people, or industry? Both the FDA and Center for Disease Control (CDC) have been brought to the Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO) multiple times for revolving door policies and conflicts of interest. The list is endless. One example, former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who filed the declaration of the Covid-19 PREP Act, is the former President of Lilly, USA, the United States branch of the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical international conglomerate.
Is it acceptable for people working for federal regulators to shift back and forth in employment between the government and the corporations and industry they are supposed to regulate? Maybe not, but it goes on all the time. It has been found to be legal. But humans are corruptible. Is it ethical? Should it be allowed?
Examples at the highest levels include Michael Taylor (an FDA official who also did work for biotech companies), Scott Gottlieb (Former FDA commissioner, now working with Pfizer) and Julie Gerberding (former CDC director, now a VP with pharmaceutical giant Merck), among others. There is currently legislation attempting to address these highly prevalent and ethically questionable situations.
Is it ethical, and should it be legal, for federal regulating agencies to hold patents on the products that they are regulating, such as the CDC holding patents on vaccines?
The lessons of history may inform people’s hesitation regarding experimental products such as the mRNA vaccines offered by Pfizer and Moderna. All we have to do is look at Thalidomide, Vioxx, Bextra, Accutane, lead, arsenic and mercury treatments, blood letting- historically the list of dangerous medicines and medical treatments is endless.
In fact, in 2017, NPR published an article entitled, “One-Third of New Drugs Had Safety Problems After FDA Approval.” Author Sydney Lupkin states:
“A Yale School of Medicine study found that nearly one third of medication approved by the FDA between the years of 2001-2010 had major safety issues after the medications were made widely available to the patients. Seventy-one of the 222 drugs approved in the first decade of the millennium were withdrawn, required a“black box” warning on side effects or warranted a safety announcement about new risks…..”
Dr. Caleb Alexander, Co-Director of the John Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, stated:
“All too often, patients and clinicians mistakenly view FDA approval as (an) indication that a product is fully safe and effective, nothing could be further from the truth.”
Not only are we dealing with rushed vaccine development, research and trials and a completely new vaccine technology. We also have a rushed FDA approval process that is not transparent with monumental gaps in the safety, efficacy and liability questions.
Donald W. Light, writing for the Center for Ethics at Harvard University found that new prescription drugs have a 1 in 5 chance of causing serious reactions after they have been approved. “That is why expert physicians recommend not taking new drugs for at least five years unless patients have first tried better-established options and have the need to do so,” Light said.
He found in his research that properly prescribed drugs alone, (not misprescribed, overdoses or self-prescribed drugs) cause approximately 1.9 million hospitalizations a year. In addition to this, 840,000 hospitalized patients are given medications that cause severe adverse reactions, thus the total for annual serious adverse drug reactions is 2.74 million. He further reported that 128,000 people die annually from drugs prescribed to them. People have a legitimate right and duty to question the safety of these new injections and the recent, rushed FDA approval based on the historical record as well as the fact that the FDA approved ‘vaccine’ is in a clinical trial phase and still holds a liability shield for the maker Pfizer due to the protection by the still active declaration of the PREP act and its medical countermeasures clause.
Also, ‘vaccine’ maker Pfizer has a criminal track record. Pfizer certainly does make some life saving products. They are one of the largest producers of penicillin. My father has been saved twice from heart attacks by medical technologies and intervention. There is indeed a time and a place. Maybe Pfizer is truly rallying to help humanity and create a solution.
However, awareness that Pfizer is a serial felon brings pause and hesitancy – and rightly so. Pfizer has been convicted of illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribery and suppression of adverse reactions in clinical trials, defective drugs, health care fraud, unapproved off label promotion and use of prescription medicines, foreign bribery in an attempt to gain business deals. It has accrued over 3 billion dollars in fines. At one point, they held the record for the biggest fine ever paid in a fraudulent healthcare lawsuit which had been filed by the Department of Justice: Pfizer paid out $2.3 billion for illegal marketing claims. There are also many questions and lawsuits – both past and present – regarding some of their products such as Protonix, Prempro, Chantix, Depo-testosterone, Zoloft, and Effexor as examples. Also, the country of Nigeria filed criminal charges against Pfizer in 2007 for the use of an experimental drug for meningitis in Kano in 1996 which resulted in both the death and permanent disability of many children.
This is only a brief yet sordid glimpse into Pfizer’s history. For further information please see the links listed at the end of Part Three tomorrow.
Tomorrow – Potential ‘vaccine’ health risks, avenues for alternative treatment, the necessity of health choice, body autonomy and medical freedom
The author is a mother, clinical nutritionist, and teacher living in Danville, VT. She has had a clinical nutrition practice in St. Johnsbury and has taught nutrition for over twenty years.