October 22, 2014

BMJ: Escalating Criminal Behavior by Pharmaceutical Companies due to Insufficient Penalties

pin it button BMJ: Escalating Criminal Behavior by Pharmaceutical Companies due to Insufficient Penalties

doctor bribe convicted BMJ: Escalating Criminal Behavior by Pharmaceutical Companies due to Insufficient Penalties

Health Impact News Editor Comments:

This editorial written and published in the British Medical Journal does a good job of explaining why criminal settlements against pharmaceutical companies do NOT stop criminal behavior in the pharmaceutical industry.

20% of all corporate crime is now committed by pharmaceutical companies, and those are just the cases that are litigated and settled. The problem with corruption in scientific studies that are used to approve drugs do not even come up in litigation.

As Sidney M Wolfe points out in this article published last month in the British Medical Journal, the fines and penalties levied against corporations are just to0 small, and they are simply considered as part of the “cost of doing business” which lead to higher drug prices passed on to the consumers.

Escalating criminal and civil violations: pharma has corporate integrity? Not really

by Sidney M Wolfe
British Medical Journal

Excerpts:

Are criminal and civil penalties of hundreds of millions of dollars an important deterrent to law breaking by international drug companies?

Further, would external monitoring in the form of US government mandated corporate integrity agreements (CIA)1 to prevent recurrences of such illegal activities, lasting five years after being signed, be an additional deterrent? Yes in both cases, but only if the size of the penalties outweighed the companies’ gains while violating the laws and only if enforcement of the CIAs were effective. Unfortunately, neither is the case. This evaluation is based on the recent, sharp escalation in the frequency with which many giant multinational drug companies repeatedly engage in illegal criminal and civil activity after previously paying enormous fines and despite monitoring under CIAs. It seems that for some companies, commission of such criminal and civil violations has become part of their business models.

In the past three and a half years alone (2009 to mid-2012), criminal and civil penalties have totaled $18bn, well over half the total for the past 21 years. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) topped the list of repeat offenders with total criminal and civil penalties of $7.56bn since 1991, comprised six different federal settlements and an additional number with states. Pfizer was the second highest with $2.96bn. Overall, since 1991, 11 other companies also had criminal or civil settlements or both exceeding $50m on at least two occasions.

An analysis of several of the repeat civil payments and criminal penalties by GSK and Pfizer based on publicly available government documents illustrates the failure of such large penalties and the parallel failure of the accompanying CIAs to curb such behavior.

These escalating patterns of repeated criminal violations and civil settlements to resolve serious allegations of civil lawlessness hardly bespeak corporate integrity for GSK, Pfizer, or the many other companies who are also repeat offenders. We are forced to conclude that neither the current level of penalties nor corporate integrity agreements are effective and that there is a pathological lack of corporate integrity in many drug companies.

Read the Full Article Here. (Subscription may be necessary.)

In this 2008 report, CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson discusses the conflicts of interest in those supposedly ‘independent’ sources that back the government’s assertion that vaccines and autism are not related. AAP, Every Child by Two and Dr. Paul Offit all receive hundreds in thousands of dollars in funding from Pharmaceutical companies that make vaccines, they do not disclose how much money they make, and yet claim that these huge sums of money in no way influence their stance on vaccine safety. Katie Couric was the news anchor in this report, and therefore is obviously familiar with these conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical industry.

 

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Prescription Drugs Now Factor in Higher Percentage of Fatal Car Crashes Than Alcohol or Marijuana

Prescription Drugs Now Factor in Higher Percentage of Fatal Car Crashes Than Alcohol or Marijuana

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Prescription drugs and multiple drug combinations are frequently found in the blood of drivers involved in fatal car crashes on US roads, according to a new study in Public Health Reports. Drivers today are more likely to test positive for drugs than drivers 20 years ago, and drugged drivers are now likely to be older than 50. Gone are the days when drunk drivers were our only concern—alcohol is but one of MANY drugs that can make you dangerous behind the wheel. And now many people are on multiple drug cocktails, especially prescription drugs, which multiplies their impairment.

Use of Aborted Human Cell Lines in Vaccines Linked to Rise in Autism

Use of Aborted Human Cell Lines in Vaccines Linked to Rise in Autism

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Researchers from the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute recently published a study showing a correlation with the introduction of human fetal cell lines used as contaminants in childhood vaccines, and the rapid rise of autism. The study was published in the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology, an open access Academic Journal.

I reviewed the full length research paper and found the methodology of the research very thorough. The researchers tracked not only the introduction of aborted fetal cell lines introduced into vaccines used in the childhood vaccination scheduled in the United States, but they also tracked standards for autism diagnoses as published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. This manual is used in the field of psychology and has undergone several revisions. One of the claims made for the rising rate of autism in America today is that it is primarily related to changes of diagnosis. This study used sophisticated software to account for these changes in autism diagnosis, and found:

“Autistic disorder change points years are coincident with introduction of vaccines manufactured using human fetal cell lines, containing fetal and retroviral contaminants, into childhood vaccine regimens. This pattern was repeated in the US, UK, Western Australia and Denmark. Thus, rising autistic disorder prevalence is directly related to vaccines manufactured utilizing human fetal cells. Increased paternal age and DSM revisions were not related to rising autistic disorder prevalence.”

Boston Nurses Speak Out Against Mandatory Flu Shots

Boston Nurses Speak Out Against Mandatory Flu Shots

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Last month (September 2014) the Massachusetts Nurses Association sued Brigham and Women’s Hospital over a new policy that required nurses to receive the annual flu vaccine as a condition for employment.

The nurses were, of course, criticized by the medical establishment. They were accused of putting their own interests above the needs of patients. Lynn Nicholas, president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, stated that the nurses were: “putting a pet peeve of theirs above the safety and well-being of the patients they serve, their families, visitors to the hospital, and their colleagues.”

Pet peeve? Really?

When nurses all across the United States and Canada are willing to sacrifice their jobs and careers to avoid the annual flu shot, it is time to sit up and take notice. This is obviously something much more than a “pet peeve.”

Trish Powers, representing Brigham nurses in Boston fired back a comment that The Boston Globe published. It is titled “Brigham nurses know flu vaccine can do harm.”

Gardasil: The Day Our Daughter’s Life Changed

Gardasil: The Day Our Daughter’s Life Changed

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The Gardasil vaccine has changed Skylee’s life in so many ways and we do not know how many more symptoms will show up and change her life even more than it has already done. Our whole family has been affected by this vaccine and all of our lives have been turned upside down that terrible day in 2013.

If only the doctors would recognize Skylee has gone from being a healthy young girl to an invalid when the only major change in her life occurred on the day she had that single shot of Gardasil.

Will There Be An Ebola Outbreak in America?

Will There Be An Ebola Outbreak in America?

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So here is what inquiring minds want to know:

Why did U.S. health officials in Atlanta and on the ground in Africa ignore the exploding Ebola epidemic last spring?

Why did U.S. government officials fly American aid workers infected with Ebola to the U.S. rather than treating them with experimental drugs at hospitals in Africa?

Why did the U.S. government press the United Nations to adopt a resolution calling for no restrictions on international travel from Liberia and other Ebola-stricken countries?

Why did the Centers for Disease Control, supposedly the world’s leading infection control agency, fail to immediately assist Texas health officials when the first case of Ebola was diagnosed on US soil to guarantee that, at a minimum, the kind of infection control measures used in most nursing homes in America would be carried out?

Why has the Director of the CDC repeatedly stated that the only way a person can transmit Ebola is if they have a fever and said that people cannot get Ebola unless they have direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person – but that under no circumstances is Ebola airborne – when he knows, or should know, those statements could be false?

And why are experimental Ebola vaccines being fast tracked into human trials and promoted as the final solution rather than ramping up testing and production of the experimental ZMapp drug that has already saved the lives of several Ebola infected Americans?

A logical conclusion is that some people in industry, government and the World Health Organization did not want the Ebola outbreak to be confined to several nations in Africa because that would fail to create a lucrative global market for mandated use of fast tracked Ebola vaccines by every one of the seven billion human beings living on this planet.

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