by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Dr. Raeford Brown is a pediatric anesthesia specialist at the UK Kentucky Children’s Hospital. He also chairs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics.
Dr. Brown has been openly critical of the FDA and their lack of oversight on the pharmaceutical industry, claiming “Congress is owned by pharma.” (Source .)
His comments were recently reported by Adriana Belmonte at Yahoo Finance .
Dr. Raeford Brown, a pediatric anesthesia specialist at the UK Kentucky Children’s Hospital and chair  of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics, has been openly critical of big pharma  and the lack of proper oversight from the FDA.
Despite many politicians, particularly declared presidential candidates, beginning to speak out against big pharma, Brown does not think that anything will come out of it “because Congress is owned by pharma.”
The article documents how pharmaceutical companies are making significant financial contributions to politicians and political candidates. Statistics are based on OpenSecrets , a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in U.S. politics.
“The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year,” he told Yahoo Finance . “In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. That’s a ton of money.”
Dr. Brown went on to say:
“I’m really much more concerned because Congress is supposed to have oversight for the FDA,” Brown said.
“If the FDA isn’t going to hold pharma accountable, and Congress is getting paid to not hold pharma accountable, then it really doesn’t matter who the president is because it’s really about Congress.”
Pharmaceutical Industry: Largest Criminal Organization in the World
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) website, the pharmaceutical industry is the largest offender of criminal fraud based on settlements and judgments for the False Claims Act.
From 2009 through 2016, Health Care Fraud resulted in $19.3 billion for fraud, with “billions more during the same period for state Medicaid programs and in criminal fines and forfeitures.” (Source .)
Housing and Financial Fraud was a distant second during the same time period, at $7 billion.
In 2017, according to the DOJ :
Of the $3.7 billion in settlements and judgments, $2.4 billion involved the health care industry, including drug companies, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, and physicians. This is the eighth consecutive year that the department’s civil health care fraud settlements and judgments have exceeded $2 billion.
In 2018, settlements and judgments for fraud against the health care industry again exceeded $2 billion according to the DOJ :
Of the $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments recovered by the Department of Justice this past fiscal year, $2.5 billion involved the health care industry, including drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories, and physicians.
This is the ninth consecutive year that the Department’s civil health care fraud settlements and judgments have exceeded $2 billion. The recoveries included in the $2.5 billion reflect only federal losses but, in many of these cases, the Department was instrumental in recovering additional millions of dollars for state Medicaid programs.
Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal until 2004, wrote an opinion piece in 2013 about a book published by Peter Gøtzsche, the head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, entitled “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare.”
The characteristics of organised crime, racketeering, is defined in US law as the act of engaging repeatedly in certain types of offence, including extortion, fraud, federal drug offences, bribery, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, obstruction of law enforcement, tampering with witnesses, and political corruption. Peter produces evidence, most of it detailed, to support his case that pharmaceutical companies are guilty of most of these offences. (Source .)
The “largest fraud settlement in U.S. history” was against a pharmaceutical company:
On July 2, 2012 the British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline plead guilty to three counts of criminal misdemeanor and other civil liabilities relating to the prescription drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia, and agreed to pay a total of $3 billion in fines–$1 billion to settle criminal charges, and $2 billion to cover civil liabilities.
The payment is the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history, and the largest fine ever paid by a drug company. (Source .)
FDA Approved Vaccines – Untouchable in U.S. Courts
Perhaps the greatest example of Big Pharma’s influence over Congress came in the 1980s when lawsuits for vaccine injuries and deaths were increasing at an alarming rate.
The pharmaceutical industry approached Congress and threatened to stop producing vaccines altogether, scaring lawmakers into thinking that public health would be in great danger without vaccines, unless Congress gave them immunity against lawsuits resulting from vaccines.
Congress obliged, and President Ronald Reagan signed into law the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act , giving pharmaceutical companies immunity against lawsuits resulting from FDA-approved vaccines.
The only way to get a settlement on vaccine fraud now in the U.S. legal system is to try and prove that the studies used by the FDA to approve the vaccine were fraudulent, and currently two such lawsuits exist, one for the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and one for Gardasil.
All other cases for vaccine injuries and deaths must to go a government-run “vaccine court” with “special masters” where the U.S. government uses their own attorneys and controls all the variables.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, has publicly stated that 70% of mainstream media news advertising revenues during non-election years is funded by pharmaceutical companies. (Source .)
Therefore, the corporate media is probably mostly just a mouth-piece for Big Pharma and the government forces they control.