An article in the National Journal has the headline “How Google is Trying to Protect Your Drug Supply.” That sounds nice doesn’t it? Your drug supply. The article outlines how Google is now partnering with federal agencies (mostly the FDA) to make sure that dangerous drugs don’t get into the hands of poor, unsuspecting citizens like you. Thanks, Big Brother! I don’t know what we would do without you!
Perhaps my sarcasm puzzles you. Let me explain. The FDA, as an organization designed to protect you, is a failure. As an organization to protect the cash flow of Big Pharmacy, the FDA is just fantastic. They regularly approve very dubious (but expensive!) “cures” while outlawing cheap, and often clinically proven, drugs from the American market.
Have you seen Dallas Buyers Club? Its explanation of how the FDA outlaws non-toxic supplements in favor of ineffective (but expensive) products from Big Pharma barely scratches the surface. The FDA has such a pathetic track record on this issue, I don’t have space to fully recount it. Perhaps this article in the Washington Post can give you some idea of just how corrupt the FDA actually is. A report surfaced that representatives of pharmaceutical companies paid the FDA to have a say in the writing of rules for painkiller regulation and approval. Which is just insane. Here’s an excerpt from that article:
A scientific panel that shaped the federal government’s policy for testing the safety and effectiveness of painkillers was funded by major pharmaceutical companies that paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the chance to affect the thinking of the Food and Drug Administration, according to hundreds of e-mails obtained by a public records request.
The e-mails show that the companies paid as much as $25,000 to attend any given meeting of the panel, which had been set up by two academics to provide advice to the FDA on how to weigh the evidence from clinical trials. A leading FDA official later called the group “an essential collaborative effort.”
Patient advocacy groups said the electronic communications suggest that the regulators had become too close to the companies trying to crack into the $9 billion painkiller market in the United States. FDA officials who regulate painkillers sat on the steering committee of the panel, which met in private, and co-wrote papers with employees of pharmaceutical companies.
The FDA has been criticized for failing to take precautions that might have averted the epidemic of addiction to prescription drugs including Oxycontin and other opioids.
“These e-mails help explain the disastrous decisions the FDA’s analgesic division has made over the last 10 years,” said Craig Mayton, the Columbus, Ohio, attorney who made the public records request to the University of Washington. “Instead of protecting the public health, the FDA has been allowing the drug companies to pay for a seat at a small table where all the rules were written.”
Yeah. That’s not cool. But it’s also not rare. A Harvard study in medical ethics claims that the FDA is institutionally corrupt and currently incapable of ensuring public safety. And how does the FDA respond? By monitoring and censuring whistleblowers within its own ranks. Now why would they need to do that? Do they have so much to hide? Yes. Yes, they do.
Countless numbers of whole food supplements and alternative cancer treatments (all of which have shown great promise in independent studies) have been regulated out of existence by the FDA while extremely expensive synthetic products created by Big Pharma have been shoved through the regulation process and granted de facto standard acceptance in allopathic medicine.
Have you ever wondered why chemotherapy and radiation are pushed harder than hemp oil, whole food vitamin E, or phytonutrients? The former are more expensive. And Big Pharma doesn’t make the latter. Ever wondered why marijuana is a Schedule I drug, but crystal meth is Schedule II? Here’s a hint: it’s the same reason why every energetic kid under the sun gets diagnosed with ADHD and is then subscribed what amounts to meth or some other brain-damaging psychotropic drug made by Big Pharma. Thanks for protecting us, FDA!
I know I should apply Hanlon’s Razor here, but I also don’t hold it against countless conspiracy theorists who are convinced that the civil government is actually trying to kill us. There has been much talk about the anti-vaccine movement and the rise of homeopathic medicine alongside the blossoming of the local/whole/organic food movement. This should not surprise anyone. The bottom line is that people just don’t trust the civil government anymore. We just don’t trust that the FDA actually has our best interest at heart. And why should we? They have a terrible track record.
Recently, an article in the journal Pediatrics relayed a trend that I’m sure surprised many pediatricians: the pro-vaccine ad campaigns sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health were actually backfiring—parents that did not want to vaccinate were even less likely to vaccinate after seeing emotionally-charged ads about the benefits of vaccination or the costs of non-vaccination. In other words, parents who were already against vaccination viewed the pro-vaccination ads as propaganda.
Many people were puzzled by this phenomenon of increased distrust. I was not. The article went on to make this dazzlingly ignorant claim:
Corrections of misperceptions about controversial issues like vaccines may be counterproductive in some populations. The best response to false beliefs is not necessarily providing correct information. [Emphasis mine.]
Wow. Just wow. I really don’t think that is the conclusion to be made from this study. If “correct information” is unhelpful, what does that mean the civil government will provide instead? No information or misinformation? But that is what led to the current scenario in the first place. The fact is that most anti-vaccination parents (and also most true conservatives) already don’t trust the FDA, the National Institute of Health, the CDC, or any other federal agency charged with guarding our well-being. Why don’t we trust them? Because they keep lying to us or telling us only half the story. Because they’re in bed with big corporations. Because they reject dissenting opinions off hand. Because they are afraid of competition. Etc. We don’t trust them for good reason.
It’s not that correct information is bad. It’s that we don’t trust that what they are giving us is actually correct information. They shot that horse a long time ago.
So, no. I am not encouraged that Google is now partnering with the FDA to make sure that the FDA’s protected vendors don’t fall off the gravy train. And let’s not forget that Google was basically forced into this position. Check out this vague paragraph from the National Journal article:
[Google] previously allowed Canadian sellers to advertise through its AdWords program, targeting American consumers and illegally importing drugs into the U.S. A settlement was reached in 2011, in which Google forfeited $500 million and agreed to a set of measures to ensure reporting of counterfeit drug sales to the federal government.
Five hundred million dollars to whom? It certainly didn’t go back to the illegal pharmacies. Hmmm. I wonder who got that money … Could it be, I don’t know, the FDA perhaps? So now Google is being further strong-armed into more intrusive agreements to protect the FDA and its Big Pharma partners. And the message is: help the FDA keep Big Pharma in the black, or you will be keeping us in the black with your own “forfeited” revenue.
What is troubling is that “unregulated” drugs and alternative medicines are often cheaper and more effective than what the paid shills at the local ER regularly prescribe. There are obviously exceptions to this, but consumers and individuals generally do a pretty good job of determining this for themselves in an unregulated environment. Word gets around. Need an example? Well, take recreational drugs. Drug dealers that sell unsafe drugs or “bunk” get a reputation for this, and they lose “business.” Dark web sites like The Silk Road have proven how effective “yelping” is to regulate service even in realms that are completely outside the purview of government regulation. And “regulated” drugs, even when used “properly,” regularly kill people—my wife’s brother died from the FDA-approved Fentanyl patch. Nothing indicated he was abusing it. The patch was just not safe. Guess that $25,000-a-pop seat at the painkiller table really paid off for Big Pharma. Didn’t work out so well for us, though.
This situation is disgusting. Like so many agencies in the civil government that purport to “protect” you, the FDA is actually doing the opposite. We are controlled by bureaucracies populated by employees we don’t elect. Until that situation ends, we are in the same scenario as the original Revolutionary patriots. We are taxed to support these agencies, but we have no representation in them. No taxation without representation! End the Fed. End CPS. End the FDA. End the EPA. End the DEA. End the alphabet soup shadow government that actually calls the shots in the US.