Tag Archives: Big Pharma

Attorney Tells All: How the U.S. Courts Shield Big Pharma from Liability

By Shane Ellison, The People’s Chemist

It’s not easy to sue Big Pharma.  But, legal firm Baum Hedlund has been doing it for years.  Unfortunately, as pharmaceutical deceit and side-effects grow, it’s getting exponentially more difficult. After all, using prescription drugs as prescribed is the top killer in the USA.

I reached out to attorney Michael Baum to get a behind-the-scenes look at how this growing monster is shielded from liability by our court system.  Baum generously agreed to share his candid insights.  If you or a loved one are taking prescription meds — make sure you read this interview closely.

     Michael L. Baum

TPC #1: Does the court system protect the pharmaceutical industry from liability? If so, how?

Mr. Baum: Yes. The court system has made it very expensive for claims to be made against pharmaceutical companies for injuries. For instance, drug lawsuits require expert testimony from a person with a related PhD and/or MD level education. Otherwise, the case may be thrown out before going to trial.

This makes suing drug companies pricey because the experts charge high hourly rates to offset the “cost” of going up against the same entities that pay for grants, lucrative industry jobs and coveted academic positions.

Furthermore, many judges now have gate-keeping authority to reject cutting-edge science that goes against the status-quo — what the rest of the scientific community “believes.” Drug companies are able to foster “established beliefs” with hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing aimed at physicians, medical journals, academic opinion leaders, and professional organizations of scientists.  Once those marketed messages become pervasive, use of the drug becomes the standard of care. So overcoming that impression is like convincing a court the emperor is not wearing new clothes, which can be very difficult.

TPC #2: What are the ramifications of this conflict, on the average U.S. citizen?

Mr. Baum: The expense itself can make bringing an individual case prohibitive. We now have to combine cases to spread the cost. Unfortunately, courts (and legislative actions) have whittled away using these class actions for drug injuries. They now say that each person’s damage is unique and not common across a class, even if they suffer the same injury, e.g. a heart attack.

Combining many claimants into lawsuits is still possible, but it requires enough similarly injured people to justify a consolidated action. Finding lawyers qualified and willing to take on the detailed investigation and pay out the expense of engaging experts is itself a big hurdle. Drug companies can afford to make lawsuits long and difficult, so financing such litigation with qualified, available lawyers can be a barrier to an average U.S. citizen pursuing a drug case.

There’s also the pill-popping culture that causes an additional barrier. Many injuries occur after a person has been prescribed a number of drugs. Separating out one drug’s effect from another adds another level of complication. Thus, many law firms and courts will reject cases unless it is clear that the likely culprit is one particular drug.

TPC #3: If a drug has been proven ineffective and dangerous in a court of law, why is it still on the market? Continue reading

Dollars for Docs

FIND OUT IF YOUR DOCTOR IS ON THE ‘TAKE’!

By Charles Ornstein, Lena Groeger, Mike Tigas, and Ryann Grochowski Jones, ProPublica. Updated December 13, 2016

Pharmaceutical and medical device companies are now required by law to release details of their payments to a variety of doctors and U.S. teaching hospitals for promotional talks, research and consulting, among other categories. Use this tool to search for general payments (excluding research and ownership interests) made from August 2013 to December 2015.

Visit ProPublica’s Dollars for Doctors and look him or her up!

Unfortunately, they aren’t required to disclose research and ownership interests, which would reveal even more conflicts of interest.

 

Are Your Medications Safe?

THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION IS NOT PROTECTING US FROM DANGEROUS PHARMACEUTICALS!

By Charles Seife, www.slate.com
February 9, 2015

Why would the FDA let claims that have been undermined by fraud appear on drug labels?

Agents of the Food and Drug Administration know better than anyone else just how bad scientific misbehavior can get. Reading the FDA’s inspection files feels almost like watching a highlights reel from a Scientists Gone Wild video. It’s a seemingly endless stream of lurid vignettes—each of which catches a medical researcher in an unguarded moment, succumbing to the temptation to do things he knows he really shouldn’t be doing. Faked X-ray reports. Forged retinal scans. Phony lab tests. Secretly amputated limbs. All done in the name of science when researchers thought that nobody was watching.

That misconduct happens isn’t shocking. What is: When the FDA finds scientific fraud or misconduct, the agency doesn’t notify the public, the medical establishment, or even the scientific community that the results of a medical experiment are not to be trusted. On the contrary. For more than a decade, the FDA has shown a pattern of burying the details of misconduct. As a result, nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses. The FDA has repeatedly hidden evidence of scientific fraud not just from the public, but also from its most trusted scientific advisers, even as they were deciding whether or not a new drug should be allowed on the market. Even a congressional panel investigating a case of fraud regarding a dangerous drug couldn’t get forthright answers. For an agency devoted to protecting the public from bogus medical science, the FDA seems to be spending an awful lot of effort protecting the perpetrators of bogus science from the public.

Much of my research has to do with follies, foibles, and fraud in science, and I knew that the FDA wasn’t exactly bending over backward to correct the scientific record when its inspectors found problems during clinical trials. So as part of my investigative reporting class at New York University, my students and I set out to find out just how bad the problem was—and how much important information the FDA was keeping under wraps.

The silence is unbroken even when the FDA itself seems shocked at the degree of fraud and misconduct.

If it doesn’t work, stop doing it!

This includes supporting non-profit organizations that have failed to achieve their goals . . .  for decades!

By AL Whitney © copyround 2017
Permission is granted for redistribution if linked to original and AntiCorruption Society is acknowledged.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has been around since 1924. They claim they have done research that has saved millions of lives. This is a questionable claim however as they are now promoting ideas that are sacrificing millions of lives. They promote the myth that high cholesterol is the cause of cardiovascular disease and dangerous statin drugs need to be ingested to control it.  See: How statin drugs really lower cholesterol and kill you one cell at a time by Hannah Yoseph, MD. This falsehood has even been incorporated into most cardiac rehabilitation programs across the country.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has been around since 1913 and according to leading cancer expert, Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, cancer rates have increased dramatically while the organization continues to promote radiating breasts with mammograms and sickening patients with toxic unsuccessful chemotherapy. He exposed this corrupt organization in his book National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest. See: National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society skewered in new book by leading cancer expert

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) was established in 1982. Their stated goals were to improve the safety of vaccines and secure informed consent protections in the United States. Neither goal has been achieved after 35 years of effort. In fact, in 2017 there are more dangerous vaccines being inflicted on the unsuspecting and uninformed population than ever before and drug stores are now vaccinating an unwary public while intentionally withholding information about vaccine side effects and adverse reactions – information they readily have at their finger tips.

Do these three failures have anything in common? Are non-profits neglecting to target the real culprit? Are they serving the purpose of controlled opposition?

The answer is YES to all three questions!

Big Pharma is the common enemy that is sickening us all! Continue reading

Patient’s right to informed dissent

MIGHT HAVE TO BE DECLARED . . . IN WRITING!

By AL Whitney © copyround 2017
Permission is granted for redistribution if linked to original and AntiCorruption Society is acknowledged.

Last January 2017 a close family relative suffered a serious medical emergency requiring hospitalization. His condition was so critical his kidneys shut down. While in the hospital he was given extremely potent drugs in an attempt to stop life threatening abnormal heart beats. A week later his wife received a letter from his cardiologist’s office informing of the need to monitor his liver function via blood tests after his release. The drug he was receiving that required monitoring was Amiodarone.

We researched Amiodarone online and were shocked by what we discovered.

Amiodarone had been approved by the FDA WITHOUT ANY clinical trials.[1] In fact, the FDA had issued an alert in 2005 warning that it could cause severe (even lethal) pulmonary and or liver conditions and that it could worsen the arrhythmias it was being used to treat.[2] My relative’s cardiologist HAD NOT disclosed these all important facts to him or to his family. The drug was continued even though his chest x-rays revealed that he had newly developed pulmonary “infiltrates”, a lowered oxygen saturation level and was experiencing bouts of shortness of breath. When I informed my sick relative of these side effects, he discontinued the Amiodarone himself.

Then in February the same close family relative developed a post surgical blood clot. His doctor asked him to choose a blood thinning drug. Here are the choices he was given. They were written on the white board in his hospital room:

By offering him three choices, the physician put both the decision and the liability onto him. The fact that both Xarelto & Eliquis have a common side effect of increasing blood creatinine – when his poorly functioning kidneys were already causing his creatinine level to be abnormally high – was neither considered nor revealed. If his choice resulted in his death, it could be said that he had been fully informed (which he had not), had consented (had chosen), and was therefore personally responsible for the outcome.

As the info provided to him by his physician was sketchy at best and he was in the hospital without access to detailed information about these drugs, I did the investigation for him. After reviewing the information I gave him, he chose Coumadin as it was the only one of the three with an anecdote – Vitamin K – and the only one without risk of increased damage to his already injured kidneys.

[My relative took the Coumadin for 10 weeks. Fortunately, he had no new blood clots, no incidence of bleeding, and his creatinine level did not worsen.]

While the American Hospital Association claims that all patients have the right to “informed consent”[3], they don’t disclose that the patient must inform himself of the benefits and risks prior to consenting or dissenting. This lack of reliable information regarding treatment risks also occurs across the country when it comes to vaccines and their many potential (even life threatening) adverse reactions. Continue reading