It's no secret I don't trust big pharma. I know the pharmaceutical industry has done some really good work and to some extent still do today. Most of the research scientists and developers of new medicines are great people and have the public good at heart. This confidence in big pharma should never be complete and without question, however. They have made many mistakes in the past and even when those mistakes are revealed they tend to ignore or deny them. They behave and litigate very similarly to the tobacco industry of past. At least today with the tobacco industry, people are well aware of the risks. They can choose to smoke or not to smoke having all the facts.
With big pharma the facts are very obscure for many medications and people with little understanding or choice just accept the doctors prescriptions and public vaccinations. Now, I'm not saying don't trust your doctor but if you are not familiar with a new medication that has not been around awhile, ask questions, research it or ask for something with a proven track record.
Today I read an article in the American Chronicle that supports my precautions. It is especially disconcerting in light that it involves last years flu vaccination debacle. I include the first and second paragraphs here and leave you the link for the rest of the story if you care.
September 07. 2010 by Christina England
GlaxoSmithKline the drug giants, have spent the last few days trying to stay off the bottom of the FTSE 100, especially after the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said that it's diabetes treatment Avandia should be pulled from sale, over concerns that it can lead to heart attacks in some patients. This came at a particularly difficult time for GlaxoSmithKline and was yet another nail in their coffin, as Pandemrix, their vaccine for the swine flu, is currently also under the magnifying glass, having been suspended by Finland, Sweden, Poland and Nepal, due to a growing number of reports of adverse reactions. Last night the UK documentary series Panorama, revealed that despite warnings that the drug Avandia should be removed from the market, millions of prescriptions for the drug were still being written every day and doctors had been ignoring the advice given, by failing to warn patients about potential safety issues. The safety trials which had been studied by the agencies approving the drug, were shown to be substandard and it was revealed that it was GSK themselves who had carried out the safety trials showing only the ones that boosted favourable results. These revelations appeared to have caused GSK to finally hit the bottom of the FTSE with a massive thud, as shares plummeted 19.5p to 1,249p. This was despite their insistence as usual that both Avandia and Pandemrix were both safe and effective.
Hopefully, the market will help to convince those at GlaxoSmithKline and other big pharma, to reexamine their disregard for safe medical trade practices. I wouldn't hold my breath though!
If you read this thank-you, if you didn't, I guess I can't blame you.
Take care of yourselves, it's the best medicine.