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How Vested Interest in Selling Pharmaceutical Drugs May be Having an Adverse Affect on Your Health

The major contributor to the big picture of health is the pharmaceutical company's research and development (R&D, where the making of new drugs begins. There are other research institutions outside of pharmaceutical companies, such as universities. The drug companies however, fund many of these.

In spite of all the clinical trials that go on, it is worth remembering it was reported that 106,000 died from adverse drug side effects prescribed by doctors on the advice of pharmaceutical companies in the USA. That, of course, doesn't even take into consideration the numbers that were made ill and lived, or the unreported incidents.

The public at large have no idea how a new drug therapy can be made in R&D and get through trials in a somewhat uncritical manner. We have already seen how vested commercial interest has swayed the outcome when it comes to academia. It also extends to R&D and much further, as I will explain.

From a study, made by Dr E.G Campbell et. al. it was found that advisory panels, which comprise the Institutional Revue Boards, are made up of individuals from medical faculties. Half of the advisors were consultants to pharmaceutical companies. Because of these connections, it was feared that decisions regarding post-clinical trials would be biased in favour of commercialism rather than care.

Following this, 'Health Daily News' released a news report. This was the follow up to the above study from its main author Doctor E.G Campbell who was quoted in the periodical saying: "Our revious research with faculty has shown us that heavy ties to industry can affect scientific behaviour, leading to such things as trade secrecy and delays in publishing research. It is impossible to say that similar relationships with companies could effect IRB members' activities and attitudes."

Considering the above, ABC news came up with some very interesting revelations from a survey on clinical drug trials:

It was found that if a non-pharmaceutical company funded a trial, then there would be a 50% chance of the results being considered favourable, while a pharmaceutical company would favour 90% of the results.

-Clearly this shows self-interest is operating. If clinical trials have so much at stake commercially, where self-interest can affect good science and override public protection then this questions the moral integrity of certain individuals and hinders the progress of health.

Over the recent years, governments have cut down on funding academia and research institutions. -Big Pharma steps in, with its forever increasing funding. For example, the drug industry gave two hundred and ninety two million dollars in 1981 and over two billion in 1991...not out of the goodness of its heart of course, but because of the control it could exert over these bodies.