The Peach

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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Breaking News: The (N)ational (I)nstitute of (H)o's

One day after Bush pulled his support for importation of pharmaceutical drugs, the Los Angeles Times runs this article detailing how members of the National Institute of Health (NIH), while making drug recommendations to doctors in the name of the NIH, were simultaneously working for the companies producing those drugs. According to the story, at least 530 government scientists at the NIH have taken fees, stock or stock options from biomedical companies in the last five years. Some of the more prominent prostitutes were:
Dr. H. Bryan Brewer Jr., who from 2001 to 2003 accepted about $114, 000 in consulting fees, including $31,000 from the maker of Crestor.

Dr. P. Trey Sunderland, a senior psychiatric researcher, took $508,050 in fees and related income from Pfizer Inc.

Dr. Harvey G. Klein, the NIH's top blood transfusion expert, accepted $240,00 in fees and 76,000 stock options over the last five years from companies developing blood-related products.
The Peach has been keeping a close eye on the NIH and actions by the Bush administration and feels that a scandal is brewing. Just over a week ago we reported a government analysis pointing out a flaw in the major AIDS drug being distributed in Africa under the NIH's auspices. Just days later it was discovered that the NIH's AIDS division chief, Dr. Edmund Tramont, knew of the flaw over a year before the most recent analysis was released.

Now, with the revelations about the painkillers Vioxx, Aleve and most significantly Celebrex (produced by Pfizer), it is becoming glaringly apparent that the NIH is sacrificing the safety of the American people in order to pad the pockets of their pharmaceutical pimps.

Top all of this off with the Bush administration's nixing any import of Canadian drugs because of "safety concerns," it becomes clear that there is plenty of drug-company influence going on in this government. The Peach feels that it is imperative the SCLM begin hounding the NIH and find out what drugs are being pushed based on financial influence. The Peach also feels that there must be a more concerted effort to expose what the "litigation reform" agenda actually is: a red herring.


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