The Pharma Bulls are Loose, and it’s the End of American Democracy
A free and open market is a conservative’s dream. Laissez-faire policies mean freedom of markets to explore, and evolve. Competition, the argument goes, drives innovation, and innovation means better goods and services for consumers. The natural checks and balances of supply & demand provide brakes on runaway aggregation of wealth, and all stakeholders – including investors, workers, consumers, producers – can live in a naturally harmonious system. Sure, there are losers, but that’s because there are winners – and the best survive – and this includes individuals in each of these categories.
Unless, of course, the evolution that occurs – and the innovations that occur – by design somehow manages to short-circuits the natural checks & balances that keep the market from ballooning. To make sure that doesn’t happen, and the help the economy get back on its feet, Keynsian mild interventions have been imagined to help sweeten soured economies.
Anti-monopoly policies have been invoked whenever “big business” has overstepped a certain boundary of control. That line in the sand has, traditionally, been recognizable by three features: mass accumulation of wealth, mass accumulation of influence, and the use of that influence to effect even more accumulation of both.
The US Government, acting in the interest of the people, has both a stick, and a carrot, to coerce and cajole the ever unrepentant free market back into a form that resembles a system that honors the egalitarian spirit infused in the very foundations our democracy.
We saw the stick when the industrialist Robber Barons of the last Century were seen to have grown too big for anyone’s comfort. Bell Telephone’s neat monopoly held the American public hostage, and the enforcement of anti-trust laws brought about competition, and, some argue, many of the key innovations in electronics that has led to the information age.
We saw the carrot when with the Great Recession of 2008, when, through the spread of a practice of microabuses led to toxic debt salads, which drew massive cumulative losses of investments tied to banks – and the steady downward spiral of real estate values that resulted threatened to bring America’s banks to their ginormous, too-big-to-fail knees. I actually wrote to then Secretary of State Paulsen on the Friday before his Monday meeting with the banks because I suspected his carrot would not be very sweet. I was right – he forced banks that did not need a bail-out to drink from the Kool-Aid to legitimize the debt. By including winners in with the potential losers, the bail-out could never be said to be a total failure. I even suggested that the Fed loan money to banks in amounts inversely proportionate to the rate at which they were willing to lend to consumers. Because Paulsen did not, there was a 4-5 month lending freeze after the bail-outs.
Fast forward now to 2015. What kind of economy do we have? The biggest of the big businesses, Pharmaceuticals, have figured out a few key strategies similar to both the Robber Barons and to the microabuses of the 2000’s. They pull in profits beyond the comprehension of most Americans – and yet investment is way down. This is an odd combination – profits not driven by investment. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich attributes this in his new book, Saving Capitalism, to fluctuations in Skill-based technical change (SBTC) economics. As a somewhat insider in biomedicine, biomedical research, and as an inventor of a new type of investment market, I thought I would take a stab at describing how, in today’s American economy, companies like the biggest in Pharma can pull off this hat trick. The key ingredients turn out to be very, very costly:
- Use of Key Opinion Leaders to break the rules on marketing. Key Opinion Leaders are entitled to make whatever claims they care to make, warranted or not by research leading to FDA policy. In my forthcoming book, “Cures vs. Profits: Successes in Translational Research” I describe on particularly egregious abuse of the truth by a Key Opinion Leader who oversaw the destruction of a very promising academic career of a researcher and clinician who first showed — in 1995 — that ADHD was overdiagnosed. Nothing is beyond the pale for some Key Opinion Leaders. They are recognized as such by Pharmaceutical companies, by the way, not by some egalitarian process of being vetted by one’s peers. It seems at times that the only qualification required for being a Key Opinion Leader is being willing to stretch, bend, ignore, hide, and obfuscate the truth.
- Abuse of Off-Label Prescriptions. The use of one drug for another ailment is allowed. Off-label prescriptions use has led to the widespread use of drugs such as Ritalyn and Adderall to “treat” ADHD – that’s right – their use in these capacities are not based on FDA-approval after clinical trials showing long-term safety or efficacy. The topic of ADHD overdiagnosis takes up nearly ¼ of “Cures”, and a good portion of it describes the drugging of our elderly in nursing homes, and what one nurse has done to end inappropriate treatment of that population not just off-label, but without the legally required script.
- Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Marketing. Manipulation of demand and supply means complete market ownership by the producers. Pharma invents new diseases and hammers away at consumer’s minds with propaganda on how better their lives will be if they tell their doctors. Flowery music and attractive people smiling are used to sedate the mind as we are informed of the deadly side effects of ineffective drugs we do not need for conditions that do not exist.
- Ownership of the Legislative Branch of Government.Limits on campaign donations kept corporations at bay. Now the Office typically goes to the highest bidder. Not a single other Congressman acted on Rep. Bill Posey’s very public deposition of CDC Whistleblower Dr. William Thompsons’ confessions that he and others at the CDC committed fraud in numerous studies on the link between vaccines and autism. This topic is explored in depth in “Cures”, and more thoroughly, with the nearly complete transcripts of the recordings of Dr. Thompson’s revelations, in the book “Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Fraud at the CDC” (Skyhorse Publishing).
- Ownership of the Media. No media outlet has touched the CDC Whistleblower story for fear of losing their #1 source of marketing revenue. The exception is Ben Swann. The Altermedia has done a much more thorough job of covering the story.
- The Utter Corruption of Government Regulatory Agencies. I used to absolutely bristle (and still do) at the idea that a Senator or Congressman could, after working for years to arrange a long-term, immense no-bid contract with a defense industry corporation then depart public service to a cushy job at the same corporation they helped make rich. The US FDA and the US CDC were both founded to protect the people of the United States from ineffective and unsafe treatments (US FDA) and from serious, life-threatening diseases (US CDC). It has been said that there is a “revolving door” between Pharma, the US FDA and the US CDC: the same post-government ‘rewards’ await those in the CDC who have worked to insure bewildering economic success. The current push for complete vaccination is completely unnecessary from a public health perspective. While vaccines must be updated to keep up with evolution (#ebolaevolves), herd immunity already exists for most childhood diseases – and, when and where it does not, these childhood diseases are rarely life-threatening. The only thing that 100% vaccination can accomplish is higher revenues for Pharma. If you’re reading this, and you’re an American citizen, you “know” that there is “no link” between vaccines and autism. Ask yourself why you believe that. Then actually look into the research studies that have been done that find “no link”. I assure you, especially in light of Dr. Thompson’s findings, there is something rotten in Denmark (Insiders, allow yourself that chuckle. It’s been a long fight, forgive my levity). I’ve pitched on this topic elsewhere. For now, I’m content to say that there is a dire need to rapidly identify biomarkers of susceptibility to neurotoxins in vaccines, thimerosal must be completely abandoned for all vaccines, including those we ship overseas, and that vaccines must be formulated without aluminum adjuvant (e.g., with Virus-Like Particles).
- Ergo, Corrupted Policies and Codified Corruption. It goes without saying that #6 leads to #7. However, the corrupted policies now include some well worth mentioning: the FDA will now approve drugs that are nearly as good as (i.e., slightly worse than) available treatments (as opposed to requiring that newer drugs are demonstrably superior). And the requirement of long-term efficacy & safety studies is all but ignored, without repercussion. The conscription of law-making via corporate donations means that the voices of American citizens are drowned out by dollars. We must fix this and limit campaign donations once more.
- Communicating to Fix Prices Through the Market.Milton Friedman held the position that monopoly mattered only to the extent that actual market behavior varied from the predictions of simple supply-and-demand analysis. Drug prices are priced on what the market will bear, not in a manner designed to compete. I review this problem thoroughly in the Preface of “Cures”. This occurs when one believes that the way to compete is not to sell more units via superior product or by competitive pricing, but instead, to make more money by any means necessary. When they enter a market with a new drug, they price it based on what the market will bear — not in a manner designed to outdo their competition. The result is runaway price increases — effective price-fixing, per product. It’s really enough to piss one off.
- They Own the Judicial Branch of Government.Litigation for vaccine-induced injuries, including neurological injuries that lead to a diagnosis of autism, are restricted to an “Office of Special Masters” “Vaccine Court”, a special federal court in which settlements for injuries are not paid by Pharma, but rather from an aggregate fund from a small tax collected on each and every vaccine. Pharma therefore has no concern over liability for damages done to the population. Findings of vaccine-induced autism are rare – and the tortuous logic used by the Special Masters to justify their findings of damages for symptoms of autism, but not autism itself, is ludicrous. There is a year-long waiting list and a statute of limitations on vaccine injuries — these two factors must change.
Pharma’s success in all of these areas has rendered our American democracy into nothing less than an overtly fascist (corporatist) state. The silence of Congressional Representatives and the media are particularly egregious. Pharma is now writing laws that allow them to do things that the FDA even as late as 2010 would never let them get away with. I shudder to think that I may have had something to do with their boldness. In “Cures”, I recount how I once told, in plenary session, a hundred or so Pharma CEO’s, CIO’s, and Pharma research scientists to ‘fire their current lawyers, or make them your lobbyists’ in reference to seeking legal, temporary monopoly for discovered cancer prophylaxes and treatments in naturally occurring compounds due to their reluctance to enter the market with naturally occurring compounds.
I’ll say it first: we no longer live in a democracy. We live in a fascist Pharmatopic Republic.
The saddest part about living in this fascist state is that most people in America are not even aware of this new reality. In fact, in the public shaming of those who want safe vaccines, the American public is an unwitting victim of mass propaganda – and those doing the shaming are analogous to jack-booted thugs. Those in the blogosphere resort immediately to ad-hominem attacks at the first hint of logic and rational discourse (see comments, below). Even asking a question on vaccine safety makes one suddently “anti-vax”. (Disclosure: Both of my sons are fully vaccinated. I draw the line at HPV.)
The ‘party-line’ is black and white: ‘vaccines do not cause autism’. That’s a remarkably rare statement in biomedicine — it claims absolute truthiness — without exception. Such unqualified generalizations are nearly always wrong. The amount of misinformation spewing forth from the US CDC on everything from Ebola to vaccines is astonishing to anyone with slightly more than a passing familiarity with biomedical research. See “Ebola: An Evolving Story” for some jaw-dropping facts about wanton disinformation campaigns from the CDC (no mutations, 99.99% similar to Zaire, both absolutely incorrect), and the disconnect between public health policy and the peer-reviewed research on Ebola. And see the reading lists on aluminum neurotoxicity I have assigned to Dr. Paul Offit, one of the most misleading men in America on the science of vaccine safety. Vaccines do, indeed, lead to encephalopathy, seizures, brain fog, encephalitis, autoimmune disorders. It’s time to stop pretending we don’t know this.
We cannot afford the vaccine injuries that are ever-accumulating in severity and number. I will continue to vote, although I doubt that any of the candidates in either party will take on Pharma. Even if they wanted to, I doubt that anyone in the Office of the President of the United States could do anything to change these realities. Bernie Sanders is aware of these issues, and I hope that if he is elected, he will give help those in the Senate and in Congress find the will to come forward and state the obvious: the US government has been overrun by Pharma. These issues, however, remain notably absent from his platform.
I hope all of my academic colleagues who know the truth about the sorry state of vaccine safety research will come out of the shadows, and into the light, and speak their minds. I will continue to work on issues like educating Editors of journals that publish vaccine safety research of the serious misgivings about the studies they have published, in hopes that they may find the need to launch a formal inquiry given the scale and the scope of the impact of vaccines on public health.
To join me in this, you can either donate to the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, or, if you are a scientist or doctor of any kind, consider co-signing the Expression of Concern being mailed to 40 journals that publish vaccine safety research. These 40 journals will also be receiving copies of two books: “Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Fraud at the CDC”, and “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak”, courtesy Skyhorse Publishing and via your donation (to cover shipping & handling).
Don’t get me wrong – I love America. I don’t even mind profit. But it should be fair profit, won honestly by a combination of hard work and ethical economic practices. The American public has been bamboozled by shamwizards (a term I coin in “Cures”), and they have stolen our mantle. The only hope is that enough of us still have sufficient morality, and integrity of character to reinstate a free market. Integrity of character is people doing the right thing, even though it’s the hard thing to do. Doctors must actually study the vaccine safety science, not just ape the talking points of the corrupt CDC. Patients must insist on products that do not contain neurotoxins. School nurses must push back on demands of treating students for ADHD – they must become patient advocates for each and every child for which a script was sought after a diagnosis by teacher or parent. Nurses who know better must push back on mandatory vaccination – and do the doctor’s job of first doing no harm. Psychiatrists must study and apply the exclusionary criteria for children whom they have been referred for a pre-considered diagnosis, and refuse to provide such a diagnosis when exclusionary principles apply. Researchers must follow the logical result that their biomedical studies yield, even when they go against formal policies. The CDC can no longer be trusted with vaccine research – we must wrest it from them and put it in the hands of five research independent academic research organizations – three by lottery and two by competitive contract – so the results are shown to generalize.
There are many players that can make a difference. The question is: will they? Will you?
Any biomedical researcher, medical doctor, health care professional who knows that vaccines with aluminum adjuvant can cause neurotoxicity, and who is aghast at the corruption at the CDC, and the clear violations and breaches of ethics in vaccine safety research (evidenced most clearly via recent whistleblowers from the CDC and Merck), who would like to step forward and be part of the sea change that is needed to put objectivism back into vaccine safety research, please support IPAK (The Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge), in our first IPAK Issue Focus Fundraiser. We are sending 40 Statements of Concerns to 40 biomedical research journals that have published papers showing no association between vaccine and autism. All journals that have published papers by people named by Dr. William Thompson as complicit in vaccine safety research fraud, and the Office of the Attorney General, are being notified. We are also sending, as part of our Expression of Concern, and courtesy Skyhorse Publishing, one copy each of two books:“Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak” and “Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC” to the Editors and Editors-in Chief of these 40 journals. Editors of journals are compelled to act upon such Statements of Concern. So far, 8 packages have been sent. You can help by signing the Expression of Concern, and by donating to the cause at ipaknowledge.org. If you are a professional, your signature, degree and affiliation will carry much weight.
It’s time to stop acting as though we don’t know about aluminum neurotoxicity, and it’s time we demand advances in research to make vaccines safe.
James Lyons-Weiler, PhD
Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge is a 501(c)3 Pure Public Charity
Dr. Lyons-Weiler is available for speaking engagements. Contact email@example.com
Update: As expected, within minutes of this post, the ad hominem attacks by nameless, faceless individuals on my character began. However, there is no need to engage in a shouting match online, and I do not feel compelled to defend my credentials. The CDC’s vaccine safety research program is the thing in question. As I continue to wade through some 1,300 peer-reviewed research studies on autism, I can affirm that the black and white public policies, as stated by the CDC and the party line by medical associations that vaccines do not cause autism are not supported by the breadth of scientific evidence. There are hundreds of research studies that demonstrate serious neurotoxicity of aluminum adjuvant, many dating back into the early 2000’s. The full breadth of that literature, including exciting developments and success in genetic-guided treatments, will be described in my upcoming book, “Genetic and Environmental Causes of Autism”.
Further, I have learned that an increasing number of pediatricians have decided to cease vaccination in autistic children after diagnosis. Due to genetics, individuals with one autistic child are at increased risk of having additional children who develop autism. It is increasingly becoming the opinion that vaccination may therefore be contraindicated in family members of autistic individuals to mitigate risk (medical exemption). This is up to the individual doctor, who can also be informed by genetic and genomic assays, with follow-up biochemical testing to confirm specific disrupted pathways. Individuals may wish to share the literature on aluminum neurotoxicity with their doctor to help them afford their patients with their right to informed consent.
There is nothing special about vaccines that make them implausible as one of many sources of trouble for the brain during early development. Even Dr. DeStefano, subject of an ongoing inquiry at the CDC for potential vaccine research fraud (and cover-up of said fraud), has admitted that vaccines may cause autism in a subset of people. Let’s stop bickering and name-calling and get to the important work of studying ways of using the vast amount of information on genes & proteins involved in autism as biomarkers of risk indicators, and as guides to personalized medicine. Castigation of professionals (and by this I do not mean myself, I mean Pediatricians) who know full well that vaccines cause autism must stop. We must return objectivity to vaccine safety science.
#UPDATE #2 — December 9, 2015. One of the commenters (below) claimed that I was banned from DK. While it appears that I cannot post new articles, apparently I can edit this one. Positive comments have been deleted, and it surprises me. One commenter, fre33thinker, wrote:
‘And here is the comment that got deleted and my account banned from DK. I find it fascinating they would leave antagonistic comments up from all sides, but not a benign one. Wanting the thread to paint a certain picture no doubt, and that picture doesn’t include calm and rational discussion.:
“Very good article James. Back when I began to suspect vaccines weren’t completely safe and effective and started to look into it this scenario is exactly what I found. One side making clear, intelligent, logical, coherent arguments and presenting research and information. The other putting forward flimsy, inconsistent, incoherent arguments (eg bigpharma is untrustworthy, oh except when it concerns vaccines), cooked wikipedia articles, links to scienceblogs, sciencebasedmedecine, little research and mostly propaganda, abuse, bullying and constant attempts to censor and silence discussion. You reach a lot more people by being the better person that’s for sure.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and mobilising the collective to address the issue on a professional level. You have our family’s deepest gratitude, and best wishes with your endeavours.”
I have reproduced this entire article at jameslyonsweiler.com should anyone care to share their thoughts in a forum where reader’s comments are not deleted for their opinion and views.