SZ: We think our medicines are safe because they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dr. MAB: I have a big concern about the safety of medicines as long as the present processes are in place.
I have doubts whether we can say any drug is safe.
Dr. MAB: There are many steps in bringing new drugs to the market. Every step from the research, drug trials, drug approval and the drug representatives bringing the medicines to the doctor has been compromised.
During the approval process the pharmaceutical companies present data to the FDA and they have special committees that are supposed to be unbiased.
If it is a drug for high blood pressure, the committee usually consists of doctors and authorities who are specialists in blood pressure.
The problem is the FDA allows financial conflict of interest in their committee members.
This is not supposed to occur but they provide wavers to this conflict of interest even though you might be making money from this drug company.
Or you have an investment in this drug company.
Or they paid you to do research for them.
We are going to let you sit on this committee and let you say yes or no about this drug’s approved.
The FDA website states, 'FDA advisory committee members can get waivers for conflict of interest.
They can have stocks, other investments, primary employment, be a consultant, have grants or contracts, patent trademarks, royalties, be expert witnesses and teach, speak or write" for a pharmaceutical company and get a waiver. "Twenty-six percent received at least one waiver, 25 percent received multiple waivers and 32 members received 46 waivers.")'
Propublica reported that 400 advisers received $100,000 or more since 2009 and the FDA did not check for conflict of interest 31 percent of the time.)”
Diane Sawyer, ABC NEWS, announced, ‘Hundreds of doctors earned big money from drug companies.’
SZ: How long have the drug companies been doing this?
Dr. MAB: These procedures have been going on for years.
Recently the drug companies were approved to pay more money to have their drugs approved faster.
I think doctors need to take the time to do complete physicals, do the proper lab work and try to find the cause of the symptoms.
Dr. Block is the author of six books and has appeared on The Doctors, CBS' 48 Hours, CNN, Lifetime TV and the Today Show.