Subject to approval: An investigation into clinical drug trials abroad

This week, we hear from two veteran investigative journalists about their findings on the way some drugs make their way into your medicine cabinet. Here’s what you need to know. Drugs are tested for safety and effectiveness in what are known as clinical trials. You might think those trials always take place under the careful scrutiny of regulators charged with ensuring that the drugs will be safe to prescribe — and that those people taking part in the trials are safe as well. But as we’ve learned, it’s time to think again.

James Steele and his colleague Donald Barlett are Pulitzer-winning investigative journalists. Reporting over a combined 90 years, they have covered everything from gaping tax loopholes to the dangers of nuclear waste to congressional favoritism of corporations over retirees. But they say when it comes to lack of accountability, there’s nothing quite like the health care industry.

 
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Comments

  • K. Griffiths

    The clinical trials story we saw on this week’s NTK does not surprise me in the slightest.  John le Carre wrote of this very subject eight years ago in THE CONSTANT GARDENER.  We know what is going on and we do nothing.  It is beyond reprehensible and beyond disgraceful.

  • Carol, RN

    It is unfortunate that “profit” is more important than the health of people. As long as greed runs this country, lives of many are at risk. The deliberate poisoning with FDA approved drugs, all for the sake of profit, shows how greed has taken over by devaluing human life. I am grateful for the investigative reporting to inform the general public as much as possible of the immoral/illegal acts of those who are suppose to be protecting our health. I still have hope that exposing these indiscretions will lead to changing the “good old boys” attitude as they look the other way for an extra dollar. It will take the mass of the general public to stand up against the FDA giant to stop this madness. 

  • william

    it is true. greed kills!

  • http://twitter.com/TheCynicalRPh Cynical Pharmacist

    We live in a corporatocracy, so profits will always trump ethics until that situation changes.

  • Doc C

    When will corporations learn that they have  greater responsibilities than a profitable bottom line to investors. Capitalism is NOT Patriotic!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Dachel/100000492400392 Anne Dachel

    This video is truly frightening considering the daily commercial mantra, “Ask your doctor if … is right for you.” In addition, this adds more doubt to the endless claims that the ever-expanding expanding vaccine schedule is safe and not connected to the epidemic increase in autism, now affecting one percent of children. The FDA fails to oversee the drugs that are regularly approved and in the case of vaccines, they even allows the manufacturers to do their own safety studies and the agency merely accepts the results. And it’s equally true that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a revolving door with the vaccine makers.Hundreds of people at the CDC have conflict waivers because they’re financially tied to the industry they’re overseeing. The last head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, a long time denier of any link between vaccines and autism, is now the head of the vaccine division at Merck. The CDC approves and promotes vaccines, plus they’re also in charge of vaccine safety. They literally have oversight over themselves.Whenever we hear about “the studies” that show no link between vaccines and autism, we never hear about the connections to the industry that can be found in each of the studies officials use. We never hear about the studies that haven’t been done. There’s never been a study comparing the health of fully vaccinated and never vaccinated children. With so many parents now afraid to vaccinate, the study group is out there. If never vaccinated kids also have a one percent autism rate, including two percent for boys, the proof would be there for all to see. No official is willing to call for such a study. The vaccination schedule has more than tripled since 1983 without a single study of the cumulative effect of so many vaccines, so soon on the health of a baby. http://njvaccinationchoice.org/docs/genrescue.pdf I would like to see Steele and Barlett expand their research and investigate the never-ending claim that there’s no evidence of harm from subjecting our children to more and more untested vaccines.Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism
    Hundreds of people at the CDC have conflict waivers because they’re financially tied to the industry they’re overseeing. The last head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, a long time denier of any link between vaccines and autism, is now the head of the vaccine division at Merck. The CDC approves and promotes vaccines, plus they’re also in charge of vaccine safety. They literally have oversight over themselves.
    Whenever we hear about “the studies” that show no link between vaccines and autism, we never hear about the connections to the industry that can be found in each of the studies officials use. We never hear about the studies that haven’t been done. There’s never been a study comparing the health of fully vaccinated and never vaccinated children. With so many parents now afraid to vaccinate, the study group is out there. If never vaccinated kids also have a one percent autism rate, including two percent for boys, the proof would be there for all to see. No official is willing to call for such a study.
    The vaccination schedule has more than tripled since 1983 without a single study of the cumulative effect of so many vaccines, so soon on the health of a baby. http://njvaccinationchoice.org/docs/genrescue.pdf I would like to see Steele and Barlett expand their research and investigate the never-ending claim that there’s no evidence of harm from subjecting our children to more and more untested vaccines.
    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Dachel/100000492400392 Anne Dachel

    REPOSTING.  SORRY THERE WAS REPETITION IN THE OTHER POST.
    This video is truly frightening considering the daily commercial mantra, “Ask your doctor if … is right for you.” In addition, this adds more doubt to the endless claims that the ever-expanding expanding vaccine schedule is safe and not connected to the epidemic increase in autism, now affecting one percent of children. The FDA fails to oversee the drugs that are regularly approved and in the case of vaccines, they even allows the manufacturers to do their own safety studies and the agency merely accepts the results. And it’s equally true that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a revolving door with the vaccine makers.
    Hundreds of people at the CDC have conflict waivers because they’re financially tied to the industry they’re overseeing. The last head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, a long time denier of any link between vaccines and autism, is now the head of the vaccine division at Merck. The CDC approves and promotes vaccines, plus they’re also in charge of vaccine safety. They literally have oversight over themselves.Whenever we hear about “the studies” that show no link between vaccines and autism, we never hear about the connections to the industry that can be found in each of the studies officials use. We never hear about the studies that haven’t been done. There’s never been a study comparing the health of fully vaccinated and never vaccinated children. With so many parents now afraid to vaccinate, the study group is out there. If never vaccinated kids also have a one percent autism rate, including two percent for boys, the proof would be there for all to see. No official is willing to call for such a study. The vaccination schedule has more than tripled since 1983 without a single study of the cumulative effect of so many vaccines, so soon on the health of a baby. http://njvaccinationchoice.org/docs/genrescue.pdf I would like to see Steele and Barlett expand their research and investigate the never-ending claim that there’s no evidence of harm from subjecting our children to more and more untested vaccines.Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism
    Hundreds of people at the CDC have conflict waivers because they’re financially tied to the industry they’re overseeing. The last head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, a long time denier of any link between vaccines and autism, is now the head of the vaccine division at Merck. The CDC approves and promotes vaccines, plus they’re also in charge of vaccine safety. They literally have oversight over themselves.

    Whenever we hear about “the studies” that show no link between vaccines and autism, we never hear about the connections to the industry that can be found in each of the studies officials use. We never hear about the studies that haven’t been done. There’s never been a study comparing the health of fully vaccinated and never vaccinated children. With so many parents now afraid to vaccinate, the study group is out there. If never vaccinated kids also have a one percent autism rate, including two percent for boys, the proof would be there for all to see. No official is willing to call for such a study.

    The vaccination schedule has more than tripled since 1983 without a single study of the cumulative effect of so many vaccines, so soon on the health of a baby. http://njvaccinationchoice.org/docs/genrescue.pdf I would like to see Steele and Barlett expand their research and investigate the never-ending claim that there’s no evidence of harm from subjecting our children to more and more untested vaccines.

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  • mikies

    Drug companies have the ethics of Al Qaeda.  The sooner people realize the game they play is not about health, its international corporate terrorism, no better than narco trafficers.  

  • Michael

    Program was very low quality.  I was really disappointed.  Need to know, normally has high quality journalis, with logical presentation of the facts.  This one had no purpose and had flawed logic.
     I don’t know where to start with my critic. Patients can come from anywhere – people are people.  Corruption and misrepresentation of data can occur anywhere.  It is xenophobic to think that this can only happen in ex-US clinical sites.

  • Anonymous

    I was very surprised to recently learn that the FDA does not have as much power to regulate drugs as I would have thought: http://michaelmaczesty.blogspot.com/2011/07/diet-remedies-are-proven-to-work-right.html