Ghost in the Machine, Part 1 — Drug Safety and Media Shaped by Big Pharma

27 December 2017 —  Dr Mercola

 Story at-a-glance

  • Drug industry representatives sit on the boards of major TV and print news outlets, shaping and sometimes blocking reporting about drug safety and effectiveness
  • Academic institutions, many government agencies and NGOs are financially beholden to Big Pharma, and most academic medical centers have drug company reps on their boards
  • “Sponsored content,” also called branded or native content, is now the prevailing online advertising model making drug advertisements and Pharma messages look like real news

If you have noticed that prescription drugs are becoming more dangerous — and more expensive — you are right. As the drug industry’s influence over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increases, dangerous drugs are approved and marketed despite their clear risks to patients.

Recent examples include the aggressively promoted blood thinners Xarelto and Pradaxa which cause uncontrollable bleeding, the testosterone drug Androgel, for “Low T” linked to noncalcified plaque buildup in coronary arteries, and fluoroquinolone antibiotics. When warnings are added to these dangerous drugs or they are withdrawn, like 28 popular drugs have been, many wonder why media failed to report the safety risks while they were occurring.1

Of course, the reason is obvious. Mainstream media is essentially owned by the drug industry, so positive messages about new drugs are unfiltered Pharma messages.2 The New York Times has had on its board Schering-Plough and Eli Lilly affiliates and The Washington Post, Johnson & Johnson affiliates.3

Read the full story here…