Whom can you trust? We live in a particularly cunning age of corporate deception. Where the governmental organizations trusted to regulate “the bad guys” are in bed with them, yet fervently deny it in the face of mounting evidence and pressure.
Meet Robert Califf: a former professor of cardiology at Duke University School of Medicine. He has worked extensively in the medical field, including as a lead investigator for a popular (now-approved) drug that lowers cholesterol.
Lab coat? Check. University credentials? Check. Warm, friendly smile? Check!
When Robert Califf was nominated to become the next Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, he seemed to check out with flying colors. Except, for the fact, that in today’s age of medical corruption, looks may be deceiving.
The same way the FDA looks like a trustworthy organization committed to preserving public health. Robert Califf looks like someone we’d all like in charge of regulating experimental new drugs being marketed to the masses by the wildly lucrative pharmaceutical industry.
And as the New York Times reported last week:
“He has deeper ties to the pharmaceutical industry than any FDA commissioner in recent memory. In addition, some public health advocates question whether his background could tilt him in the direction of an industry he would be in charge of supervising.”
While the former commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, came from the public health field, Dr. Califf “ran a multi-million-dollar clinical research center at Duke University. The institution received more than 60 percent of its funding from industry.”
In one of Califf’s articles for the European Heart Journal, his “conflict-of-interest” section declared “financial support from more than 20 companies.”
How is it possible that the person elected to control the FDA could have all the signs of “trustworthiness”, yet be so potentially corrupt?
His professorship at Duke University School of Medicine, along with his prior experience in the FDA, would have you believe he is the man for the job. After all, we are all brainwashed to believe that without a degree, how can you be trusted to know anything?
Well, just as the FDA has become a compromised institution over the last few decades, many universities have succumbed, too. Earlier this month the University of Florida was at the center of a scandal involving one of its professors who allegedly took money/support from the biotech giant Monsanto, suggesting a conflict-of-interest.
The truth is: too often, the institutions we expect to be looking out for us, get bought off by the corporate interests we are trying to avoid. It is simply the most logical strategy that any corrupt organization would execute to win public approval, and it has worked masterfully over the years.
Robert Califf’s nomination as the new Commissioner of the FDA is exacerbated by the recent findings of two studies. The first study concluded that the FDA’s “expedited pathways” program, (which rushes new, experimental drugs to market under the presumption they’ll help sick people quicker). Offered no correlation to an increase in truly innovative drugs making it to market. These expedited drugs should not have been expedited.
The second study concluded that the FDA’s approval of “supplement indications,” drugs used for prior purposes being given additional, secondary uses, like birth control pills used to treat acne, has increased dramatically. Still, the quality of the evidence for their efficacy in other areas was based on limited data.