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Who really controls the FDA?

I’ve spilled a lot of ink on how the FDA is snuggled up in bed with Big Pharma. The agency no longer controls the industry… the industry controls the agency!

But it’s one thing for me to say it — I’m not exactly what you’d call a voice of the mainstream (and darn proud of it!).

It’s quite another when mainstream medical professionals from around the country start sounding like Jack Harrison — and yet that’s exactly what happened in a recent poll conducted by MedPageToday.

The website specializing in medical news asked a blunt question with zero wiggle room: Is the FDA in bed with the pharmaceutical industry?

Doctors, nurses and other industry insiders from across the country voted — and 70 percent of them said YES.

MedPageToday isn’t some fringe corner of the Internet. It’s as middle-of-the-road as they come, a specialized news outlet catering to people who work in medicine.

It’s so mainstream that doctors earn continuing medical education credits by reading it (CMEs, as they’re called, are used to prove docs and nurses are keeping up with the latest in mainstream medicine).

For these folks to vote 4-to-1 that the FDA is in cahoots with the drug industry speaks volumes — and is proof positive that the agency is a victim of what’s known as “regulatory capture.”

That’s when a federal agency is “captured” by the very industry it’s supposed to regulate — and in this case it’s because of the very nature of how the FDA is set up.

Much of the agency’s fees come from Big Pharma, as drug companies not only pay to get their meds through the approvals process but also pony up extra fees for faster decisions.

Entire departments depend on this money. And if you work in one of those departments, you know your position could go down the toilet next year if drug companies are unhappy with the decisions and simply stop paying those extra fees.

Why buy the service if you don’t get what you want?

So OF COURSE these folks will side with the industry — their jobs are on the line!

This isn’t getting better; it’s getting WORSE. Just a couple months back, President Barack “Opharma” nominated Dr. Robert Califf to become the new head of the FDA.

Califf’s an industry hack who runs a program funded mostly by the industry to help speed drugs through approvals.

His nomination was expected to be a slam-dunk…but a funny thing happened on the way to the FDA. Since then, his nomination has hit some roadblocks as senators question Califf’s independence.

Could that be because back in September, I urged Daily Dose readers to call their senators and demand someone independent for the post?

Well, keep up the good work — and keep up the pressure, and that means keep up the calls. Call your local state senators today and demand they vote NO on Califf.

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