Meet the new boss… same as the old boss!
President Donald Trump has EVERYONE in Washington on edge as he works feverishly to deliver on his promise to “DRAIN THE SWAMP.”
But there’s one part of the swamp that’s getting deeper in the muck and slime – one agency Trump seems to have overlooked as he makes good on his vow to end business as usual.
Instead of returning the agency to its roots… instead of putting in a new sheriff to restore order to a lawless drug industry… he’s put a Big Pharma hack in charge.
He’s picked Scott Gottlieb to become the new commissioner of the FDA.
Gottlieb is a medical doctor, which might sound like a good thing. But he’s also an industry insider with so many financial ties to the drug industry that a previous stint at the FDA during the Bush Administration was marked, in part, by how often he had to recuse himself due to conflicts of interest.
Roche… Sanofi-Aventis… Eli Lilly… Proctor & Gamble… you name it, it seems Gottlieb and his bank account have been there.
While Gottlieb had claimed he’d never use his clout to interfere with drug approval decisions from career scientists, TIME magazine uncovered two emails in 2005 that showed him doing exactly that.
One scientist told TIME the emails “really confirmed people’s worst fears that he was only going to be happy if we were acting in a way that would make the pharmaceutical industry happy.”
ScienceBlogs also reported at the time that he had “harassed” his underlings for questioning the safety of a bone drug that was ultimately NOT approved.
On the other hand, maybe we got off lucky here.
One of the other candidates in line for the job actually favored approving drugs BEFORE there’s proof they actually work, essentially turning the United States into a nation of 320 million human guinea pigs.
How crazy is THAT?
But forget who’s running the FDA for a minute. What really matters here is what this means for YOU — because obviously new drugs will continue to be approved, probably at a faster pace than ever.
And at some point, your doc will be itching to put you on one of those meds.
Slow him down.
The meds might be NEW, but the same OLD rules still apply: It’s your body, and you get the final say on what goes into it.
If your doc wants you to take some fancy new drug, don’t be impressed by the swift approval. That’s more meaningless than ever.
Tell him you want to see the evidence… including benefits AND risks… first.
You’re not a guinea pig or a piggy bank, so don’t let him or anyone else treat you like one.