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Bribery Fuels Big Pharma and The Medical Monopoly

by: PF Louis

(NaturalNews) Payola means bribery, direct and indirect. It has been discovered to permeate the music industry and politics, but allopathic devotees don't know that it affects their medicine. After all, doctors are the high priests of the mainstream medicine religion, and they should be respected even if they are shill for Big Pharma. No need for concern.

Fortunately, the Texas State Attorney is concerned now. The state attorney's office is preparing for a January 20012 trial against Jansen Pharmaceuticals and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson. Jansen is accused of contributing kickbacks and offering trips to state officials.

Jansen/Johnson & Johnson's focus on Texas state medical officials was motivated by their desire to have Risperdal, a drug for schizophrenia, approved on list of medications paid by for by the state. Of course, Jansen/Johnson & Johnson have denied wrongdoing. So a trial is necessary.

An alleged shill in Jansen's efforts may have been Dr. Stanley Self. As a part-time psychiatrist in the Texas state-run Rusk psychiatric hospital, Dr. Self earns $166,000 annually. Not bad for a part time gig with staff and quarters covered by the state.

Thanks to Big Pharma's speaking engagement payments, Dr. Self received an additional $145,000 in 2010. The Texas Department of State Services maintains that it's okay for state officials to have second jobs in the private sector as long as there are no conflicts of interest. There's the slippery soft spot.

Exploring a slippery soft spot that shouldn't exist
It's obvious that there would be conflicts of interest with one financial leg in government and the other in private industry, especially a competitive industry vying for governments to buy their products.

But in order for the Texas Attorney's Office to prove their case, they'll have to overcome a plethora of crafty book keeping and linguistic obfuscation that's meant to hide true motives.

Trips and lodging are often paid for by pharmaceutical companies to influence physicians regarding newly patented drugs. Since seminars are often conducted in vacation resort areas, Big Pharma lists those paid trips as "educational expenses." The seminars are simply infomercials for those new drugs.

Actual cash payments are made to private physicians and public health officials as "consulting fees." There have been many conflicts of interest in the medical world under the guise of "educational expenses" and "consulting fees."

Back in the 1950s the tobacco industry paid doctors and scientists to assert the old "no scientific proof" mantra regarding the health hazards of smoking. Maybe you've seen some of those "more doctors smoke Camels than any other brand of cigarettes" ads and commercials on YouTube. The AMA never complained about those.

In 2007, even the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) acknowledged concerns of unreported financial ties with pharmaceutical companies among authors whose reports were published in the journal.

This came only after Dr. Adam Urato of Tufts University had written a letter to JAMA noting that an article on antidepressants had not revealed the financial ties to the psychiatric drug industry with seven of the eight authors.

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