FDA, Bush, and Republicans Attack Citizen’s Health Rights
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
The FDA reform legislation passed by the House and Senate shows just how corrupt the politics for profit system in America has become. The idea that citizens would have no right to sue a drug company when they are injured or killed by a medication is a difficult pill to swallow. Especially in light of multiple scandals, many ongoing, wherein the FDA and drug companies selectively hide important risks from the public in an effort to protect the profits of Big Pharma at the expense of human health.
The Bush administration and a majority of Republicans are beholden to the Big Pharma golden idol and are doing everything in their power to directly undermine rights of all Americans. At issue is the legal point known as preemption, which means a ruling at the federal level that preempts or supersedes rights of a citizen in state courts. The Republican Big Pharma cartel, who have been instructing the FDA on policy, have concocted a labeling scheme for drugs that says once the FDA approves a label for a drug then it is free of all legal liability – in essence blocking the rights of citizens to sue in State court.
This borders on the insane. Seldom are the risks of approved drugs known at the time of approval. The FDA has a track record of hiding safety information from the public to protect its sagging image and the profits of Big Pharma. The FDA has thousands of drugs on the market and has no clear idea of their risks. Deaths from drugs have doubled in the last five years. Big Pharma has proven consistently that it puts profits ahead of human health – even when death is a known risk.
In the current FDA reform legislation, House Democrats were barely able to negotiate a weak compromise that keeps open the right of citizens to sue, keeping the issue in a confused court system that is split on pending cases. The issue is now coming before the Supreme Court, and being Republican dominated, is likely to go the way of Big Pharma.
Meaningful FDA reform has been degraded into a profit preservation plan for Big Pharma, with truly meaningful health protection and health rights for out citizens taking a back seat.
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