On Wednesday, May 25th, the Associated Press reported on a Senate Finance Committee investigation that revealed pharmaceutical drugmaker Sanofi paid two medical societies millions of dollars in contributions.
While such contributions normally wouldn’t raise too many flags, after all pharmaceutical companies are known to invest in a variety of causes and organizations, in this case the contributions implicate Sanofi in what appears to be an approach to influence supposed “medical expert” information sent to the FDA.
Influencing FDA Information
Whenever the FDA is in the process of reviewing the approval of a particular drug, public and private groups and organizations can send the FDA information and research that may be relevant to the drug that is under consideration.
In this particular case, the FDA was actively reviewing the approval of a generic, low-cost alternative to Lovenox, the brand name blood-thinner manufactured by Sanofi.
During this approval process, two medical groups – the Society of Hospital Medicine and the North American Thrombosis Forum – each submitted a letter to the FDA recommending that the agency block the approval of the generic equivalent to Lovenox.
What these two groups did not reveal to the FDA was the fact that they had each received $2 million dollars in contributions from Sanofi, the direct competitor to the generic drug under consideration.
The Senate Finance Committee revealed its findings last week, releasing a statement to the press that these two medical groups:
“…served as components of a coordinated public relations strategy by Sanofi to … prevent or delay generic alternatives to its blockbuster drug.”
Sanofi released a statement claiming that the two medical groups had brought “legitimate” medical concerns to the FDA, however the revelation that Sanofi contributed so much to the entity releasing that information represents a significant conflict of interest for the two medical groups, and significantly diminishes their credibility regarding the generic drug.
Common Practice – Says Associated Press
According to the AP, drug companies often embark on various campaigns to “slow the entry of generic drugs, including filing safety petitions with the FDA.”
One can only assume that these companies undertake the same propaganda efforts against herbal supplements that cure ailments for which branded drugs are specifically marketed.
Herbal drug companies often come under fire by the American medical community as being untested, unregulated and unsafe. However, given this latest revelation about Sanofi, one has to ask how many of those statements are influenced by backdoor payments from the branded pharmaceutical industry?Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com