It’s being called a “scandal,” but it’s really a criminal conspiracy verging on murder
In the time it takes a western pharmaceutical company to buy a clinical trial, manipulate its results, and bully the hapless FDA into approving a new drug, professional malefactors in China can use vials of expired vaccines to build a $90 million market for themselves – twice over.
According to Time magazine, underworld conspirators based in Shandong province forged distribution channels throughout the mainland beginning in 2010. “Authorities are not sure how many people have been affected,” reports Time in their sub-headline. It takes American pharmaceutical companies 10 years, on average, to bring a new drug to market, from preliminary trials to FDA approval.
Some might object to my comparing “law-abiding” American companies to Chinese crime syndicates. To them, I would posit that the major differences between the two are the aforementioned time-to-market of products – which allows the corporations to boast of rigorous testing which does not exist, and which they constantly try to further weaken – and the veneer of lawfulness, which they maintain as they consistently try to weaken legal restrictions on their enterprises.
Perhaps the differences could be further distilled to one being more brazen and verging on murderous and the other being more hypocritical and more comfortable with criminality at a slower pace. Now, of course, I’m not saying that all pharmaceutical companies engage in criminal activity. Many do, and many more would like to, if they thought they could get away with it.
But what else can one call the sponsorship, design, and manipulation of clinical trials to conform to the drugmaker’s desired outcomes? Big Pharma knows people will end up getting sick or dying because of these cynical practices, yet they continue. It’s what I have described here in my DEADLY PRESCRIPTION blog as psychopathic greed. And isn’t that precisely what’s exhibited by the illegal vaccine traffickers in China? So, we ought not to be so quick to point fingers at Asia, when we have a different version of the same insidious malady right here in America.
Stateside, the obfuscation strategies are more complex, no doubt about that. Just today, Fortune magazine reported that Chinese authorities have arrested 37 people accused of involvement in the illegal vaccine ring. The vials, stored unrefrigerated by the alleged criminals, contained polio, rabies, chickenpox, and other vaccines. While the nation of 1.3 billion vents its rage over the breach of trust, nine Chinese pharmaceutical companies have also been implicated in the crimes.
American prosecutors, though, are hard-pressed to find a single person to charge in pharmaceutical crimes here. Pharma executives who circumvent the law in the U.S. keep themselves shielded from prosecution via sophisticated networks of surrogates.
In DEADLY PRESCRIPTION, my upcoming novel, I tell stories of criminal activity within, and related to, the $3 trillion-per-year pharmaceutical industry. They are fictionalized stories of crimes like you and I read about daily in the pages of Time, Fortune, and the New York Times.