The influence of Pharmaceutical industry on Health Regulators in Western Countries

Comment: When I studied Medicine and for many years since, I was confident that health regulators such as the MHRA (UK) and FDA (use) were always above criticism for being influenced by the industry they are supposed to regulate. The article published in BMJ (2022) raises the fundamental question of “how can health regulators be trusted”.

For anyone who has looked at the history of Medicine since the early 20th century, it will be no surprise to see the size of the problem (billions of $$ funding regulators) and the impact this may have on decisions made to approve medications for the safety and welfare of the public.

And another sobering thought: If you were the CEO of a giant drug corporation, would you be such a fool to approve a single treatment, which leads to a long term reversal of a specific disease? Drugs fighting infection apart, for decades medicine has been promoting and prescribing medications with ’some’ transient benefits, while most chronic or auto-immune disorders are seeing a steady rise. No (financial) interest to investigate this rise means an increasingly sicklier society. Those poor and those more frail are the worst affected. Those raising concerns are ‘eliminated’.

Read From FDA to MHRA: are drug regulators for hire?