ugust 23, 2013
Crisis: Harvard - Pharmacy and corruption, Jarvis, Reich
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

Prev- crisis -Next

1. Institutional Corruption and Pharmaceutical Policy
2. As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama
3. Private Gain to a Few Trumps Public Good for the Many
About ME/CFS


Today there are just three or four pieces that I link to (that are not by me) and one of these is about pharmacology and institutional corruption.

In fact, I have a special interest in this topic, since I am ill now since 35 years, and am almost totally without help (but I do have a good GP), but this as well is part of the crisis, as was well explained by me here:
I set it apart, because this is an important file. Also, you will not find it elsewhere.

The other two linked files will be interesting to more people, simply because few people are ill, and indeed because Jeff Jarvis' disgust with Obama may find a rather wide appeal, and I also hope it does. And the final linked file is by Robert Reich, who agrees with my diagnosis of yesterday (very probably without having read it or knowing of my existence): the many poor in the U.S. get poorer so that the few rich get richer - and this has been going on a long time.

1. Institutional Corruption and Pharmaceutical Policy 

As I said in my introduction, the first file today is about corruption and  pharmacology:
You should not take this lightly, for this is from a Harvard symposium, and indeed I will copy the first two paragraphs of the introduction, in the hope this will help them to find more readers:

The goals of pharmaceutical policy and medical practice are often undermined due to institutional corruption — that is, widespread or systemic practices, usually legal, that undermine an institution’s objectives or integrity. The pharmaceutical industry’s own purposes are often undermined. In addition, pharmaceutical industry funding of election campaigns and lobbying skews the legislative process that sets pharmaceutical policy. Moreover, certain practices have corrupted medical research, the production of medical knowledge, the practice of medicine, drug safety, and the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of pharmaceutical marketing.

As a result, practitioners may think they are using reliable information to engage in sound medical practice while actually relying on misleading information and therefore prescribe drugs that are unnecessary or harmful to patients, or more costly than equivalent medications. At the same time, patients and the public may believe that patient advocacy organizations effectively represent their interests while these organizations actually neglect their interests.

As it happens, there is an enormous amount of corruption in modern medicine, and most of it arrived from 1980 onwards, indeed as regulations disappeared. I know most about psychiatry, which I now think is a deeply corrupt and quite dangerous pseudoscience (and I am a philosopher of science and a psychologist, so I should have some relevant knowledge), where there are few legitimate practitioners, but it is also true for medicine at large, especially because pharmaceutical companies have changed the rules for publishing, and control what gets published, and indeed often write it.

But yes... it's true this will be of interest mostly for people who are qualified with a medical or psychological degree. Even so, it is important (medical/ pharmaceutical corruption make many billions each year) - and in fact the papers are freely available, as they should be, but often are not.

Also, these are papers by academics, and the symposium is endorsed by part of the staff of Harvard.

2.  As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama

Then there is an excellent article by Jeff Jarvis, who is a Democrat, who voted for Obama (unlike George Carlin, who never voted, like me, but I am also not an American):

Here are the first four paragraphs:

What are you thinking, Mr President?

Is this really the legacy you want for yourself: the chief executive who trampled rights, destroyed privacy, heightened secrecy, ruined trust, and worst of all, did not defend but instead detoured around so many of the fundamental principles on which this country is founded?

And I voted for you. I'll confess you were a second choice. I supported Hillary Clinton first. I said at the time that your rhetoric about change was empty and that I feared you would be another Jimmy Carter: aggressively ineffectual.

Never did I imagine that you would instead become another Richard Nixon: imperial, secretive, vindictive, untrustworthy, inexplicable.

There's also this:
No, I think it is this: secrecy corrupts. Absolute secrecy corrupts absolutely.
And Jeff Jarvis ends with eight passionate paragraphs about what Obama could do, all quite justified, and all quit reasonable.

I am afraid Obama will do none of these things, because I am afraid that I have concluded he is a fraud: He is great as a liar and as a deceiver, and hardly exists as a public servant.

But it must be bitter to find you have elected this man in office - though I agree that voting for McCain or Romney hardly was a more reasonable option.

That indeed is one of the major problems of the present: there are almost only politicians who deceive you, with lies from the left or with lies from the right, that they did not write themselves either, but that were written by their public relation propagandists, and that were written not with the end of ever being practiced, but with the end of deceiving the electorate.

See my
3. Private Gain to a Few Trumps Public Good for the Many

Finally today, here is a link to another column by Robert Reich:

Here are its paragraphs three to five, that are quite important - in any case, for anyone thinking about society, and not just for this column I quote it from - and are not seen or are totally denied by very many who fell for or who intentionally made the propaganda of the rich few:

A society — any society —- is defined as a set of mutual benefits and duties embodied most visibly in public institutions: public schools, public libraries, public transportation, public hospitals, public parks, public museums, public recreation, public universities, and so on.

Public institutions are supported by all taxpayers, and are available to all. If the tax system is progressive, those who are better off (and who, presumably, have benefitted from many of these same public institutions) help pay for everyone else.

"Privatize" means "Pay for it yourself." The practical consequence of this in an economy whose wealth and income are now more concentrated than at any time in the past 90 years is to make high-quality public goods available to fewer and fewer.

Quite so! There is - especially for a Reichian column, that tends to be brief - considerably more, but it ends thus:
We’re losing public goods available to all, supported by the tax payments of all and especially the better-off. In its place we have private goods available to the very rich, supported by the rest of us.
I cannot but agree.
[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, that the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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