It’s hard to believe, but when the government says “take this Pfizer drug OR lose your job, your rights and your house” — they are quietly also saying “trust Pfizer” — because Pfizer hold all the trial data and you are not allowed to see it.
And it’s largely the same with the other Big-Pharma companies too.
Academic journals are generally part of the problem, so it’s a shock to see one stand up for something:
The British Medical Journal
“Today, despite the global rollout of covid-19 vaccines and treatments, the anonymised participant level data underlying the trials for these new products remain inaccessible to doctors, researchers, and the public—and are likely to remain that way for years to come. This is morally indefensible for all trials, but especially for those involving major public health interventions.”
BMJ also accused pharmaceutical companies of “reaping vast profits without adequate independent scrutiny of their scientific claims,” pointing to Pfizer, whose COVID vaccine trial was “funded by the company and designed, run, analyzed, and authored by Pfizer employees.”
Right now the whole of civilization is operating on a medical model about one-degree away from drug dealers. The drugs are safe and effective and you have no right to know exactly how safe they are.
It’s almost like democracies are here to serve Pfizer?
The BMJ went on to point out that in the wake of global immunization efforts, “trust” and “transparency” are vital, noting that “Big pharma is the least trusted industry.”
“At least three of the many companies making covid-19 vaccines have past criminal and civil settlements costing them billions of dollars,” the editors said, adding that one of the companies (Pfizer), has previously “pleaded guilty to fraud.”
Will Pfizer become The Worlds Most Hated company? (A question from David E).
The Swamp has done this all before: Remember Tamiflu?
Billions of dollars were spent on a drug that no one could independently scrutinize. Even the principal authors writing studies on Tamiflu were unable to access the data.
The BMJ editors:
In the pages of The BMJ a decade ago, in the middle of a different pandemic, it came to light that governments around the world had spent billions stockpiling antivirals for influenza that had not been shown to reduce the risk of complications, hospital admissions, or death. The majority of trials that underpinned regulatory approval and government stockpiling of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) were sponsored by the manufacturer; most were unpublished, those that were published were ghostwritten by writers paid by the manufacturer, the people listed as principal authors lacked access to the raw data, and academics who requested access to the data for independent analysis were denied.1234
Funnily enough, since then, the BMJ thought they had achieved something in the battle for transparent data:
The Tamiflu saga heralded a decade of unprecedented attention to the importance of sharing clinical trial data.56 Public battles for drug company data,78 transparency campaigns with thousands of signatures,910 strengthened journal data sharing requirements,1112 explicit commitments from companies to share data,13 new data access website portals,8 and landmark transparency policies from medicines regulators1415 all promised a new era in data transparency.
Yet, all the gains vanished in a blink in 2020.
Two years later, it’s good that BMJ have finally spoken up, but where have the media been?
What about The Opposition?
Covid-19 vaccines and treatments: we must have raw data, now, MJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o102 (Published 19 January 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o102
January 22, 2022