Be vigilant. Look carefully as you approach the doctor’s clinic. If there are drug logos on his pens, pillows, and stickers all over, they are more likely to become drug advertisers than healthcare professionals.
Dr. José Baselga, a distinguished cancer researcher and the chief officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, whose studies published in the Lancet and the New England Journal, was found to receive funds from more than a dozen Pharmaceutical and Healthcare companies!
Baselga’s cancer treatment drugs were found to be tied with Pharma companies, one identified as Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb. This was revealed by the NY Times investigative report which also added that Dr. Baselga has sat with other cancer treatment companies.
Baselga’s activities were unacceptable to the American Association for Cancer Research, in which he was ironically the President, as he fail to communicate his financial connection to Big Pharma and Healthcare companies. This is a clear violation on AACR’s established rules.
The question of Legitimacy
Dr. Baselga’s position in the medical industry has a clear power over persuading patients and other healthcare enthusiast in “believing” on his studies’ findings. However, in 2017, his findings on two (2) Roche-sponsored clinical trials contradicted other numerous cancer researchers. This was constituted to the fact that Roche paid Baselga an amount of $3 million as consultation fees since 2014, which Baselga hid from AACR.
Catastrophe in Academic Research
“I acknowledge that there have been inconsistencies, but that’s what it is. It’s not that I do not appreciate the importance” Baselga said.
Big Pharma and Healthcare corporations have taken advantage of the public’s trust in academic research. However, the rules set by the AACR seem to tolerate this fraudulent activity rather than penalizing the rule breakers. The only consequence that a researcher may encounter in non-disclosure of corporate ties is a three-year ban from AACR as a researcher. Baselga’s case even saved him from this little penalty for his non-disclosure case (prepforthat.com).
How About Public Interest?
Prepforthat.com mentioned the significance of Baselga’s office at Memorial Sloan Kettering which they deemed as “one of the world’s most important cancer treatment positions”. Considering Baselga playing the role of a pharma confidant, what good can happen to the lives of cancer patients? Besalga’s scientific findings are what patients rely on to make sure they make the right decisions in choosing cancer treatments.
The article also mentioned of the non-disclosure of financial ties to pharma companies as a “sinister and nefarious” undertaking and something which dishonors the title of doctor. Besalga’s case should be thoroughly investigated as he plays one of the most important duties at Memorial Sloan Kettering. If this will be tolerated, how can we put trust in medical studies and clinical trials in the future? How can we be sure that it will be for our benefit and not for the personal interests of the chosen few? My husband’s uncle died after being treated for cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
The Sad Truth
Besalga won’t pay for the damage. Rather, he’ll be receiving another award for his so-called contribution to the field of medical research. It’s saddening to see how Pharma companies have owned every facet of the healthcare system. We are now in a world where sickness only adds to the growth of a hugely interconnected businesses of doctors, pharma companies, and healthcare corporations. Even the process of “verifying” medicine efficacy becomes unreliable as researchers become entrepreneurs instead of scholars.
Increase Interest on Alternative Medicine
The growing distrust to medical professionals has diverted the interest of the government and the general public to alternative healthcare. This created the conflict between the mainstream meds and alternative meds. Practitioners of alternative medicine face difficult circumstances as Big Pharma possesses vast amounts of power and influence. This calls for better medical research procedures to ensure the efficacy of both mainstream and alternative medicines.
Plants and herbs can also cure cancer but Big Pharma claims they are dangerous due to lack of research. If they are speaking on behalf of logic, it is also logical to say that we can no longer fully trust academic researchers and studies since they are controlled by the Big Pharmas and Healthcare corporations?
In a world where alternative medicine is judged on empirical data alone, the lies of Big Pharma are supported by purchased scientific research. Profits not the public’s benefits, are what truly matter.
This is not making the medical industry better.