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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:03 AM

 

"Everything reported is strictly legal, just as Hitler’s extermination of the Jews was legal"

Last edited Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:06 PM - Edit history (1)

“In what follows it should always be remembered that there is no question of illegality involved. Everything reported is strictly legal, just as Hitler’s extermination of the Jews was legal – a little point I mention merely to suggest how much weight one may attach to the notion.”

– Ferdinand Lundberg, The Rich and the Super-rich


It was not an earth-shaking decision made this past December by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, if one goes by the breadth of media coverage.... But it was certainly a judicial moment to take note of...the second worst judicial decision of the still-young century, a nose behind the notorious Citizens United ruling, which begot this horror.

U.S. v. Caronia involves Big Pharma, shedding a gloomier darkness on that already stygian world. Plaintiff Alfred Caronia is or was a sales rep for the wonderfully named Orphan Medical, which makes a drug named Xyrem. Xyrem has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a restricted use: namely, to treat narcoleptic patients suffering from cataplexy, once known as hysterical paralysis. The laws currently state that doctors are free to prescribe drugs for “off-label” – i.e., unproven – applications. However, drug manufacturers cannot promote off-label uses. Their marketing statements are limited to the range of uses approved by the FDA, based on the results of clinical testing. These have long been the rules of the game.

But minor matters of science, legality and ethics couldn’t stop a go-getter like Mr. Caronia. In his spiel to prescribers, he would make a series of wishfully inflated claims for Xyrem, claiming it could be of use for everything from Parkinson’s syndrome to fibromyalgia to “restless leg syndrome.” He also informed doctors that the drug was safe for patients under the age of 16, although a black box warning printed on the label bluntly states that it has not been tested for safety and efficacy on children. There was good reason to be cautious in this regard, as Xyrem is essentially a gussied-up form of GHB, the date-rape drug...

Some of Mr. Caronia’s mendacious sales pitches to doctors were caught on tape. Unruffled ...the wayward rep went on the offensive, charging that the regulations requiring strict honesty in his presentations to physicians were a violation of his sacred First Amendment rights...

To my mind, and I hope to others’, the correct judicial response to this plea would have been a rude chortle and a summary dismissal. But we live in earnest times, when a corporation’s right to pry the last nickel from a prostrate and overdosed public is considered by many... to be the very keystone of the edifice of freedom. And so the three-judge panel sided with the plaintiff, declaring that “the government clearly prosecuted Caronia for his words – for his speech...”


http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/15/strictly-legal/


What a fucking travesty. What a shit system.

Edited to add that the Scaife-funded Washington Legal Foundation 'handled the First Amendment issues". So the posters talking that up here -- that's whose POV you're promoting.

Caronia was represented on appeal by his court-appointed lawyer, Jennifer
McCann of the Long Island, New York-based law firm Thomas F. Liotti, LLC. The
Washington Legal Foundation, however, handled briefing and oral argument on all First
Amendment issues.
WLF filed its briefs with the pro bono assistance of Michael A.
Carvin and Eric E. Murphy, attorneys with the Jones Day law firm. Murphy presented
WLF’s oral arguments on First Amendment issues.


http://www.wlf.org/upload/litigation/litigationupdate/012813RS.pdf

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Reply "Everything reported is strictly legal, just as Hitler’s extermination of the Jews was legal" (Original post)
HiPointDem Feb 2013 OP
Summer Hathaway Feb 2013 #1
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #2
Summer Hathaway Feb 2013 #3
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #17
Summer Hathaway Feb 2013 #30
Recursion Feb 2013 #4
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #5
Recursion Feb 2013 #9
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #10
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #15
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #23
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #26
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #32
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #34
cali Feb 2013 #6
Recursion Feb 2013 #7
cali Feb 2013 #12
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #13
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #16
bananas Feb 2013 #48
Recursion Feb 2013 #49
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #8
cali Feb 2013 #11
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #19
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #21
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #27
woo me with science Feb 2013 #31
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #20
SidDithers Feb 2013 #24
tavalon Feb 2013 #14
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #22
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #33
Occulus Feb 2013 #46
tavalon Feb 2013 #50
SidDithers Feb 2013 #18
Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2013 #25
Cleita Feb 2013 #28
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #38
Occulus Feb 2013 #47
gateley Feb 2013 #29
Laelth Feb 2013 #35
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #36
Laelth Feb 2013 #37
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #39
Laelth Feb 2013 #41
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #44
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #40
Laelth Feb 2013 #42
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #43
GiaGiovanni Feb 2013 #45

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:11 AM

1. I have long noticed

a certain pattern here - the timing of your posts, and their content.

Very reminiscent of another poster - I'm sure his name will come to me eventually.

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Response to Summer Hathaway (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:13 AM

2. I have noticed lots of posters prefer to attack the messenger rather than address the content.

 

so i'll be blocking your posts, as you are among their ranks.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:21 AM

3. So saying that I've noted your posting pattern

is "attacking the messenger", is it?

It was merely an observation - I wonder why it's made you so skittish?

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Response to Summer Hathaway (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:46 PM

17. Did you have something to say about the post?

Your "observation" smells perilously close to calling out the OP as a sock puppet. And you've noticed for a long time, yet you've only been here a few months. Odd.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:43 PM

30. Odd?

I've been here since December 2011. The OP has been here since March 2012.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:29 AM

4. Wow, full Godwin in the OP

I'm also impressed at the chutzpah it takes to pretend like physicians' rights to prescribe off-label is somehow a bad thing. Epic fail, but good try.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:36 AM

5. Physicians have always been free to prescribe off-label, as the article notes. The article is about

 

the new court-enshrined freedom of drug companies to lie about off-label uses and benefits, and to call it 'freedom of speech'.

It's not enough that prescription drugs now cause more deaths than auto accidents and are the leading cause of drug overdoses and accidental death.

Still more must die to feed the beast of profit.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:47 AM

9. A psychiatrist's take, on why what you advocate is problematic

http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2012/12/and_now_the_pharma_pendulum_sw.html

In short: a drug rep is secretly taped, and later convicted, for promoting his drug for off label uses. To be clear: he wasn't convicted of inventing off label uses, he was convicted for discussing off label uses that had already found their way in peer reviewed journal articles.

Let's agree that peer review is the scientific equivalent of Soviet era cronyism; but however terrible it is, it is a million times better than anything the FDA offers. It's worth reminding people that the FDA grants approval for a drug indication not because the drug is effective for that purpose, but because it's effective AND the company requested it. The drug could cure cancer 100% of the time, if the company doesn't ask for it-- if it thinks it's more profitable to pursue an erectile dysfunction indication-- then regardless of how effective it is, it will be off-label.

...

Second, Pharma would be permitted (it would find it invaluable) to study their drug's comparative effectiveness. There's been a disincentive to do this, because even if someone discovered that Zyprexa was a billion times better than Geodon, or better for a certain kind of schizophrenic, Lilly couldn't say anything, it's not in the label. If they discovered a way to lessen the diabetic risk, say mixing it with some other drug or a specific dietary intervention, they couldn't tell anybody. It's not in the label.

Looking back on it all, it seems to me that what got everyone into trouble was doctors' belief that Pharma was telling them everything; and therefore didn't have to look anything up. It's unbelievable to me now, as it was then, that doctors thought this, but there you go.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:23 AM

10. What a mess that is, and how to begin...

 

"Second, Pharma would be permitted (it would find it invaluable) to study their drug's comparative effectiveness."

"would be permitted"? what? that's what research is for.

"doctors' belief that Pharma was telling them everything; and therefore didn't have to look anything up."

doesn't he mean doctors' belief that pharma wasn't outright *lying* to them?

"Let's agree that peer review is the scientific equivalent of Soviet era cronyism; but however terrible it is, it is a million times better than anything the FDA offers."

what is this idiotic opposition posed between 'peer review' and the fda?

peer review is about getting a research article into a journal. doing a research study that appears in a peer-reviewed journal is part of the process for getting a drug approved by the fda.

in the off-label uses discussed in this article, that *did not happen*.

"He also informed doctors that the drug was safe for patients under the age of 16, although a black box warning printed on the label bluntly states that it has not been tested for safety and efficacy on children."

"wishfully inflated claims for Xyrem, claiming it could be of use for everything from Parkinson’s syndrome to fibromyalgia to “restless leg syndrome.” "

- the company is *currently* doing such studies. they have not been completed, or peer-reviewed (per wikipedia)

So what this decision means is that drug reps can say *whatever the fuck they want* about their drugs. That is unacceptable, and will *surely* lead to more deaths, more addiction, more disability.

They are out of control.


Promoting drugs for off-label uses has been illegal; this court just declared it to be legal on the grounds of 'free speech'. No, it's not a 'free speech' issue, unless you consider lying and misrepresentation about drugs to be 'free speech'.

Why would we even *want* medical care when it's in the hands of hucksters and profiteers?

*a) Off-Label Marketing of Pharmaceuticals: Off-label marketing is the practice of marketing pharmaceuticals for an unapproved indication. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) reviews a company's New Drug Application (NDA) for data from clinical trials to see if the results support the drug for a specific use or indication. If satisfied that the drug is safe and effective, the drug's manufacturer and the FDA agre on specific language describing dosage, route and other information to be included on the drug's label. More detail is included in the drug's package insert.

The FDA approves a drug for prescription use, and will continue to regulate the pharmaceutical industry through the work of the Division for Drug Marketing, Advertisement and Communication (DDMAC). The FDA does not have the legal authority to regulate the practice of the medicine, and the physician may prescribe a drug off-label. While it would be legal for a physician to independently decide to prescribe a drug off-label, it is illegal for the company to promote off-label uses to prescribers. Many of the largest False Claims Act settlements, including Phizer's 2.3 billion dollar settlement have been for off-label marketing of pharmaceuticals.

Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDAC) at U.S.C. 21 §§301-97, manufacturers are prohibited from directly marketing a drug for a use other than the FDA approved indication. The Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 created an exception to the prohibition of off-label marketing. Manufacturers are now able to provide medical practitioners with off-label information in response to an unsolicited request. 21 U.S.C. §360aaa-6.


http://www.falseclaimscase.com/about-qui-tam/theories-of-recovery

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Response to Recursion (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:33 PM

15. Recursion: peer reviewed journals are no longer as pristine and reliable as they once were

 

There have been many incidents of "ghostwriting", in which a pharmaceutical company will write an puff-piece article based on its own in-house research (or sometimes no research at all), slap a willing professor's name on it, and use the professor's reputation to get the article through peer review and into prestigious journals.

From the British Medical Journal:

http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d6128

Article Abstract: Honorary and ghost authorship in high impact biomedical journals: a cross sectional survey
October, 2011

Conclusions: Evidence of honorary and ghost authorship in 21% of articles published in major medical journals in 2008 suggests that increased efforts by scientific journals, individual authors, and academic institutions are essential to promote responsibility, accountability, and transparency in authorship, and to maintain integrity in scientific publication.

(Bolding mine).


Therefore, merely saying that some off-label use of a medication is supported by a "peer-reviewed" article is no longer a water-tight defense. In fact, the peer reviewed article in question has over a 20% chance of having been written by someone other than the professor(s) listed as author(s). In medical journals, these ghost authors are most often pharmaceutical companies. This leads to a pharmaceutical company "echo-chamber" in which the company both writes the articles and sends their sales reps out to promote information from those articles. The doctors, who are now increasingly managed by administrators in "practices" have little time to keep up with the research, no less investigate whether or not a particular author of a peer-reviewed article actually did the research or not. Blaming the doctor when the whole system is slowly becoming corrupted is not the wisest strategy, especially when these ghost-writing campaigns are far more sophisticated than the average medical practice. The term "ghost management" actually better describes what these drug companies do, as "peer-reviewed" articles become advertisements for a drug:



http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000156
Ghostwriting: The Dirty Little Secret of Medical Publishing That Just Got Bigger

...While editors, medical schools, and universities have turned a blind eye to, or at the least failed to tackle head-on the pervasive presence of ghostwriting, drug companies and medical education and communication companies have built a vast and profitable ghostwriting industry. Recruitment of academic “authors” appears, within some academic circles, to have come to be considered acceptable, and marketing campaigns are no longer orchestrated around paid display advertisements but instead center on “evidence” provided by seemingly respectable academic review articles, original research articles, and even reports of clinical trials. What, a cynical reader might ask, can I truly trust as being unbiased? The answer is that, sadly, for some or even many journal articles, we just don't know...



The "vast and profitable ghost-writing industry" relies on intermediary companies like Complete Healthcare Communications (CHC) which manages the ghost-writing process as a part of their client company's marketing plan. (In other words, this company deliberately plants corporate spin in academic journals to sell drugs that may not be useful at all (or, which is some cases, have been dangerous). Because Big Pharma provides twice as much funding for clinical trials as non-profit agencies (see below), academics are becoming more dependent on pharmaceutical companies for funding and the companies can set the conditions for publication of the research, including setting the conditions for ghost-management.



http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040286
Ghost Management: How Much of the Medical Literature Is Shaped Behind the Scenes by the Pharmaceutical Industry?

There are many reports of medical journal articles being researched and written by or on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, and then published under the name of academics who had played little role earlier in the research and writing process . In extreme cases, drug companies pay for trials by contract research organizations (CROs), analyze the data in-house, have professionals write manuscripts, ask academics to serve as authors of those manuscripts, and pay communication companies to shepherd them through publication in the best journals. The resulting articles affect the conclusions found in the medical literature, and are used in promoting drugs to doctors....

...Pharmaceutical companies control an immense quantity of data. The industry provides twice as much funding for clinical trials and related research as do not-for-profit agencies . Of industry funding, 70% goes to CROs that neither make ownership claims on data nor expect to publish the data themselves: CROs perform research to order . By its nature CRO research tends to be ghostly. The 30% of industry funding that goes to academic researchers often also comes with strings attached that can allow sponsors to prepare drafts, edit drafts, delay publication, prevent full access to data, and so on—in short, creating conditions that allow for ghost management .

In a primer on publication planning, the director of one MECC defines the activity as: “gaining product adoption and usage through the systematic, planned dissemination of key messages and data to appropriate target audiences at the optimum time using the most effective communication channels” . These channels are such things as: “publications, journal reviews, symposia, workshops, advisory boards, abstracts, educational materials/PR.” Influencing scientific opinion in the service of marketing is the clearly stated goal here. The author of this article therefore makes scientific and commercial goals equal stakeholders in communication: in a chart he juxtaposes “Where shall we publish this study?” with “Who are our customers?” and “What can we claim from the results?” with “What are our customer needs?”

Complete Healthcare Communications (CHC) claims on its banner that it “has honed the systems and skills needed to develop the intellectual heart of pharmaceutical marketing—the publication plan. The result for your product? A continuum of awareness, interest, and prescriber confidence” . CHC will manage article submissions to meetings, and as samples of its service it provides hypothetical lists of abstracts and presentations, with their status, dates of presentation, etc. On its Web site is a list of ten hypothetical trials and at least 24 articles that can be written from them, which will lead to a completed bibliography of publications .

CHC includes among its clients Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Ortho Biotech, Wyeth, Schering-Plough, Shire, AstraZeneca, and other pharmaceutical companies. It provides testimonials from sponsors and authors. A Johns Hopkins author writes “Very nice outline! You guys are quite organized!! I think it's superb. Very fair and balanced. I'm not used to working with such excellent writers!” CHC claims to have written and submitted over 500 manuscripts, with an acceptance rate of 80%. CHC is able to achieve such a rate with resources far beyond the reach of most researchers: not only are all of its studies fully supported by the largest of pharmaceutical companies, but it boasts a team of 40 medical writers, editors, and librarians....



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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:16 PM

23. yes, they're being corrupted, and it's so much trouble to do trials, pharmacorps would like to

 

do away with the process altogether.

they'd rather just run experiments on the general population, collect the data, and ban the drugs later if needed.

so much cheaper. for them.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:24 PM

26. The corruption of the science gives the lie to "the sales rep was quoting peer-reviewed journals"

 

There's a 20% chance that the articles being quoted by the sales rep had been ghost written (or ghost-managed) by a company subcontracted for this purpose by the pharmaceutical company, in which case, you're dealing with an echo chamber.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:50 PM

32. in this case, however, the rep was saying things like "it's safer than salt," & "it's safe for

 

children" (when there was a blackbox warning that *no* such studies existed.

i am completely in agreement on the corruption of research; this goes one step further than that.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:24 PM

34. True. But, sadly, there are many drugs not tested on kids that are being prescribed

 

A lot of psychotropics, especially bipolar meds, fall into that category.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:38 AM

6. Counterpunch- closely related to worldnutdaily

hyperbole and hysteria. "reportage" driven more by agenda than actual facts.

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Response to cali (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:41 AM

7. But it's only banned as a source in one group on DU, oddly enough

*shrug*

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Response to Recursion (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:35 AM

12. I'm not suggesting that Counterpunch should be banned

from DU. Just that I think it's overall a lousy rag and a poor source.

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Response to cali (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:49 AM

13. here's a better one, & i don't think you understand what pharmacorps are doing here. what they

 

want to do is collect information about MDs prescribing practices, then if 100 MDs prescribe drug X for use Y off-label, they can tell their customers "well, there are all these docs using it for Y ^ it's great, why don't you try it too?"

i.e. promoting off-label use *without* clinical trials, without peer review, without any of the usual protections. we *know* that pharma has a documented history of ignoring and hiding adverse events r/t their drugs. this will widen the latitude they have to do this.

i wouldn't take *any* new drug on a bet. i know, from personal experience, that the problem is much bigger than media coverage would give us to believe.

In explaining its decision, the panel cited a US Supreme Court ruling early last year that struck down a highly controversial Vermont law, which restricted the sale of prescription drug info identifying prescribers and patients for commercial marketing purposes. Since then, the pharmaceutical industry has used that ruling to argue off-label promotion is a form of protected speech.

http://www.pharmalot.com/2012/12/free-speech-off-label-conviction-overturned/

what is shocking to me is the use of 'free speech' in the case. it's not a free speech issue; they're using free speech to overturn regulation and consumer protection measures. however imperfect, requirements for research, clinical trials, etc *do* protect consumers.

health care is becoming a cesspool of malpractice.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:36 PM

16. Free speech is now a "corporate personhood right" that equals the right to misinform consumers.

 

The First Amendment was never intended to aid and abet corporate fraud or support lying in areas of public trust, like courts of law. Freedom of speech does not include the right to perjury.

However, corporate personhood has redefined the notion of rights to be corporate rights, not rights of humans.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:52 AM

48. What group is Counterpunch banned from? And why? nt

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Response to bananas (Reply #48)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:07 PM

49. I/P

Not sure why that one in particular. It's pretty much histrionic and alarmist on every subject.

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Response to cali (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:43 AM

8. maybe you could try rebutting the facts, then. rather than just disparaging the source.

 

maybe you like the idea of salesmen promoting their drugs for uses that haven't been researched and tested thoroughly. iow, using patients as guinea pigs.

i don't and i doubt most people do.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:33 AM

11. Why? Because you don't like what I had to say?

It's just ridiculous to bring Nazis into this case. Do I like or trust big pharma? Hardly.

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Response to cali (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:51 PM

19. I don't believe it is as much of a stretch as you might think.

 

Remember, the Nazis were not demonic demiurges from the depths of some hell scape. They were a political party who manipulated the suffering German public into wars, human rights atrocities, and irrational nationalistic fervor. (I can think of many parallels right now.) The article's title is merely pointing out that the Third Reich's atrocities were technically legal, despite being devastatingly immoral. If we look at the fact that a court just decided that drug companies have the right to LIE and that this right is protected by the First Amendment, we see traces of the Third Reich, except it is a reich of corporations. The pharmaceutical companies have just been given the legal means to kill patients (via their doctors) for corporate profits. Think about that: in the name of profits for a relatively small number of shareholders, people may be killed by the products the company is selling AND it is now legal.

This isn't a small thing. I encourage you to watch this video of Noam Chomsky where he explains carefully how the rise of corporate rights mean the destruction of human rights (that is, what we normally think of as "rights") and democracy in general. It is the legal fiction of corporations as people and the legal mechanisms now being put in place that will give rise to something far worse than Hitler and the Nazi party could ever have imagined or achieved, since this system is global and there is no way out.



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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:13 PM

21. "since this system is global and there is no way out."

 

i've been thinking about that a lot lately.

once if you didn't like the system there were ways you could 'disappear' to it; living low on the food chain, off the beaten track, etc.

all those options rapidly disappearing via technology & transnational capital reaching into every transaction and backwater on the globe, satellites and drones blanketing the sky, etc.

what was the phrase -- 'totalizing institution'?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:28 PM

27. This is why property rights and water collection are under assault

 

And why rural development of water systems and broadband are actually Trojan horses.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:47 PM

31. Excellent post.

Thank you.

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Response to cali (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:54 PM

20. Even oddball sources have their uses, especially if backup documentation can be found

 

Take a look at what I posted upthread about the "ghost management" of research in medical journals. It will help you see why this court decision is a truly devastating one: all sources of "clean" information are being corrupted.

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Response to cali (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:18 PM

24. For some strange reason, the poster doesn't use wsws.org anymore...



Sid

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:08 AM

14. Xyrem IS actually helpful for all of those things,

just as it was when it was just called gamahydroxybutyrate. Then it became better known as GHB and since it didn't appear to have any dangerous side effects, the government went after it with a vengeance. I watched it from start to finish. They took one of the most amazing chemicals ever, demonized it, made it so illegal that you could rot in jail for even having the ingredients and then they gave it to Ophan Medical who remade its image into what it was before the witch hunt.

Xyrem is GHB and GHB is Xyrem and with either name, it is one of the most amazing drugs ever. It wasn't a date rape drug until the government needed to remove it from circulation.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:14 PM

22. then it should be easy to do some clinical trials to prove it.

 

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Response to tavalon (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:53 PM

33. Why would the government go after an effective medication?

 

Are you saying the FDA WANTED the drug to have side effects? As corrupt as the process is becoming, I don't think anyone at the FDA or even in Congress would get rid of a medication because it was effective with no side effects.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:43 PM

46. I have been told that is because of its effects.

Its lack of side effects, when taken in moderation, was what had them worried. In that sense, the GHB ban has some fairly stark parallels to another medication with multiple benefits, that being MDMA (aka extacy). We simply cannot allow people to have any fun without immediate, obvious consequence when it comes to the substances they ingest. After all, no ill effects when used moderately = no negative consequence for behavior, and Very Serious People nationwide are shocked I tell you SHOCKED that anyone should think "feeling good" should be free.

We can't have that. Not at all. Thus, the GHB ban.

I have been told that GHB makes you feel drunk without getting you drunk (and was and is used recreationally for that exact purpose in European nations), that it leaves one with no hangover the next morning, and that because of these two traits was a serious threat to the profits of the US alcohol industry (which, if those things are in fact true, it most certainly would be if it ever caught on as a recreational drug). Conveniently, taking GHB with actual alcohol will make you pass out very quickly, and leave no memory of any events that occurred after passing out.

My reading of the GHB Wiki page bears out those things I've been told, excepting the US alcohol industry part (which is speculative but far too believable for me to ignore, especially when laid alongside the many conditions cannabis can be used to treat). Virtually all of the overdose effects associated with GHB, as well as its withdrawal effects, appear similar to the effects of alcohol itself. Given all of this, I can quite easily see why the US alcohol lobby would be, shall we say, concerned over the recreational use of GHB.

That is what I have been told. I make no claims as to the truth of those statements.

Poof! It's a date-rape drug. Please note that all it took was one 15-year-old girl's death to make this a schedule I drug. I'll bell the cat on this one: her parents were well-intentioned, but woefully misguided, and our government was just plain fucking stupid to kowtow to their cause. I submit that making yet another previously-legal substance illegal (a schedule I substance, no less) was and is worse for all of us than her death was. I further submit that enacting any legislation at all that affects all citizens nationwide because of the stupidity, ignorance, lack of caution, or carelessness of any individual citizen almost always results in bad law.

Everything I've ever read about GHB tells me it should be legal, full stop. It certainly shouldn't be schedule I. People have been dosing drinks since forever for nefarious purposes, "date rape" being but one, and if we're going to single out GHB, we may as well ban alcohol all over again.



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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #33)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:53 PM

50. No, it was becoming well known as a sleep aid

and as a replacement for alcohol. We can't have a potential party drug with no side effects. That isn't American. But Xyrem is GHB and that is easily researched. I was taking GHB for sleep before it became illegal and I watched the smear campaign in real time. It was far worse than reefer madness.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:47 PM

18. Going Godwin in the OP...

well done Hannah.

Sid

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:22 PM

25. You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair they made the Jews wear.



(For the record, though, I do not think off-label marketing of prescription drugs should be protected under free speech.)

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:28 PM

28. I've been beating this drum since I arrived on DU and yet have been

told I can't compare our fascists to the Nazis. We don't have concentration camps, nor exterminate Jews. I was never talking about the end result but the METHODS used for desired results even if not as drastic as those of the Nazis.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:41 PM

38. The problem, Cleita, is that the Nazis are demons in the American psyche, not people with evil ideas

 

To compare any political party or person to the Nazis is, for most Americans, like comparing someone to the devil himself, a sort of evil incarnate. That makes any comparison to them a hyperbole, not to be taken seriously.

The actual real terror of the Nazis is that they were normal people in desperate circumstances under a warped leader who saw no limits to his power. Like good Enron employees, who laughed while screwing Californians out of their own electricity, Nazi party members bought into the beliefs of their leadership and packed off Jews, gays, gypsies, and others to camps to die. There comes a point where people stop thinking about their own moral responsibility, pass it off up the chain, and remove themselves from their own human empathy. This "buy-in" allows greedy, murderous, depraved leaders to flourish. Just tell your party members, your employees, your posse that they are smarter, better, and fitter for survival than anyone else and you can get many of them to go along willingly. It's the old sin of pride, and it leads to a fall because it can lead people to ignore the suffering of others in order to feel superior to those others. And if you can't get them through pride, you threaten their financial livelihood, their family's survival.

Walking away from security and a sense of superiority is very difficult. That's why it usually takes religion or some other intense moral/ethical system to do it. People like Lutheran minister Dietrich Bonhoeffer are few and far between.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:49 PM

47. Well... THAT was a kind of profound set of observations.

Nicely said.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:38 PM

29. Bookmarking

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:31 PM

35. I am very proud of our 1st Amendment.

But our freedom of speech comes at a heavy price. It always has, and it always will.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #35)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:32 PM

36. nothing to do with freedom of speech.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:38 PM

37. Hmm ...

Perhaps, but if the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled for the plaintiff on the basis of the 1st Amendment, then I have some reason to believe that this case does, in fact, have something to do with freedom of speech.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:46 PM

39. Freedom of speech does not allow you to commit fraud

 

This salesman was acting as an agent of a corporation and was misleading the public about a product. There are laws against fraud, and people go to prison for it.

Freedom of speech is a political right of the individual. Even the individual, however, may not commit fraud without legal punishment.

Basically, this court decision conflated political speech with a criminal act.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:01 PM

41. Your quarrel is with the Court, not me.

My point is that the 1st Amendment, while good and great, also does us some harm from time to time.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:26 PM

44. I'm not quarreling with you, but my disagreement is with your conception of the First Amendment

 

And it's not just you. Lots of Americans believe the First Amendment is kind of a carte blanche for any kind of speech, even threats or fraud, and that simply isn't true.

The ironic thing is that what freedom of speech is really intended for- the right to protest your government- is the one thing that is steadily being eroded. If you protest a government policy, you can get carted off to jail, even if you are non-violent. If you want to protest a presidential candidate, you can only have your say in a "free speech zone" far from the center of the action. If you wear the wrong T-shirt to a Presidential speech, as Cindy Sheehan did, you can be arrested. The First Amendment actually requires that you should be able to directly express your verbal opposition to a government policy without being frisked and jailed.

While these real rights are being eroded, Americans' conception of the First Amendment is becoming so diluted that some even believe that it supports corporate fraud. That's a cause for concern.

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Response to Laelth (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:53 PM

40. or it could have something to do with right-wingers & neoliberals pushing their agenda, and

 

judges corrupted with the same big bucks.

The Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) was established in 1977 to "fight activist lawyers, regulators, and intrusive government agencies at the federal and state levels, in the courts and regulatory agencies across the country" . WLF is classified as a national, non-profit, tax-exempt public foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

EIN: 52-1071570 Washington Legal Foundation (unadjusted for inflation) from a range of foundations including:

Rodney Fund
F.M. Kirby Foundation
Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
The Carthage Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation
Claude R. Lambe Foundation
Sarah Scaife Foundation

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Washington_Legal_Foundation


Caronia was represented on appeal by his court-appointed lawyer, Jennifer
McCann of the Long Island, New York-based law firm Thomas F. Liotti, LLC. The
Washington Legal Foundation, however, handled briefing and oral argument on all First
Amendment issues.
WLF filed its briefs with the pro bono assistance of Michael A.
Carvin and Eric E. Murphy, attorneys with the Jones Day law firm. Murphy presented
WLF’s oral arguments on First Amendment issues.


http://www.wlf.org/upload/litigation/litigationupdate/012813RS.pdf

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:03 PM

42. That's a pretty serious charge. I will leave it at that. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #42)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:07 PM

43. Scaife-funded foundation pushing deregulation of Pharma as first amendment issue. How

 

familiar.

It's not a "charge," they fucking claim it, what don't you get?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:42 PM

45. Interesting bunch of fellow travelers here, HiPointDem

 


Rodney Fund
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Rodney_Fund
The Rodney Fund provides grant funds to conservative and libertarian organizations.

F.M. Kirby Foundation
http://foundationcenter.org/grantmaker/kirby/interests.html
We believe that private philanthropy, at its best, if provided compassionately and prudently, encourages self-reliance and diminishes government’s role.

Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
http://www.bradleyfdn.org/foundations_mission.asp
Its programs support limited, competent government; a dynamic marketplace for economic, intellectual, and cultural activity; and a vigorous defense, at home and abroad, of American ideas and institutions.

The Carthage Foundation
http://www.scaife.com/carthage.html
A Scaife foundation

John M. Olin Foundation
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=John_M._Olin_Foundation
The foundation closed in 2005, after more than two decades of setting the stage for the NeoCon wave of the Reagan era.

Claude R. Lambe Foundation
http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/site/print/charles_g_koch_charitable_foundation
It is one of a group of foundations associated with the Koch family; the others are the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.

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