After years of an increasingly close relationship between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry, an insider is finally speaking out. Dr. Raeford Brown, a pediatric anesthesiologist at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital and chair of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics, has been openly critical of big pharma and the lack of proper oversight from the FDA, according to a new article on Yahoo Finance.
Dr. Brown admits the issue is “because Congress is owned by Pharma”.
Even though many politicians are beginning to speak out against Big Pharma, Brown doubts this will change anything because of the amount of money the pharmaceutical industry pours into Congress annually.
“The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year,” Dr. Brown told Yahoo Finance. “In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. That’s a ton of money.”
The image below shows the contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry during the 2017-2018 election cycle:
House Minority Leader Takes Most Pharma Money
In the 2018 election year, the pharmaceutical industry spent more than $27 MILLION in campaign donations to candidates. During the ‘17-’18 election cycle, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, current House Minority leader, received the second-highest amount of funds from the pharmaceutical industry. The California-based politician received a total of $380,350 in campaign contributions, with a large sum coming from pharmaceutical companies.
“I’m really much more concerned because Congress is supposed to have oversight for the FDA,” Brown said. “If the FDA isn’t going to hold pharma accountable, and Congress is getting paid to not hold pharma accountable, then it really doesn’t matter who the President is because it’s really about Congress.”