BRUSSELS SCANDAL: How corrupt sprouts are killing children on a weekly basis.

The astonishing tale of infant liver disease, a drug that could save sufferers, and a crooked EC department.

dalliDisgraced EC commissioner John Dalli: surreal murderer of innocent kids

Children suffering from a rare liver disease are unable to benefit from a life-saving treatment because the European Commission on Health in Brussels has rejected a product’s marketing authorisation for the last five years. Orphacol – a medicine for treating youngsters born with otherwise fatal genetic disorders – has been denied European Union-wide approval for inexplicable reasons. But the presence of pharmco bribery in the case is becoming increasingly obvious.

Although the derivative-dividing chaps on Wall Street and the Square Mile have now won the Lonsdale Badguy Belt five years in a row, before then the title was dominated by the pharmco snake-oil salesmen: the other-worldly beings who bribe doctors, cut corners, falsify field results, and then deny responsibility when people start growing extra heads. The things that matter in this world are money, health and housing, but when it comes to sociopathy, there’s not a lot to choose between bankers, pharmcos and estate agents.

‘Ethical pharmaceuticals’ has always struck me as an odd term (it means the stuff you can’t get over the counter, or ‘OTC’) but it is what the pharmboys call the toxic cocktails drugs they sell into government and the primary care/hospital sectors. It takes a long time and a huge amount of money to develop an effective drug, and so it makes sense that, once developed and launched, the companies behind them want to maximise ROI. They do this by selling chiefly to functionaries and GPs with little or no commercial perspective, and this delivers the sort of mouth-watering margins the rest of us can only have fantasies about. Unfortunately, the process gives the pharmcos a moral hazard in relation to both lobbying and human suffering. This they embrace with open arms and wallets at every suitable turn.

For pharmaceutical marketing people, organisations like the NHS and the EU represent giant orgasmotrons there solely for the purpose of creaming off unfeasible margins and creaming their jeans. A wet dream at Eli Lilly probably consists of civil servants waving blank cheque books around, as all over the floor lie hundreds of people choking to death and covered in pustules. In the foreground, nursing staff in fishnet stockings beg the lucky dreamer to cure all these unhappy patients and, on receipt of the cheque, he dispenses pills to all and sundry. The dead get up and walk, the nurses tear his clothes off, and the bonuses just get bigger and bigger.

In real life, however, it isn’t really like that at all. In the dog-eat-dog business of curing people, only those strong enough to lie every day, and rich enough to bribe every civil servant, will survive to launch the next thalidomide. This means using money and bent test results to rubbish the competition and, if all else fails, buy it. A case in point at the moment concerns the drug Orphacol, and the inability of anyone inside the European Commission apparatus to say no to brown paper bags fully of rapidly inflating fiat currency.

For over three years now, the EC’s commissars have fought a vanguard, rearguard and mudguard action against the small French laboratory CTRS, which developed and markets Orphacol – easily the most effective dug against infant liver disease. The EC condemned children to die by doing so – despite the unanimous advice of experts in all 27 member states that the drug is extremely effective in treating liver diseases. In the case of more rare versions of liver damage in fact, Orphacol is the only hope for sufferers: without it they will expire in tragically short order.

“Buy me or you’ll die” is one of those advertising claims you just instinctively know is going to work. But when it’s the competition that owns it, and not you, then it can be a serious obstacle in the way of cashflow. The brown bags have to get bigger, and the lobbying louder. Following such a campaign by a US pharmaceutical giant, Orphacol still finds itself inexplicably sidelined – so much so that, intrigued by EC intransigence, members of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment and Public Health (ENVI) asked the European Commission to present explanations on 21 June last. French MEP Gilles Pargneaux thinks there is no enigma here: a US competitor, he alleges, is working the Commission from behind. “All the clinical arguments [presented by the Commission] are developed word for word by the competitor”, he says (and he’s right) while he adds that he has “evidence that the Commission contacted the competitor directly….I do not want to believe in a conflict of interests in the Commission, but I have strong suspicions”, he told Europolitics. There goes that pesky moral hazard again, spending the taxpayers’ money, tch tch.

The US drugco concerned is called Asklepion Pharmaceuticals, which oddly enough has also requested an authorisation to market a competing drug. However, the drug doesn’t exist as such just yet. The Commission doesn’t even have any details of either the formulation or drug trials involved with ‘the competing drug’. Meanwhile, with every month that bribery holds sway in Brussels, patients are dying needlessly.

On 4th July 2012, an EU General Court convened to hear evidence in the Orphacol case overturned the EC’s refusal to authorise, and ordered it to pay costs. But as of last December, the drug is still being resisted by the Commission. Two names are key to an understanding of why: John Dalli, and his understudy Patricia Brunko.

European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli justified the refusal on the grounds that clinical trials had not been conducted. This is something of a homaeopathic excuse, given that CTRS has been marketing the drug to enormous applause in France since 1991. But in October, Dalli was sacked by Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso following suspected corruption involving the tobacco lobby.

As for his ‘friend’ Patricia Brunko, head of a unit responsible for drugs designed for human use within the EU’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers, the French paper Liberation described her recently as ‘determined to sink Orphacol’. Yet another EC spokesperson Aikaterini Apostola released this bollocks to the media last month:

“Marketing authorisations for medicines can only be granted in the EU if the efficacy and safety of the product has been demonstrated according to strict standards. Orphacol did not comply because the applicant tried to short-circuit the requirements needed for obtaining a marketing authorisation”.

This is simply untrue, but now the CEO of CTRS Dr Antoine Ferry has no choice but to go back to the European Court to seek an annulment of the latest denial. “I am sure the commission thought that we would give up the fight, a small company like us. But I am not giving up. We will fight until the end for the wellbeing of patients throughout the EU” he told reporters last month.

But Antoine will have to get his skates on.  Asklepion Pharmaceuticals has since submitted its own European Medicines Authority application. It’s being fast-tracked. Success will mean they have the field to themselves for ten years. And more patients will die.

To date, no case has been filed with OLAF, the European Anti-Fraud Office. Dalli, his accolytes and his paymasters are indirectly guilty of murder. This is the EU David Cameron still thinks we should stay in. That’s not hard to understand, because he too believes that Might is Right. One wonders, equally, what his Health Secretary makes of all this.

 

 

19 thoughts on “BRUSSELS SCANDAL: How corrupt sprouts are killing children on a weekly basis.

  1. John Dalli was chief architect of the Tobacco Directive which introduces more pettifogging legislation designed to demonise smoking whilst allowing big tobacco and big pharma to carry on making hay. Specifically he added clauses to destroy the new e-cigarette devices (a less harmful, cancer free and effective way to cease tobacco use) whilst taking bribes to go easy on Swedish snus.
    He got the sack but the directive lives on…

  2. Pingback: John Ward – Brussels Scandal : How Corrupt Sprouts Are Killing Children On A Weekly Basis – The Astonishing Tale Of Infant Liver Disease, A Drug That Could Save Sufferers, And A Crooked EC Department – 11 January 2013 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  3. Money money money, it’s a rich man’s world…….Nothing changes, does it?
    Other than the blatancy with with they continue to line their own pockets, that just keeps increasing. They care not a jot for, the law, decency or morals.
    Scumbags all of them.

  4. From a small acquaintance with feed additives and veterinary medicines, I think there can be the reverse of this effect – pushing cheap but effective drugs off the market and replacing them with far more expensive new drugs of little or no greater efficacy.

    The time for orgasmic profits is during the life of the patent. After that, others can make the same compound and cut the price, often to a fraction of the former price. But medicines require trials after some years to revalidate their effectiveness. These are very expensive and often not worth doing at the reduced profit margins when every Tom, Dick or Harry can produce the stuff. So perfectly serviceable (and very cheap) products are dropped in favour of new, not-very-improved, expensive products with patent protection. Of course there are products, like some antibiotics, which do lose their effectiveness over the year because of the problems of bugs acquiring resistance to them.

  5. In other news, Team GB refuses to be outdone in the corruption stakes:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservative-donor-made-junior-schools-minister-8446864.html
    ‘Conservative donor made junior schools minister’

    From the comments:

    I wondered where I’d come across this greaser before -

    ” In May 2011, a company part-owned by Nash secured a £69m contract awarded by Iain Duncan Smith’s DWP for the Work Programme.
    Perhaps his most controversial transaction came as chairman of Care UK, one of the largest private healthcare firms in the country and which will trouser tens of millions of pounds thanks to Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act. Nash donated £21,000 to Lansley six months before the general election when he was a shoo-in for health secretary.”
    PoliticalScrapbook

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservative-donor-made-junior-schools-minister-8446864.html#

  6. I don’t really understand this. Is the drug available in France or not? (I’m surprised the French give an F what the EC says.) If it is available in France, then is there not a grey market in the drug? Obviously, very unsatisfactory but would helps whilst clearing the Augean stables.

  7. I saw an advert for a drug company rep once, and couldn’t understand why the salary was so high, and why they had any vacancies at such high salaries; then someone hinted that it was to allow extra funds “for rewards” to one’s best “clients”. Clearly, there were more honourable people in the area at the time.

  8. Are you familar with the publications of Ben Goldacre? He’s recently published a book on pretty much exactly this subject – Bad Pharma. I confess I haven’t read it yet, but his first book Bad Science was well argued and relatively easy to follow.

    It might be worth a closer look, even if its as an overview rather than anything in depth.

  9. Dave does not care about the EU murders he is up to his armpits with Feed in Tariffs manslaughter. About to get much worse next week.

  10. US drugco says it all does it not and it will all be under the disguise of free trade where you also deal in unemployment, poverty, exploitation … you can now add killing somebody by withholding a potential cure.

    Really pisses me off but there again my whole belief in what the USA represented globally is slowly being trashed. Especially when they come out with the one liners we bailed you out in WWII. Yeah after we were hocked to the eyeballs with the lease lend policy and how many decades to finally pay it off.

    To many skeletons in the closet now that the whole concept of what the USA as a country stands for doesn’t hold up.

  11. I’ve often wondered how the adjective “ethical” ever came to be associated with Big Pharma. Who first coined that bit of double speak?
    And on a point of order I’d like to ask whether anyone on medication has ever really been cured of their underlying condition, or is their medication merely managing symptoms? For example I know my prostate management tablets do bugger all to reduce my prostate, and I suspect they are slowly eroding my vitality and my long term health.
    And as for statins, still being peddled aggressively as a panacea for all ills, ask any doctor who keeps up to date with the research and dosesn’t just listen to the medical rep’s spiel. Toxic stuff.

  12. First off it is a myth that pharma and indeed medicine generally is in the business of curing disease. If everybody is healthy how are shareholders paid? Cancer research for example is a billion-dollar industry that hopes never to find a cure because what will happen to all those employed in cancer research let alone all the non-effective treatments for cancer if -gasp, horror- a cure is found tomorrow.

    We all know that money is the main objective, and health is an afterthought.

    An informative video on “medical” research and marketing can be found here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uFkivsEy3CI – although it concentrates on the marketing of psychiatric drugs it is still a worthwhile view.

    Meanwhile, if this drug is efficacious, the children being denied it will die. This flim-flam comes directly from an organisation that loudly voices the rights of children – ignorance is wisdom, war is peace, and black is white.

    Good nutrition with natural remedies cost relatively little and you won’t find many doctors advocating this. Heroic medicine – mending broken bones, life-saving surgery – is wonderful, but doctors do work hand in glove with big pharma on disease management and are recruited even at medical school to help increase drug companies’ profits.

  13. Right here is the perfect webpage for anybody who wishes to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that has been written about for a long time. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

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