Criticism of the influence of pharmaceutical lobbies on the political class is not new; people have been denouncing this state of affair for years.
We remember for example that in 2015, the MEP Michèle Rivasi denounced the health policy in France, which she claimed to be under the influence of pharmaceutical lobbies.
In fact, the elected representative denounced a large number of influential figures who shaped the field of health, leading to an increase in the price of drugs, and who facilitated the placing of dangerous drugs on the market.
Many former ministers of health are among these personalities, here are some examples:
Nora Berra, Secretary of State responsible for Health from November 15th, 2010 to May 16th, 2012, with a poor track record of more than 10 years of service with pharmaceutical companies. She had this job less than a year after leaving her job for the labs.
Bernard Kouchner, former Minister of Health, became advisor at Pfizer and also health advisor in Gabon and Congo.
Philippe Douste-Blazy, former Minister of Health: there is much doubt about the financing of his 1993 campaign by the Pierre Fabre laboratory. His wife got a job at Servier in 2001. In 1993, he launched a vaccination campaign for hepatitis B; a vaccine produced by GSK, with whom he had close ties.
Roselyne Bachelot, former Minister of Health, was responsible for the vaccination campaign against H1N1, with the purchase of 95 million doses. These vaccines cost 382 million euros. She worked for ICI Pharma from 1969 to 1976.
Even the current Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn, when she was vice-president of the INCA (The French National Cancer Institute), between May 2011 and March 2016, was also on the board of two large laboratories, Novartis and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, as a Scientific Advisor.
It would seem that one of the prerequisites to gain access to the post of Minister of Health is to have been employed by the pharmaceutical industry …
Many other ministers are also concerned but it is at all levels that the lobbies act, from senior officials to associations. These are often funded by the labs, such as the French cardiology company which is funded by Sanofi Aventis.
It is not surprising that this kind of practice exists when we know that the marketing budget of pharmaceutical companies is more important than their “Research and Development” budget. If only these steps were made for the benefit of the sick … But for 15 years, labs do not invent anything, it is especially start-ups who create new products.
Since 2012 pharmaceutical companies have spent more than three billion in gifts, training, hotel overnight stays, meals, etc … This has allowed them to weave14 million links of interest with various health professionals in France.
Unfortunately, despite the work of the congress representative, nothing has changed. On July 9th, 2018, Emmanuel Macron had a meeting with the Dolder Group representing the world pharmacy. The next day, a series of measures was taken to facilitate the marketing of new drugs.
The Anti-Zionist Party denounces these links of influence that affect all levels of power and that do not only concern the pharmaceutical industry. Inadmissible conflicts of interest that must now be harshly punished.
It is time that these individuals who are supposed to represent the people, put themselves at the service of the people, because otherwise, as seen with the movement of the Yellow Vests, the time for action is likely close for these politicians.
But when we know who finances the election campaigns, we think that the task may be difficult …