October 26

Corruption of Cong by Pharma: Greenwood offered job / drops Pharma hearing

Corruption of Cong by Pharma: Greenwood offered job / drops Pharma hearing

Tue, 20 Jul 2004

Big Pharma buys a congressman and derails a public hearing focusing on pharmaceutical company concealment of evidence showing antidepressants increase risks of harm and show no benefit for children / adolescents!

An Associated Press report provides the real explanation for a last minute suspension of a highly awaited hearing by the House Energy & Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Congressman James Greenwood, who heads the subcommittee that organized the hearing, will not seek re-election. The AP reports that Greenwood has been offered a job with Biotechnology Industry Organization, which includes pharmaceutical houses and companies involved in human genome research.

The much awaited hearing was scheduled for today, 9:15. Its focus was to be the concealment of clinical trial data by drug companies and the role of the FDA. The line-up of testifiers included 7 pharmaceutical company representatives whose companies manufacture antidepressants; as well as a representative of their trade association, PhRMA. Also scheduled to testify were representatives of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics; and a top FDA official.

Shame on Congressman Greenwood selling out to the drug industry while he is still in office. Shame on public officials who inveigh against others’ conflicts of interest, but put their own financial interests ahead of their sworn public duty to the people who elected them.

This is a prime example of the corruptibility of the political system, a demonstration of how the pharmaceutical industry bribes politicians so as to derail public accountability. The drug industry has been caught concealing evidence of drug-related harm from prescribing physicians and the public.

The evidence they concealed shows that antidepressants have consistently failed to demonstrate a benefit for children, while increasing the risk (twofold) of suicidal behavior. The harm suffered by innocent children was preventable–as no doctor would knowingly prescribe a drug that precipitates suicidal behavior and causes a litany of other severe adverse effects.

By derailing the hearing, Congressman Greenwood joins those who turned their back children whose lives are put at risk when they are prescribed an antidepressant by healthcare professionals who are uninformed about the risks.

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
Tel: 212-595-8974

GOP Congressman Considers Giving Up Seat
Mon Jul 19, 5:56 PM ET Add Politics – U. S. Congress to My Yahoo!
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Greenwood, a socially moderate Republican, said Monday he is considering giving up the seat he’s held in Congress for 12 years.

Greenwood, 53, has already told Republican leaders he will not seek re-election to a seventh term and instead will likely seek a job with a trade association, House aides and a party official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press.

“From time to time during my 24 years of public service, I have been approached and offered other types of challenges and opportunities,” Greenwood said in a terse statement released by his office Monday. “Such has been the case in the last few days, and I am currently reviewing one of these opportunities.”

One of the aides and the GOP party official said Greenwood was looking at a position with the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which includes pharmaceutical houses and companies involved in human genome research.

Greenwood, who now chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigations subcommittee, said he would make his decision public in the near future but would have no other comment until then.

His district of northern Philadelphia suburbs and Bucks County trends Republican in congressional races but has favored Democratic nominees in the past three presidential campaigns.

Greenwood has raised more than $877,000 to run in the Nov. 2 election against Democratic challenger Virginia “Ginny” Schrader, an attorney who has never held elective office.

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