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The battle between Big Pharma and scientific integrity

Review – Taking on Big Pharma: Dr. Charles Bennett’s Battle

By Julius Getman and Terri LeClercq

Larger-than-life, creative, and fiercely ambitious, Dr. Charlie Bennett has a long history of revealing dangerous side effects of bestselling medicines. In 2006, his meta-analysis of existing data showed that top-selling ESAs (erythropoietin stimulating agents) created previously unrecognized risks, deaths, and serious illness. According to Dr. Steven Rosen, chief medical officer of the City of Hope Cancer treatment center, Bennett “saved more lives than anyone in American medicine.”

Bennett’s work also created enemies: Bennett was accused, on the basis of flimsy evidence, of mishandling government grant money and violating the False Claims Act (also known as the “Whistleblower Act”). Powerful interests within Big Pharma, academia, and law enforcement joined in the attack on Bennett. By 2010, he was forced from his academic position; was besieged by lawsuits; and became the victim of a coordinated, well-funded campaign to discredit him and refute his work. From pharma superstar to disgrace and disrepute in the blink of an eye.

“Taking On Big Pharma” explores Bennett’s achievement and evaluates the charges against him. Exposed is the unsettling relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and academia. The result of more than five years of research and hundreds of hours of interviews with scientists, academicians, and federal prosecutors, this is an unflinching look at how institutions, purportedly devoted to public health and education, can be corrupted for profit — from drug sales or research grants.

January 10, 2023 - Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science

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