News broke yesterday about a heart attack vaccine that can “stop heart attacks.” According to the article, this vaccine “stimulates the body’s immune system to produce antibodies which prevent heart disease by stopping fat building up in the arteries.” According to the article, the vaccine could be here in five years.
While such a heart attack vaccine certainly sounds promising and I I’m excited at the prospect of a heart attack-free world, the past conduct of the pharmaceutical industry makes me doubt that this cardiac utopia will be as rosy as the article predicts. As described in The Truth About the Drug Companies, by Dr. Marcia Angell, former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, and in the lecture footage from Dr. Beatrice Golomb, Associate Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego, the pharmaceutical industry is fraught with deception and misrepresentation.
As Dr. Angell states, the pharmaceutical industry is “an industry that over the past two decades has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefits, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the U.S. Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, and the medical profession itself.” In her lecture, Dr. Golomb describes a systematic pattern of deception and fraud, perpetrated by pharmaceutical companies, in virtually every aspect of research, publication, and marketing.
Accordingly, the skeptic in me fears that the true lifecycle of the heart attack vaccine might be more along these lines…