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    New Delhi:

    105681190

    Eminent British-Indian Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra has alleged that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has completely lost its independence and suggested that the Indian government should ignore its advice on various issues and exit the global health body. Talking to PT, Malhotra, who gave a lecture at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on “The Corporate Capture of Medicine and Public Health” recently, also claimed that regulators do not independently evaluate data related to drugs.

    “Drug regulators, such as the FDA, who are supposed to evaluate drugs, receive 65 per cent of their funding from big pharma. The regulator in the UK gets 86 per cent funding from the pharma companies. So this is a gross conflict of interest. Patients and doctors think these organisations are independently evaluating the data, but they are not doing that. Till we remove these commercial conflicts of interest from health policies and decision making, we are not going to progress,” Malhotra said.

    As for the WHO, Malhotra said the organisation has completely lost its independence.

    “Seventy per cent of the funding of the World Health Organisation comes from commercial entities…. As long as the WHO is getting industry funding or funding from vested interests, it should not be considered independent and the Indian government should ignore its advice. Those commercial entities are not interested in your health, they will make money by deception,” he said.

    The WHO should be independently funded, otherwise governments, doctors and the public cannot have confidence that their recommendations are based on the best available evidence, Malhotra said.

    Medical knowledge is under commercial control but most doctors do not know that, he said, adding, “What that means is that the information doctors use to make decisions for patients, specifically when it comes to drug prescription, has been biased and corrupted by big pharma whose only interest is to produce profit for the shareholders and not to give you the best treatment.”

    Almost always and without an exception, the results of clinical trials of drugs are published in the most prestigious medical journals, which grossly exaggerate both the safety aspects and benefits of the drugs, Malhotra claimed.

    “What I am promoting is ethical, evidence-based medical practice and for that, there has to be ethical, evidence-based clinical trials that take into consideration individual patient preferences and values,” he said.

    Most of the new drugs in the last two decades that have been produced by big pharmaceutical companies are copies of old ones, Malhotra claimed, adding that less than 10 per cent of those are truly innovative.

    “So what they do is, they will change the molecules of the drug, make it more expensive, change the name and re-brand it. They will make the money and move on. Only about 10 per cent of the new drugs in the last two decades have been truly beneficial and an improvement on previous drugs. So just imagine the money that is spent unnecessarily,” he said.

    Malhotra further alleged that the roll out, coercion and mandating of the Covishield and Pfizer anti-COVID vaccines have exposed the greatest failures of the system where economic incentives take precedent over people even if they are maimed and killed.

    “Clinical trials should be designed and evaluated by scientists with no financial ties to the manufacturers of those products. Secondly, a law should be passed to forbid drug regulators taking any funding from pharma. It is a gross conflict of interest that has already proven to have had catastrophic consequences,” he said.

    • Published On Dec 2, 2023 at 05:58 PM IST

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