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Politics in Getting Funds for Drug Research

Posted Aug 30 2010 11:37am

Some folks may say I am not fair in my assessment of how research funds are doled out by the National Institutes of Health.  They may even decide that I’m not objective in my arguments.  That’s fine with me – because the TRUTH of the matter is that politics, and who is jockeying for the money is at the heart of these things…..NOT the best interests of the people who could be helped by finding a cure!  And I know those same folks don’t have Parkinson’s Disease either.

Royce Lamberth Official Photo

Royce Lamberth Official Photo - Image via Wikipedia

For instance, take the latest ruling by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth who granted an injunction against federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research .  He granted the injunction because he thought the doctors who opposed human embryonic stem cell research would most likely win their suit since he believes those cells are destroyed in research.

But let’s look at this situation a little more closely.  The two doctors who are bringing the lawsuit against the National Institutes of Health are Dr. James Sherley of Boston Biomedical Research Institute and Theresa Deisher of Washington-based AVM Biotechnology.  They oppose human embryonic stem cell research because they’ve invested their research time and energies on studying adult stem cells.  Yup, they decided that if the NIH funds research on human embroynic stem cells that will funnel monies away from their research projects.  And furthermore, in typical kindergarten fashion, the New York Times reports that these two “researchers” have a long history of causing conflict in the scientific community, and have been  at odds with those who do human embryonic stem cell research.

So, we have at least one doctor who took an oath to “do no harm” and they are stopping the work of other researchers who may be closer to cures than they are…..so in typical whiney-butt fashion, they file a lawsuit.  Of course, they have the full support of the supposed Christians who have decided they are God and can determine when life really begins.  How despicable!

Then good ‘ole Judge Lamberth decides that his decision won’t harm the research of those doing human embroynic stem cell research because they can still get private funding…..right Judge.  And are you footing the bill for private funding?  No?  Well, then let Dr. Sherley and Ms. Deisher get PRIVATE funding for their research.  Keep your fat pig-nose out of the business of those who are making progress to find cures for diseases now!  Oh, and you won’t……because your ox hasn’t been gored yet.  You probably don’t have a family member with severe diabetes, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease…..yet.

I’m highly skeptical that Judge Lamberth allowed this injunction because of the validity of the LAW.  I believe that people are influenced in some way by outside forces.  Take that as you will. I’ve known too many judges in the 21 years I was married to a trial lawyer….and I can’t name one that was ethical as a leader.  You have to wonder why two whining researchers (one who was locked out of his laboratory at M.I.T.) resort to using our legal system to get a “leg up” on their peers.

I am sure Judge Lamberth is aware of the damage he is causing.  Now, I want my readers to be informed that since Monday of last week the following has happened at the National Institutes of Health:

A colony of embryonic stem cells, from the H9 ...

Image via Wikipedia

  • All new grants are on hold.
  • 50 grants ready for peer review were pulled.
  • 12 proposals worth $15-$20 million ready for final level of review and likely to be funded were stopped.
  • 22 grants worth$54 million ready for their annual renewal in September will not be renewed.
  • In addition all additional listing of eligible stem cell lines on the registry will be placed on hold.
  • Current research underway using this year’s money is questionable.

I’m sure the supposed Christians who think they are God are doing a dance…and that disgusts me.

Don’t think that this is the only case of politics getting in the way of drug research.  While the FDA blithely approved Avandia, a diabetes medication by Glaxo Smith Klein – they KNEW as early as 2000 that Avandia presented heart attack risks.  Yet, they approved the drug anyway and GSK made exorbitant profits off of a drug that caused people to die.

Avandia

Image by neofedex via Flickr

It makes you wonder then why a drug like the Neupro patch, manufactured by a non-American company, UCB, in Belgium cannot get approval from the FDA.  This drug has no side-effects that are unsafe and the efficacy of this patch is unquestionable since 50,000+ people throughout the rest of the world are safely using it.  Perhaps the FDA is like Judge Lamberth and is being influenced by outside forces?  I suppose the FDA would rather stall and force UCB to sell their formulary for Neupro to an American company, put it out of business and keep Americans from SAFE medications.  Unless you have lots of money to cross palms – it seems you can’t get a safe drug approved by the FDA these days.  And it makes me wonder about frivolous lawsuits too.

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