This interesting piece from Michael Siegel is a must read or those who still believe that “health authorities” still act in the best interest of citizens in general and smokers in particular.
"According to his own sworn testimony, the chair of the expert panel which recently released national recommendations (stored copy) for the use of smoking cessation medications by physicians receives up to $50,000 in annual resources from GlaxoSmithKline to support his educational, research, and policy activities. Despite this huge financial conflict of interest with Big Pharma, the panel chair – Dr. Michael Fiore – failed to recuse himself from the panel and the panel organizers failed to remove him from the panel.
According to his testimony (stored copy) in the Department of Justice tobacco lawsuit: ‘GlaxoSmithKline gave a grant to the University of Wisconsin that established a chair for the treatment of tobacco dependence. That donation by GlaxoSmithKline was to the University. Named chairs at the University of Wisconsin provide the person who sits in that chair to access to the revenue generated from the investment on the initial grant. So in this instance, I have access to up to $50,000 per year to support my University approved and sanctioned educational, research, and policy activities.’
Dr. Fiore also apparently failed to disclose all of his financial conflicts of interest in his initial financial disclosure (stored copy) required for his participation on the panel. The disclosure form asks for "complete" disclosure of all conflicts over the past 5 years. On the form, Dr. Fiore denied any current honoraria or consulting arrangements with pharmaceutical companies, but apparently failed to disclose the fact (based on his own testimony) (stored copy) that: ‘I have done some consulting work for pharmaceutical companies over the years. Over the past five years, my outside consulting work on an annual basis has ranged between about $10,000 and $30,000 or $40,000 per year.’ "
Come-come, Dr. Siegel. You should know by now that payolas and corruption come ONLY from the tobacco industry. Pharmaceutical money is actually a cleanser, didn’t you know? As soon as it touches the hands and the banks of the payee, it cleanses the organizations from every and all immoral implications, and further ennobles individuals as valorous fighters against the evil weed.
It follows that conflicts of interests, outright corruption, false information and self-serving, misleading, “grass root” groups that are paid millions of dollars a year by the pharmaceutical gangs as well as any other permutation of falsehood, discrimination and hate promotion is legitimate and justified in the fight against the epidemic for which not even one death can be demonstrated.