FDA: Consumer Watchdog or Big Pharma Puppet?

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Agency jobs funded directly by pharmaceutical companies' checkbooks; experts speak.

A group of the world's leading health experts is divulging insider information about the FDA's unethical and risky relationship with the pharmaceutical industry in the timely documentary "Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety."

As more Merck secrets are exposed and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been caught red-handed endangering the American public with less enforcement and questionable regulation over the past five years, medical community heavy-hitters are calling for immediate reform.

The film explores drug industry influence on various levels through important interviews with opinion leaders such as Dr. John Abramson of Harvard and author of Overdo$ed America, Dr. Bob Goodman of Columbia University who founded the program No Free Lunch and Dr. Jerome Hoffman of UCLA Medical School.

In "Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety" the experts point out exactly how much pull Big Pharma has within the FDA. "More than half of the budget of the division of the FDA that approves new drugs and oversees drug safety is being funded by the drug companies…" said Dr. John Abramson. "The watchdogs are largely drugged."

"Right now, our government is not terribly interested in making any reforms that would be useful, because they're so beholden to drug companies," said Dr. Jerome Hoffman. "We have to have the clout, influence and the organization to make it so that they can't blithely go along making the FDA be something that has been widely and famously called a servant of the drug industry. We have to make the FDA a servant to us."

Filmmaker Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau said, "I think the most shocking information to come out of this documentary was the direct level of financial dependence the FDA has on the pharmaceutical industry."

"Agency jobs and funding are sustained by the monetary success of new or existing drugs," she said. "This conflict of interest significantly jeopardizes public safety."

"Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety" comes as Slattery-Moschkau's second film about the issues within the pharmaceutical industry. Her debut film "Side Effects," was a fictional approach to exposing the issues, based on her decade working as a drug sales rep for two of the nation's top pharmaceutical companies.

For more information on the important issues raised in Money Talks, visit http://www.moneytalksthemovie.com. To arrange an interview with filmmaker Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, contact Cari Reisinger of Hummingbird Pictures at (209) 736-6769.

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