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Can Pharmaceutical Companies Be Trusted?

This is an issue I've been pondering for the past few weeks, and I've gone through a lot of research to come to what, I think, is the right conclusion.

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The Rumors

This all started back at the beginning of this semester, when I read a few articles on a different blog about how "Big Pharma Can't Be Trusted." The authors went through many different points, but overall they said that pharmaceutical companies can't be trusted because they try and cover up injuries related to vaccines to keep making money.

And I thought to myself, "Well, how can be right? If something that bad is really happening then the whole world should know about it. But then why don't I see it on the news or something?" I decided that this topic is worth investigating and I think you will too by the end of this post.

Regulations

I figured that the best way to dissect this topic was to define what I think the rumors mean. I felt there's two components that make up the rumor that pharmaceutical companies cover up vaccine injuries to keep making money: one, that pharmaceutical companies must be acting recklessly and putting their customers in danger, and two, that victims of vaccine related injuries are being ignored.

As for this first point, I did some research about the safety regulations that go into making vaccines.

Even though I know I live in the United States, I've seen growing precedence in other countries that limits the amount of advertising and sponsorship that pharmaceutical companies can do. So you can trust that your doctor is unbiased when prescribing medicine because the government doesn't allow sponsorships or things like that to promote a new vaccine or drug. I believe that similar legislation is already in place in the U.S. in order to provided the best, unbiased medicine to everyone.

I also did some research on the actual safety procedures researchers have to go through licensing a vaccine or similar drug. I found that modern techniques used to make vaccines actually go through a huge series of tests to ensure that the only things going into vaccines are helpful towards a strong immune system. You don't have to worry that there are dangerous particulates in your vaccine. Similarly, I found that all vaccines have to go through phase trial testing where they have to defend the safety of their vaccine in human trials, before it ever reaches the market. These phase trials can go on for years, in order to ensure the greatest amount of safety for customers.

The Story of RD

So unfortunately... I believe that there have been a few cases where people may have been negatively affected by vaccines, but I think that those people have had someone take the responsibility for their injuries.

Did you know that there was such thing as a Vaccine Court? There is an entire section of our judicial branch that is focused on taking on injury cases where they believed it may have been caused by the vaccine. They have to prove that it's "more likely than not" that the injury occurred as a result of the vaccine. Legally, 51% probability is all it takes to win the courts in your favor. That sounds extremely generous to me.

I know you're probably wondering who RD is. He's 21 now. He was diagnosed with transverse myelitis 2 weeks after receiving a chicken pox vaccine in 2009. After a 5 year long struggle in the court system, he was able to prove that his injury was vaccine related, and his family was compensated monetarily to face the burden of living with transverse myelitis.

His attorney, at the time of the court case closure, stated "The injuries that RD suffered from this vaccine are severe and lifelong. Even though he has received a significant award as far as the awards in the Vaccine Court go, no amount of money will ever compensate him for what he has lost. But RD is an amazing young man who has not let this injury stop him in any way. He has graduated high school with his class, attends a Tier 1 college, and has great aspirations that I know he will achieve despite the challenges he faces because of his injuries." Like I said, there are a few cases where people are affected negatively by vaccines, but I believe that's why the Vaccine Courts are so special. They compensate families in need and support them.

This goes to show that the victims aren't being ignored by society, and that there is someone to take the blame for whatever injury is caused by a vaccine.

Conclusion

So, from all that I researched and highlighted above, I think you might be able to guess how I feel about this issue.

I personally don't think that pharmaceutical companies are acting recklessly or ignoring the complications caused in very few cases by vaccines. Rather, I think the opposite: I think that our modern technology has made this the safest century to be alive, and that in the million to one case where someone is injured that there is justice for that person.

Hopefully if you've read this far I'd like to say thanks for keeping up!

References, yo.

https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2002/176/3/ethical-issues-concerning-relationships-between-medical-practitioners-and

Ensuring safety and consistency in cell production processes: viral screening and inactivation, Trends in Biology 1994 <<<< Scientific Journal

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/127/Supplement_1/S16.full.pdf

http://www.newstarget.com/2017-02-03-13-year-old-permanently-disabled-by-chicken-pox-vaccine-wins-case-in-vaccine-court.html

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