Big Pharma funds anti-vape groups?
Imagine my shock!
It appears Big Pharma company Pfizer has been funding at least one European anti-vaping organization for a number of years allegedly pumping in millions of Euros.
Nothing wrong with that you might think, however Pfizer now has former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb on it’s board of directors and also manufactures stop smoking medicines and products.
One of those medicines is of course Champix, which as I reported last year has a number of serious side-effects including depression and suicidal tendencies.
I’ll talk more about Gottlieb in a moment, but first which anti-vape group has Pfizer been making donations to?
According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, the Big Pharma company has been funding the Alliance for German Action against Tobacco [ABNR] – a vehement anti-vape group, since 2009.
Not only has that organization received funds, a Pfizer employee is now on the ABNR ‘steering committee’!
In other words, a HUGE Big Pharma company is advising an anti-vaping group on how best to blacken the name of vaping in the media and how as a group they should get the message out that e-cigarettes are bad…medication is good.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how vaping has hit the bottom line of Big Pharma companies profits, and therefore using, shall we say ‘dirty tricks‘ to target all things vape, may lead smokers looking to quit to opt for medication rather than e-cigarettes…
Apart from possible killer drugs like Champix, Pfizer of course also manufactures the Nicorette line of stop smoking aids such as patches – gums and of course ‘flavoured’ nicotine mist sprays.
A recent study showed that e-cigarettes were twice as likely to help smokers quit compared to patches, gums and sprays – something Big Pharma and indeed Big Tobacco has known for years.
Big Pharma Funds Anti-Vape Groups – Who Else?
Quite a number is the answer…
In 2018 alone the company made donations to:
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust – £1,000
This was to help fund the Northern Ireland based Quit@work stop smoking scheme.
The Quit @ Work programme aims to support Stop Smoking Services in how they approach and work with local businesses, so that Stop Smoking Services can be delivered through onsite clinics and support employees to increase their chances of quitting.
Type Quit @ Work into Google with the word Belfast and top search result is a Stop Smoking Northern Ireland website.
Top of the list of ways to quit are – patches – gums – sprays and lozenges – all of course Pfizer products – imagine my shock!
E-cigarettes are at the bottom and the write-up is hardly glowing:
Licensed nicotine replacement therapies like patches, gum and sprays are tightly controlled for product quality and safety.
They are a better option for your health than e-cigarettes.
Indeed Pfizer has funded a number of UK Quit @ Work schemes.
Big Pharma Funds Anti-Vape Groups – Medical and Educational Goods and Services [MEGS] £1,000 to £50,000
Pfizer gives a rather interesting disclaimer to this form of grant/donation:
The MEGS that we provide are in the form of financial grants or services delivered by a Pfizer colleague or a 3rd party supplier engaged by Pfizer.
MEGS are intended to either enhance patient care or benefit the NHS and maintain patient care.
MEGS cannot be linked to prescribing or use of a specific medicine.
Pfizer’s involvement is strictly limited to the provision or delivery of the MEGS grant or service and we do not receive any direct benefit in return.
MEGS do not constitute an inducement to prescribe, supply, administer, recommend, buy or sell any medicine.
That last sentence is a bit of an hmm moment.
Get the grant but don’t think you HAVE to prescribe any of our stop smoking products…
As you can see, Pfizer has donated a sizeable chunk of money to various MEGS schemes in the UK – not all of which are stop smoking programmes, but many are.
- Curing Tobacco Addiction in Greater Manchester – £77,300.00
- Management of Tobacco Dependency – Primary Care Respiratory Society – £49,000
- Leaflets and posters for the Essex Lifestyle Service Stop Smoking – £2,000
That last one is interesting and again the website when it comes to using e-cigarettes as a quit tool is again less than keen on vaping as a stop smoking tool.
Instead, it’s offering 12 weeks of Champix [see above] and various NRTs – such as of course patches – sprays and gums…
As to e-cigarettes it says:
These products are not yet regulated or licenced as medications therefore we cannot recommend their use or supply them however Public Health England released an independent review that concluded e-cigs are at best estimate around 95% safer than conventional cigarettes.
We will offer you support in stopping smoking if you choose to use an e-cig/vape knowing the above and this can be in combination with NRT subject to assessment with our adviser.
“We cannot recommend…”
But they can recommend Pfizer’s possibly suicidal medication?
Big Pharma Funds Anti-Vape Groups – Scott Gottlieb – Pfizer and Vaping…
When he took over as the FDA commissioner Gottlieb appeared to be a huge supporter of e-cigarettes.
He was, after all, a cancer survivor who had invested in a vape company!
All was well until the US media got hold of the alleged ‘teen vaping crisis‘ and Gottlieb at first was on the fence.
Sure he recognized there may be a problem but he wouldn’t be rushed into any form of ban as he still believed e-cigs were a good option to help smokers quit.
After intense pressure from the media he did issue a warning to vape companies and that’s when the clock began ticking as to his tenure as FDA supremo – the now infamous Existential Threat speech.
Now as coincidences go – his call for Big Pharma to introduce new drugs to help wean kids off vaping was interesting – especially as a few months later he jumped ship for Pfizer!
Pfizer is, as we know, already behind many stop smoking drugs and nicotine products…so another would just add to its coffers…at the expense of kids health…nothing to see here move along…
I said in my article: FDA Supremo Scott Gottlieb Resigns…
I called those supporting the idea – including Gottlieb – of using mind bending drugs to ‘wean’ kids of e cigs as ‘bat shit crazy‘.
When a trial of such drugs was conducted on a group of teenagers the findings showed it simply didn’t work.
However this didn’t stop Gottlieb who publicly supported the idea of Big Pharma creating new drugs to get America’s kids off e-cigarettes!
Following his anti-vaping crusade States, towns and cities across America began restricting or outright banning flavoured e-liquids with New York City the last to make the move just last week.
Not only that, who can forget his last words as FDA boss where he linked vaping with seizures – needing of course new medication…
He said at the time:
While 35 cases may not seem like much compared to the total number of people using e-cigarettes, we are nonetheless concerned by these reported cases.
We want to be clear that we don’t yet know if there’s a direct relationship between the use of e-cigarettes and a risk of seizure.
That grenade of course put vaping in an extremely dark light with the media hype in full swing and added to the calls to ban all things vape in the States.
With that bombshell he toddled off to the Pfizer board and a huge payout…nothing to see here move along…
Since then, Gottlieb just cannot stay away from the great vape debate.
He takes to Twitter regularly to offer his two penny worth.
His latest Tweet from a few hours ago now suggests FDA ‘research’ shows vaping damages the lungs…I shit you not:
In April 2019 I announced FDA had evidence suggesting e-cigs could cause direct damage to the lungs, including dysplastic injury, and the agency was undertaking a formal study to evaluate the findings. Those results are key to further informing these risks https://t.co/cSvFqWho6M
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) December 16, 2019
Gottlieb is now Mr Big Pharma again and with the company that would most benefit if vaping was banned in the USA and indeed more countries.
One has to ask the question, why is he and Pfizer allegedly so anti-vaping and willing to put their collective mouths and cash to denigrate all things vape?
Answers on a Christmas card 😉