FDA Approves Nonexistent Product from Nonexistent Company for Human Testing

by Heidi Stevenson 10 January 2011          gaia-health

A sting nailed a company the HHS authorized to oversee human drug trials. The absurdities in the application are belly laugh funny, but in their rush to keep the money coming, they approved it.

The FDA farms out drug and medical device testing. It’s in the hands of the companies hoping to gain approval for their products, but they must first get approval before doing tests on humans. Even here, though, there’s a catch. The FDA doesn’t review the testing plans. That’s done by more for-profit companies, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). But it gets worse. The IRBs are paid by the companies hoping to gain FDA approval for their products. So, it’s a conflict of interest on top of a conflict of interest.

The First Sting

Congress became suspicious, so they got together with the General Accountability Office (GAO) to set up a sting. They sent out an application for testing of a nonexistent product, Adhesiabloc, by a nonexistent company, Device Med-Systems.

Subtlety is apparently not one of the GAO’s strong suits. Adhesiabloc was described as a gel that would be poured into a patient’s stomach after surgery to collect the bits and pieces left over from the operation. The instructions were to pour more than a liter into the wound.

Not one of the IRBs bothered to check the credentials of Device Med-Systems. Not one noted that the company’s headquarters was listed as a post office box in a shopping mall. The doctor who was supposed to have been leading development, Jonathan Q. Kruger, didn’t exist either. Not one checked to see if the product had ever been registered in development. Even so, two of the IRBs turned them down. Apparently, they actually read the testing protocol. The board member of one stated that it was the “riskiest thing I’ve ever seen on this board,” and an employee of the other simply called it “junk”.

Coast IRB LLC of Colorado Springs apparently didn’t see any value in reading the documentation. Their board members, several of whom were MDs, approved it unanimously, describing it as “probably very safe”.

The Second Sting

If that isn’t bad enough, the GAO did a second sting—and this one was on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the parent of the FDA.

You have to wonder how an IRB as sloppy as Coast was licensed in the first place. This sting shows us. They put together an application to set up an IRB and sent it to HHS. They named their sting Trooper, after a three-legged dog of a congressional staffer. (Some reports state that the company name or the CEO was Trooper, but that doesn’t fit the scheme, as you’ll see.)

The name of the fake company was Phake Medical Devices. The names of the principals were April Phuls,Timothy Witless, and Alan Ruse. The company’s location was listed as Chetesville, Arizona.

The application sailed through.

The Response

Daniel Dueber, Coast IRB’s CEO, was subpoenaed to testify to congress. That must have clued him in that something might be wrong. Apparently, he or someone else in his company went through their files to search for irregularities. Adhesiabloc popped out. Oops! This was five months after the approval. They went into action. They reported the fraud. They ordered the immediate termination of the nonexistent trial. And Dueber testified:

We are doing our level best to ensure protection for subjects of clinical trials under our review, an objective we share with the Food and Drug Administration. We are legally and morally obliged to report any unlawful conduct we find occurring in a clinical trial and, so, fulfilled that responsibility in this case.

Right.

Dueber went on the aggressive, saying that sting operations are illegal unless they’re approved by the courts. He went into high dudgeon, playing the poor innocent. He claimed that congressional investigators had “perpetrated an extensive fraud against my company.” Coast IRB further stated that they were “violating wire fraud, mail fraud, and state laws against fraud and false credentialling”.

Ummm…Exactly what was Coast doing? Wasn’t that fraud? And on a much grander scale—one that can result in the deaths of huge numbers, like Vioxx, and Avastin, and Hormone Replacement Therapy, and so many others.

Finally, he told the congressional committee, “We got hoodwinked.” Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan responded, “You didn’t get hoodwinked. You took the bait, hook, line, and sinker.”

The FDA never moved against Coast. However, the good news is that the company didn’t survive. Their business dried up.

Regarding the sting again HHS, Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon was displeased, and on the day of the inquiry, stated, “Nobody picked up on names like Phake Medical Devices, April Phuls, Timothy Witless and Alan Ruse—in the town of Chetesville, Arizona?” Representative Joe Barton of Texas exclaimed to an HHS official, “Do you have any sense of outrage?”

The saddest part of this tale is that none of this is news. This happened nearly two years ago. Nothing has been done to resolve an obviously corrupt system. The stings revealed an obvious and utter lack of concern for the quality, safety, and efficacy of drugs and medical products by the agencies tasked with overseeing them.

Not a single step has been taken to safeguard the public. Not even lip service has been paid.

In fact, the opposite has happened. Instead of pulling power away from HHS, the FDA, and companies they’ve authorized, they’ve been given even more power. And they’ve used that power recklessly against innocents and healthy products, such as raw milk producers and their customers, health food products and stores, and other healthy products, like walnuts. They’re doing this while allowing more and more truly dangerous and useless products to continue to be produced and sold by those who hold the real power over them: Big Pharma and Big Medicine.

The FDA supports the profits of Big Pharma and Big Medicine over the rights and health of the people.

HHS supports the profits of Big Pharma and Big Medicine over the rights and health of the people.

Other than a little showboating, Congress supports the profits of Big Pharma and Big Medicine over the rights and health of the people.

Commentary from Health Freedom Alliance:

The FDA describes themselves as being in place to protect the American public. Most people these days know better, especially when reports like the following display to citizens the sort of malicious folly carried out on the daily by the agency. In stings set up by Congress with the General Accountability Office (GAO), the FDA displayed its lack of attention to obvious dangers and fraud by approving medical testing for a ridiculous device and approving a company with laughingly phony names as one of its Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) which are the for-profit companies that really do the testing of products.

The medical device that was approved by one of these established IRBs of the FDA? Adhesiabloc was presented by a nonexistent company, Device Med-Systems, and described as a gel that would be poured into a patient’s stomach after surgery to collect the bits and pieces left over from the operation; the instructions were to pour more than a liter into the wound. Even though there was no record of the company and the doctor who was supposed to be leading development was fake, the item was approved to be tested on humans.

Yikes, and now the FDA is poised to gain more money and power with legislation passed by the current administration. Where is the line drawn when it comes to gross neglect of duties? Why is the administration, instead of going through an intensive review process, allowed even more jurisdiction over the health of the American people when they have already been clearly neglecting their proposed responsibilities?

~Health Freedoms


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41 responses to “FDA Approves Nonexistent Product from Nonexistent Company for Human Testing

  1. So, what else is new(s)??

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  5. Great article. Thank you.

  6. Useless alphabet agencies, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000190526

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  9. wow that’s pretty bad

  10. When I read this paragraph:


    The FDA farms out drug and medical device testing. It’s in the hands of the companies hoping to gain approval for their products, but they must first get approval before doing tests on humans. Even here, though, there’s a catch. The FDA doesn’t review the testing plans. That’s done by more for-profit companies, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). But it gets worse. The IRBs are paid by the companies hoping to gain FDA approval for their products. So, it’s a conflict of interest on top of a conflict of interest.

    …my gut sank. That is *exactly* the structure behind the federal testing a and approval of voting machines.

    There’s been only four private test labs (“ITAs” for “Independent Testing Authorities”) approved to check out voting machines. Three of those four were thrown out for poor performance at one time or another and let back in only with “mandated performance improvement” or “close review” or whatever. (Two of those labs are based in Huntsville AL, right next to the Redstone National Arsenal where their normal gigs involve checking out the software controls behind stuff like ICBMs…I hope to God they’re not screwing THAT up! The one lab that hasn’t been tossed out yet is in a different line of business most of the time: video game testing. I wish I was making this up.)

    My point is, we don’t have a “pill problem” so much as a structural problem within the federal bureaucracy system.

    Jim March
    Member of the Board of Directors
    http://blackboxvoting.org

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  12. Are there any sources for this story?

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  17. This is no surprise…..just another example of behind the scenes decisions made to INCREASE the amount of sick and dying to further their population reduction agenda and make money while they are at it. Typical.

  18. jay –

    If you go to the original (http://www.gaia-health.com/articles351/000378-system-sting.shtml), you’ll see references listed at the bottom.

    • thanks so much for such a terrific article, Heidi ~ your humorous take on such blatant and dangerous corruption makes this piece primo.

      great job.

    • My thanks too Heidi! and it’s great that your article is getting so much attention now even tho the original sting stayed mostly under the radar in 2009.

  19. No wonder the university I work for doesn’t allow us to use an outside IRB. Now I’m on board with that, too.

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  21. CHECK THIS OUT!

    if you ever doubt that blogging has an impact:

    FDA to improve most common review path for medical devices
    Wed, 19 Jan 2011 11:59:00 -0600

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today unveiled a plan containing 25 actions it intends to implement during 2011 to improve the most common path to market for medical devices.

  22. When confronted with a drug I look at its approval in other countries. Does the EU allow for this drug? Does Canada? All of these are much more strict than America in the drug approval process. Also, the EU is very quick about recalls and pulling approval.

  23. Chainreaction -

    I’m in Scotland right now. I hate to tell you, but the reality now is that the EU, Canada – virtually everywhere – follows the lead of the FDA. Sometimes they’re even worse here. Big Pharma is as dug in here as in the US. Sometimes, even worse. Denmark’s agency for controlling drugs actually sells them, and not only to people there, but also in other countries. Germany is already fully under Codex Alimentarius rules regarding vitamins, supplements, and herbs.

    The mess is everywhere. It’s never been about health. It’s all about making the world safe for multinational trade.

  24. Thanks for the article and for showing how again the American people are getting screwed by bureaucratic clowns who are more concerned about their pay scale and pensions than about doing their job. They should be serving time alongside the banksters that have robbed this country with the help of the govt.

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  34. whoah this blog is magnificent i really like studying your
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