USA Today: Why Big Pharma distrust is fueling the anti-vaxxer movement and playing a role in the measles outbreak
Note: This is a relatively balanced article about a topic that has been forever a one sided refusal to even entertain a conversation. Vaccine safety. Pharma drug safety. They two are the same. And yet, in the media, they are worlds apart. To many Americans, they are worlds apart. Pharma is the devil when it comes to drug safety and an angel when it comes to vaccines. If only the world were that black and white. Our Dan Olmsted was a founding writer for USA Today when it launched. I wish he were here today to help us sort out the morass of vaccine safety reporting. KIM
Bernadette Pajer doesn't trust the pharmaceutical industry. And she doesn't trust vaccines.
The founder of a Washington state advocacy group says her dual distrust shouldn't come as any surprise. She notes drugmakers have a "pretty poor record overall" on safety and transparency. Not to mention the opioid crisis, though Pajer often does.
Pajer is not alone. As distrust of the pharmaceutical industry grows, so has the anti-vaccination movement. That is a critical issue as the number of measles cases in the USA surges.
Vaccine supporters – which include federal, state and local officials, the public health community and most doctors – say it wasn't drugmakers' idea to require protection from largely eradicated deadly diseases. It's the government's doing.
It's also the government that shields drugmakers from liability when vaccines are found to cause injury. To vaccine skeptics, including drug safety advocate Kim Witczak, this suggests they may be hiding or at least getting away with something.
When voters were surveyed in January about their feelings toward industries that benefit from the North American Free Trade Agreement, nearly half had an unfavorable opinion of pharmaceutical companies, up from about a third in 2008, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen and the research firm Citizen Research.
"The pharmaceutical companies in particular push the negative reactions off the chart, with nearly half giving the most intense negative response," says a summary by pollster Stanley Greenberg. “Just mentioning the pharmaceutical companies as benefiting is like throwing a bomb in every quarter of the electorate." Read more at USA Today here.