Dr. Marcia Angell, a former long-time editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) resigned in June of 2000 after twenty years in the post. She resigned because of what she described as the rising and indefensible influence being exerted by Pharma at the prestigious journal and its powerful affiliate societies. So she wrote a book about it instead. Some really important quotes of hers from “The Truth About Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It” are:
“Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, big Pharma uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers and the medical profession itself.”
The above is exactly why I call our country the United States of Pharma. Notice she mentions the FDA (although the NIH’s complicity is implied by the rest of the sentence).