'Should doctors who spread misinformation lose their credentials? This group thinks so' (5) Pharmaceutical companies and misinformation

14 June, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to add to Najeeb's questions because he just opened Pandora's box.

1.   What if pharmaceuticals did not disclose serious side effects?  At least in the USA pharmaceuticals conduct multiple clinical trials before they apply for FDA's approval.  However, they are allowed to present the trials that show the least side effects.  Then, FDA approves those drugs without evaluating all the trials.  Is this not misinformation by omission that has serious global consequences?  How should WHO address this fact?  

2.    Do pharmaceuticals produce drugs first and find customers later? In the cases of Merck, the company managed to name a disease. Osteo penia, according to Merck, is a pre osteoporosis condition.   But the human bone does not grow after age 25-30 and everyone is a candidate. This was a clever marketing attempt that worked for a while and until it was discovered that the drug only hardens the bones and made them even more breakable.  

3.   Once again a new disease Latent TB was introduced after the drug was discovered.  The BMJ article and the podcast below explain that there is no latent TB and that the incubation period for TB is up to 18 months.  Unfortunately, many migrants especially form Asia and Africa are given this dangerous drug when they arrive in the USA because almost all show positive reactions as they had either received BCG vaccines and were immunized or were exposed to TB and treated.  Nevertheless, many are exposed to a dangerous drug that destroys their livers.   CDC is now changing its guideline on Latent TB because many had complained.  If the same drug is used globally for Latent TB WHO should remove this drug.  Please read and listen:

Here is an article published by the BMJ on latent TB:  


Here is the podcast on latent TB:


Best wishes,


HIFA profile: Enku Kebede-Francis (PHD, MS, MEd) is an advisor in global health governance. She has worked for the United Nations (UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNDPI); was an Assistant Professor at Tufts University Medical School/Department of Public Health; and, a Visiting Scientist at the USDA's Center for Human Nutrition Research Center for Aging and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University Medical School. She also designed and implemented preventive health programs promoting women's health and td tobacco cessation programs in Croatia and worked on addiction prevention programs in Florida and Massachusetts, USA. Her professional interests include preventing scurvy and childhood blindness in developing countries using micronutrients. An advocate for primary healthcare for all as a right, she published a textbook in 2010, Global health Disparities: closing the gap through good governance.