John Flack

Why Weren’t These Vaccines Put Through the Proper Safety Trials For Gene Technology, Asks a Former Pharmaceutical Research Scientist

by Dr. John D. Flack I joined Beecham Research Laboratories in 1970 as a pharmacologist/endocrinologist charged with discovering new anti-fertility 'drugs'. My team came close but ultimately failed in this endeavor but as is the norm in the discovery of pharmaceuticals we made the serendipitous discovery of an anti-inflammatory compound which became a very successful effective-and-safe treatment for the symptomatic relief of patients with chronic degenerative joint diseases. We jested amongst ourselves that drug discovery was "like looking for a needle in a haystack and finding the farmer’s treasure”. To outsiders, it was of course a case of 'chance favouring the prepared mind'. Whatever, we knew that only one in several thousand compounds we made would be a successful marketed drug. Safety, of course, was paramount. The pharmaceutical industry was still reeling from the thalidomide disaster and the industry along with Government regulatory authorities worked together to do as much as was possible to avoid such tragedies ever happening again. It was perhaps quite understandable, then, we were ultra-cautious, and I have no doubt that on the faintest whiff of any safety problem we 'failed safe' and almost certainly 'threw the baby out with the bath water on many occasions. The industry and regulatory authorities were obsessed in putting safety over efficacy. Getting a drug through the preclinical and clinical...

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December 2022
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