A Powerful Mob Behind State Medical Boards

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  • Federation of State Medical Boards is a very influential private nonprofit whose official mission is vaguely defined as “representing the state medical and osteopathic regulatory boards”
  • Through their influence and their significant lobbying efforts, they act as a force for censoring and punishing physicians who don’t toe the official party line
  • Since 1990s, FSMB has been attacking “alternative” medicine practitioners
  • This organization is said to have significantly contributed to the problem of opioid crisis
  • Recently, FSMB was exposed by a Dr. Bruce Dooley, an American doctor in New Zealand

Dr. Bruce Dooley, an American Doctor in New Zealand

Recently, Bruce Dooley, an American doctor in New Zealand, exposed the role of the Federation of State Medical Boards — an influential American NGO — in shaping not just American but also international health policy in favor of Big Pharma, all under the guise of “protecting” patients’ rights.

Using Censorship and Mob Tactics to Protect Big Pharma

You might have heard that last year, the Federation pushed for harsh censorship and persecution of independently-thinking physicians. In July 2021, it released the following statement:

“Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license. Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust and therefore have a powerful platform in society, whether they recognize it or not.

They also have an ethical and professional responsibility to practice medicine in the best interests of their patients and must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven for the betterment of public health. Spreading inaccurate COVID-19 vaccine information contradicts that responsibility, threatens to further erode public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk.”

Taking a cue from FSMB, in September 2021, the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) issued a statement of support of FSMB’s position, while hinting that “misinformation” really meant any medical opinion that did not support the pharma-friendly establishment views.

Then in April 2022, FSMB released another statement whose Orwellian hypocrisy is in a league of its own. This is how it started:

“Truthful and accurate information is central to the provision of quality medical care. It is instrumental for obtaining informed consent from patients and supports the trust that patients hold in the medical profession.

Honesty, truthfulness and transparency are virtues that society expects of all health professionals, and they are traits that are indispensable to physicians carrying out their professional responsibilities and interacting with patients and the public.

False information is harmful and dangerous to patients, and to the public trust in the medical profession, especially when licensed physicians disseminate misinformation or disinformation about a disease or illness, including its prevention, management or treatment …”

“Physicians must remain objective and impartial in the delivery of information and in selecting or curating information that is deemed relevant to patient care and public health. If a treatment is recommended over alternatives, the recommendation must be based in scientific evidence, rather than opinion or motives that do not benefit the patient’s health or that of the public.”

Good words, right? However, here is the conclusion they drew:

“While respect for patient autonomy is an essential component of the physician-patient relationship, neither the patient’s autonomy, nor the physician’s professional autonomy, is absolute. Only reasonable [by whose standards?] requests on the part of the patient should be granted, and only scientifically justified [again, by whose standards?] treatment options should be recommended by the physician.”

They also used their original language and stated, again, that physicians who spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation risk “disciplinary action, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license.” So much for honesty, scientific integrity, and informed consent!

And just a few days ago, on September 24, 2022, the President and CEO of FSMB, Humayun Chaudhry, delivered a talk at a plenary session at the ABMS Conference 2022 on the topic of “Misinformation in Health Care: The Implications for Professionalism and the Public Trust.” Follow the science, sigh. Do as I say and not as I do?

In the meanwhile, in California, the alarming Assembly Bill 2098 was passed by the California Senate on August 29 2022 and is now awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature. The bill is seeking to “designate the dissemination of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or “COVID-19,” as unprofessional conduct.”

Upside-Down Language

Upside-down language is a technique that “hacks” our instincts in order to trick us into acting against our best interests.

“Upside-down language is treacherous because in the natural world, the method of “disguising as a friend in order to catch prey” is strictly a hunting technique — but today, the power holders apply it across the board, to the entire population. Which then, if we think about it honestly, makes it clear what kind of relationship we’ve been having with the Machine.”

The Federation of State Medical Boards has perfected this method to a fascinating degree. They seems to be loyal to the prestigious goal of protecting the interests of the owners of the pharmaceutical industry — but they are wrapping their pro-Big-Pharma campaigns in the warm and fuzzy language about protecting the rights and the safety of the patient. For shame …

Who Is FSMB, Anyway?

FSMB is a private organization with a nonprofit status whose official mission is very vaguely defined as “representing the state medical and osteopathic regulatory boards – commonly referred to as state medical boards – within the United States, its territories and the District of Columbia.”

In their own words, it “supports its member boards as they fulfill their mandate of protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare through the proper licensing, disciplining, and regulation of physicians and, in most jurisdictions, other health care professionals.”

”The FSMB serves as a national voice for state medical boards, supporting them through education, assessment, data, research and advocacy while providing services and initiatives that promote patient safety, quality health care and regulatory best practices.”

What does it mean? Like I said in my earlier Substack, “in what capacity, and by what authority, does this influential group represent and support state medical boards?” Who knows.

To add more detail from the Alliance for Natural Health, they are a “private 501(c)(6) trade association that purports to represent the seventy state medical and osteopathic boards of the US and its territories, and cosponsors the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

It is tremendously powerful: whatever it suggests in terms of medical care policies are often adopted by the state medical boards. A private trade association with no public funding, transparency, or accountability arguably has the power to interpret state medical law and grant or revoke medical licenses!”

History of FSMB

FSMB was created in 1912, on the tail of the 1910 Flexner report that was commissioned by the Rockefeller interests and used to “consolidate” the American (and then international) medical industry “under the boot of the likes of the Rockefellers.” The sources of FSMB’s funding seem to be veiled in secrecy, short of the publicly available information on the nonprofit directory Guidestar. Dr. Paul Martin Kempen provided some more insight into the FSMB and wrote:

“Despite the implications of its name, the Federation of State Medical Boards, Inc. (FSMB … is not a governmental authority. None of these entities have official legislative or regulatory power afforded by any federal or state government. FSMB, however, uses its contacts and influence with state medical boards (SMBs) to advance its corporate products. This may be called ‘crony capitalism.’”

FSMB’s Lobbying

According to ProPublica, the list of agencies it lobbies since 2010 includes the following:

“U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Health & Human Services – Dept of (HHS), Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Agency for Health Care Policy & Research, Office of Natl Drug Control Policy (NDCP), Veterans Affairs – Dept of (VA), White House Office, Defense – Dept of (DOD), Natl Institutes of Health (NIH), Executive Office of the President (EOP), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Government Accountability Office (GAO), Justice – Dept of (DOJ), Defense – Dept of (DOD), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Homeland Security – Dept of (DHS), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of the Vice President of the United States, Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), Indian Health Service, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Transportation – Dept of (DOT), Education – Dept of, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).”

And here is a partial list of bills:

It is worth noting that they also seem to be on a mission to attack hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. Case in point: two bills that they list on their website as their key “advocacy” issues:

On a side note, here is a comprehensive article by Dr. Meryl Nass about the attack on hydroxychloroquine, and here is another, also comprehensive, article by Dr. Pierre Kory about the attack on ivermectin. Both are worth checking out!

FSMB’s Role in the Opioid Crisis

In her recent Substack, Dr. Colleen Huber described the lawsuit of the brave pediatrician, Dr. Paul Thomas, and his Amended Complaint that “goes into detail about the nefarious acts of this outfit, and its attempts to throw the kitchen sink and all the dishes in it against doctors who question the vaccine narrative.”

Here is a quote from Dr. Thomas’ Amended Complaint in which he details the direct involvement of the Federation of State Medical Boards in the creation of the opioid crisis:

128. The Federation of State Medical Boards (“Federation”) is a secretive, private, and powerful organization located in Texas. The Federation is not transparent and is unaccountable to the public. The Federation claims to represent the state medical boards in the United States and support them. In fact, the Federation wields an enormous about of power over the practice of medicine in all 50 States.

129. The Federation is funded and controlled by big pharmaceutical companies. According to poll data, Big Pharma is the least trusted industry. The Federation serves to whitewash Big Pharma’s narrative and control the state medical boards to the benefit of Big Pharma. The Federation does the bidding of Big Pharma. For example, the Federation played a major role in the disastrous opiate crisis.

130. Led by Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, opiate manufacturers gave almost $2 million to the Federation. During the time this money was pouring in, the Federation wrote new guidelines for opiate prescribing, in which it explained that what looked like addiction was not really addiction.

The guidelines included this statement: “Millions of Americans suffer from debilitating pain – a condition that, for some, can be relieved through the use of opioids.”

131. The Federation pressured medical boards to adopt the new guidelines. It created continuing medical education courses to teach doctors to prescribe more opioids to their patents. It sought to reassure doctors that following the new guidelines would reduce the likelihood of disciplinary action. Indeed, the Federation encouraged state medical boards to discipline doctors for the undertreatment of pain.

132. The Federation also promoted a book titled “Responsible Opioid Prescribing” based on its guidelines designed to encourage the broad use of opioids for non-terminal patients. The Federation encouraged the overprescribing and worsening of the opioid addiction. A four-fold increase in prescribing opioids was associated with a four-fold increase in opioid related overdose deaths.

133. The Federation was a primary purveyor of misinformation about opiates that caused a man-made epidemic of addition and death. The opioid epidemic was caused by an industry-funded campaign to encourage opioid prescribing in which the Federation had a prominent role.

134. The Federation promotes whatever is in the interests of Big Pharma. It is part of the cartel of entities that banded to together to falsely assert that the COVID-19 vaccines were safe, effective, and necessary. It labels as “misinformation” anything that would create public hesitancy in taking a vaccine, including childhood or COVID vaccines.

To the Federation, “misinformation” about vaccines represents any statement or scientific evidence that differs from the prevailing narrative of stakeholders who most stand to profit from vaccines. The Federation encourages state boards to discipline any doctor who shares information contrary to the benefit of the pharmaceutical companies.

135. The Federation has undue influence over the discipline of doctors by the state medical boards. It publishes the Guide to Medical Regulation in the United States. Guidance on physician discipline from the Federation become de facto requirements to state medical boards. The Federation publishes a quarterly journal titled “Journal of Medical Regulation.”

More detail from a 2012 article published by the Alliance for Natural Health: “the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today reported [in February 2012] that the FSMB asked for $100,000 from Big Pharma to help create and distribute the organization’s new policy on pain medication to their 700,000 practicing doctors. The federation won’t say how much money it received from industry, but estimated that it will cost $3.1 million for its campaign.”

“And what is this campaign? To get the word out about ‘safe’ use of opioid analgesics in the treatment of chronic pain! That’s right, FSMB’s new policy favors the use of opioids for long-term pain management, despite an epidemic of painkiller abuse and addiction (not to mention the terrible crime rates that accompany it) — and a lack of scientific support for this use of the drugs.”

“If you think drug manufacturers might be pleased to contribute to such a campaign, you would be right. The University of Wisconsin, with funding from Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, developed a continuing education course for doctors based on the FSMB’s manual.

This is the drug company that in 2007 paid $600 million in fines in settlement of a guilty plea for having misled doctors and patients when it claimed that the drug was less likely to be abused than traditional narcotics.”

Safe and effective, and by that they seemingly meant, “lucrative and addictive!”

War on Natural Medicine

According to the same 2012 overview by the Alliance for Natural Health:

“It seems that the FSMB was infiltrated in the late 1990s by the so-called “quackbuster” contingent — people openly hostile to complementary and alternative medicine. At the 1996 annual meeting of the FSMB in Chicago, there was a radical shift from a focus on health fraud as defined by the federal government (overbilling, un-bundling, and kickbacks) to another definition of health fraud: alternative medical care.

It seems a concerted effort to label innovation in health care — and especially any natural treatment that competes with an emphasis on drugs and surgery as the ideal for modern medicine — as mere ‘quackery.’”

“Since then, the FSMB has challenged integrative medicine as being outside the “standard of care,” defining the term to suit its own purposes; in this, the organization mirrors and amplifies the American Medical Association’s antipathy toward integrative medicine.

Because practicing outside the standard of care is grounds for a state medical board to revoke a doctor’s license, the attempt to exclude CAM therapies from the standard of care is a major threat to consumers’ access to integrative doctors.”

“If we used to be puzzled about the FSMB’s motives in attacking integrative medicine, this latest move has made it clear that a good part of it may just be about the money. Last Tuesday the article was published in 2012], the Senate Finance Committee launched an investigation into the close ties between pharmaceutical companies, the FSMB, and “nonprofit pain groups” like the American Pain Foundation.

The Foundation received 90 percent of its $5 million in funding in 2010 from the drug and medical device industry, and its guides for patients, journalists, and policymakers downplay the risks associated with opioid painkillers while exaggerating the benefits from the drugs.

Tuesday morning, two senators from the Finance Committee sent letters to the American Pain Foundation and four other pain nonprofits, three drug companies, and the FSMB, expressing concern about their relationship with each other. Tuesday evening, the Foundation announced that it would “cease to exist, effective immediately.” Coincidence?”

Earlier 1995, FSMB established a “Special Committee on Health Care Fraud” and issued a document that lamented the fact that people were taking their money to alternative health practitioners. In 1999, the committee’s name was changed to the “Special Committee on Questionable and Deceptive Health Care Practices.”

In 2000, the committee appears to have been replaced by the “Special Committee for the Study of Unconventional Health Care Practices (Complementary and Alternative Medicine).”

The 1995 Committee document below was eventually deleted from the FBSM website but an archived version is still available. In April 1997, FSMB’s governing body accepted this Report as policy. Quote:

“It has been estimated that up to $100 billion is lost to health care fraud in the United States annually.1 Medical interventions that do not conform to prevailing scientific standards are becoming increasingly popular. It is estimated that in 1990, Americans made 425 million visits to providers of “unconventional” medicine, exceeding the number of visits to all U.S. primary care physicians, at a cost of approximately $13.7 billion.

It may be recognized that some alternative therapies may be beneficial and therefore warrant further investigation and possible integration into mainstream medical practice. However, because of the lack of reliable scientific evidence and clinical validation, safety has not been established for most of these modalities.”

Their 2002 document elaborates on the extended definition of “harm” that can come from their competitors — but not a peep about the harm that comes from their donors and sponsors. Here is how they estimate potential harm caused my “alternative” medicine:

  • Economic harm, which results in monetary loss but presents no health hazard;
  • Indirect harm, which results in a delay of appropriate treatment, or in unreasonable expectations that discourage patients and their families from accepting and dealing effectively with their medical conditions;
  • Direct harm, which results in adverse patient outcome

Greed and Arrogance: A Deadly Combo

As they say, it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. Thus, today’s lamentable state of affairs is a combination of deliberate top-down racketeering with the purpose of getting rid of economic competition — and sincere ideological arrogance of people on the ground. Just one look at some of these old commercials makes it clear.

I would like to end this story with a 1947 DDT commercial. Shut your eyes and ears. Don’t think. Anything that comes from the Big Corporate Father is safe and effective!


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