Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:52 PM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
Bad pharma: Drug research riddled with half truths, omissions, lies
Before we get going, we need to establish one thing beyond any doubt: Industry-funded trials are more likely than independently funded trials to produce a positive, flattering result. This is our core premise, and one of the most well-documented phenomena in the growing field of “research about research...”
Reboxetine is a drug I myself have prescribed... In October 2010, a group of researchers were finally able to bring together all the trials that had ever been conducted on reboxetine...When all this trial data was put together it produced a shocking picture...Seven trials had been conducted comparing reboxetine against placebo. Only one, conducted in 254 patients, had a neat, positive result, and that one was published...But six more trials were conducted in almost 10 times as many patients. All of them showed that reboxetine was no better than a dummy sugar pill. None of these trials were published...It got worse. The trials comparing reboxetine against other drugs showed exactly the same picture: Three small studies, 507 patients in total, showed that reboxetine was just as good as any other drug. They were all published. But 1,657 patients’ worth of data was left unpublished, and this unpublished data showed that patients on reboxetine did worse than those on other drugs...
I did everything a doctor is supposed to do. I read all the papers, I critically appraised them, I understood them and I discussed them with the patient. We made a decision together, based on the evidence. In the published data, reboxetine was a safe and effective drug. In reality, it was no better than a sugar pill, and worse, it does more harm than good. As a doctor, I did something which, on the balance of all the evidence, harmed my patient, simply because unflattering data was left unpublished.
If you find that amazing, or outrageous, your journey is just beginning. Because nobody broke any law in that situation, reboxetine is still on the market, and the system that allowed all this to happen is still in play, for all drugs, in all countries in the world. ..The repercussions of this go way beyond simply misleading doctors about the benefits and harms of interventions for patients, and way beyond trials... every time we fail to publish a piece of research we expose real, living people to unnecessary, avoidable suffering...
This problem of unpublished data is widespread throughout medicine — and indeed the whole of academia — even though the scale of the problem, and the harm it causes, have been documented beyond any doubt...Because researchers are free to bury any result they please, patients are exposed to harm on a staggering scale throughout the whole of medicine, from research to practice. Doctors can have no idea about the true effects of the treatments they give. Does this drug really work best, or have I simply been deprived of half the data? Nobody can tell.
This is a bizarre situation to arise in medicine, a discipline where everything is supposed to be based on evidence and where everyday practice is bound up in medico-legal anxiety. In one of the most regulated corners of human conduct, we’ve taken our eyes off the ball and allowed the evidence driving practice to be polluted and distorted. It seems unimaginable.
5 replies, 802 views
Bad pharma: Drug research riddled with half truths, omissions, lies (Original post)
|green for victory||Jan 2013||#2|
|woo me with science||Jan 2013||#3|
|blue neen||Jan 2013||#4|
Response to HiPointDem (Original post)
Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:57 PM
Squinch (17,053 posts)
1. Every time I see a new drug advertised, I wonder how long it will be till I see the
ad that says "Have you or a loved one taken _____________ and suffered an injury to your ____________, or even death? You might be entitled to a cash award! Call Luxemborg and Luxemborg, attorneys."
Response to HiPointDem (Original post)
Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:07 PM
green for victory (591 posts)
2. k/r great post
a start- from the UK
David Healy, Pharmageddon
Has American health care been highjacked by Big Pharma?
This searing indictment, David Healy's most comprehensive and forceful argument against the pharmaceuticalization of medicine, tackles problems in health care that are leading to a growing number of deaths and disabilities. Healy, who was the first to draw attention to the now well-publicized suicide-inducing side effects of many anti-depressants, attributes our current state of affairs to three key factors:
product rather than process patents on drugs, the classification of certain drugs as prescription-only, and industry-controlled drug trials.
These developments have tied the survival of pharmaceutical companies to the development of blockbuster drugs, so that they must overhype benefits and deny real hazards. Healy further explains why these trends have basically ended the possibility of universal health care in the United States and elsewhere around the world. He concludes with suggestions for reform of our currently corrupted evidence-based medical system.
Check out the reviews.
Free podcast-interview with Dr. Healy- Jefferson Exchange- October 2, 2012 Phamargeddon