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    I no longer believe drug studies or drug researchers paid by drug companies

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 10:51 am Email this article

    I no longer believe drug studies paid for by the drug companies or drug researchers paid by the drug companies.

    I know what they are all going to say.

    They are all going to say, “These drugs are safe and effective and more people should use them.”

    This is because the ONLY people the drug companies will hire are those people who will say these things and will help them to sell more drugs.

    They will NEVER hire anyone who says anything else.

    Therefore, I no longer believe drug studies or drug researchers paid by the drug companies.

    “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research [ drug research ] that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD
    an editor at the New England Journal of Medicine for 21 years,
    “Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption”,
    New York Review of Books, Jan 15, 2009.

    Medical guidelines that
    Dr. Angell refers to include:

    • Guidelines for Blood Pressure
    • Guidelines for Cholesterol
    • Guidelines for Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses
    — Larry Hobbs

    “I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades [ 21 years ] as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    I no longer believe the drug research.
    — Larry Hobbs

    I used to, but I no longer do.
    — Larry Hobbs

    I no longer believe drug researchers who are paid by drug companies.
    — Larry Hobbs

    I no longer look at these drug researchers as scientists, but rather as salesmen for the drug companies.
    — Larry Hobbs

    The ONLY reason these researchers are paid by the drug companies to write paper or give speeches or do studies is to help the drug companies sell more drugs.
    — Larry Hobbs

    I know what they are going to say.
    — Larry Hobbs

    I know what every drug study is going to say.
    — Larry Hobbs

    All of these studies are going to say, ‘These drugs are safe and effective and more people should be use them.’
    — Larry Hobbs

    All of these studies say this.
    — Larry Hobbs

    Because the ONLY researchers that drug companies will pay to write papers or give speeches or do studies are those researchers who will say things to help them to sell more drugs.
    — Larry Hobbs

    They will NEVER pay anyone who says anything to the contrary.
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who says their drugs are NOT effective?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who says their drugs are NOT effective? No, NEVER, right?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who says their drugs are NOT safe?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who says their drugs are NOT safe? No, NEVER, right?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who says most people don’t need their drugs?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who says most people don’t need their drugs?
    No, NEVER, right?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who says their drugs are doing more harm than good in a majority of people given these drugs?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who says their drugs are doing more harm than good in a majority of people given these drugs?

    No, NEVER, right?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who wants to tell people that there are nutritional therapies that are as effective or more effective than their drugs?
    — Larry Hobbs

    Would the drug companies ever pay a researcher who wants to tell people that there are
    nutritional therapies that are as effective or more effective than their drugs?

    No, NEVER, right?
    — Larry Hobbs

    The ONLY researchers the drug companies pay are those people who say that their drugs are safe and effective and more people should use them.
    — Larry Hobbs

    The ONLY researchers the drug companies are going to pay to write papers or give speeches or be involved in drug studies are those people who will help them to sell more drugs, right?
    — Larry Hobbs

    That is how I know what every drug study is going to say.
    — Larry Hobbs

    That is why I no longer believe the drug research.
    — Larry Hobbs

    Marcia Angell, MD talks about how university researchers are paid lots of money by the drug companies to give speeches, to write papersto be involved in drug studies, all to promote their drugs, and some are also involved in writing guidelines which promote the use of their drugs.

    “Take the case of Dr. Joseph L. Biederman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School…”
    “Thanks largely to him, children as young as two years old are now being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with a cocktail of powerful drugs…”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “In June [2009], Senator Grassley revealed that drug companies… had paid Biederman $1.6 million in consulting & speaking fees between 2000 & 2007. Two of his colleagues received similar amounts.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “After the revelation, the president of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the chairman of its physician organization sent a letter to the hospital’s physicians expressing not shock over the enormity of the conflicts of interest, but sympathy for the beneficiaries: “We know this is an incredibly painful time for these doctors and their families, and our hearts go out to them.””
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Or consider Dr. Alan F. Schatzberg, chair of Stanford’s [University] psychiatry department and president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Senator Grassley found that Schatzberg controlled more than $6 million worth of stock in Corcept Therapeutics, a company
    he cofounded that is testing mifepristone—the abortion drug otherwise known as RU-486— as a treatment for psychotic depression.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “At the same time, Schatzberg was the principal investigator on a National Institute of Mental Health grant that included research on mifepristone [RU-486] for this use and he was coauthor of three papers on the subject.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Perhaps the most egregious case exposed so far by Senator Grassley is that of Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff, chair of Emory University’s department of psychiatry and, along with Schatzberg, coeditor of the influential Textbook of Psychopharmacology.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Nemeroff was the principal investigator on a five-year $3.95 million National Institute of Mental Health grant—of which $1.35 million went to Emory for overhead—to study several drugs made by GlaxoSmithKline.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “To comply with university and government regulations, he was required to disclose to Emory income from GlaxoSmithKline, and Emory was required to report amounts over $10,000 per year to the National Institutes of Health…
    “But according to Senator Grassley, who compared Emory’s [University] records with those from the company, Nemeroff failed to disclose approximately $500,000 he received from GlaxoSmithKline for giving dozens of talks promoting the company’s drugs.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “In June 2004, a year into the grant, Emory [University] conducted its own investigation of Nemeroff’s activities, and found multiple violations of its policies.”
    “Nemeroff responded by assuring Emory [University] in a memorandum, “In view of the NIMH/Emory/GSK grant, I shall limit my consulting to GSK to under $10,000/year…” ”
    “Yet that same year, he received $171,031 from the company, while he reported to Emory [University] just $9,999…”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Emory [University] benefited from Nemeroff’s grants and other activities, and that raises the question of whether its lax oversight was influenced by its own conflicts of interest.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “... similar conflicts of interest pervade medicine.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Indeed, most doctors take money or gifts from drug companies in one way or another.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “No one knows the total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate from the annual reports of the top nine [9] US drug companies that it comes to tens of billions of dollars a year.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Its extensive ties to physicians, particularly senior faculty at prestigious medical schools, affect the results of research, the way medicine is practiced, and even the definition of what constitutes a disease.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “The results of all the trials… are submitted to the FDA, and if one or two trials are positive… the drug is usually approved, even if all the other trials are negative.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “But physicians may prescribe approved drugs “off label”... and perhaps as many as half of all prescriptions are written for off-label purposes.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “[Drug companies] often prefer using medical schools [to do drug studies]... mainly because it gives them access to highly influential faculty physicians — referred to by the industry as “thought-leaders” or “key opinion leaders” (KOLs).”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “These are the people who write textbooks and medical journal papers, issue practice guidelines…, sit on FDA and other governmental advisory panels, head professional societies, and speak at the innumerable meetings and dinners that take place every year to teach clinicians about prescription drugs.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “A recent survey found that about two thirds of academic medical centers hold equity interest [stock] in companies that sponsor research within the same institution.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “A study of medical school department chairs found that two thirds [67%] received departmental income from drug companies and three fifths [60%] received personal income [ from drug companies ].”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Before the 1980s, they generally gave faculty investigators total responsibility for the conduct of the work, but now [drug] company employees or their agents often design the studies, perform the analysis, write the papers, and decide whether and in what form to publish the results.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “In view of this control and the conflicts of interest that permeate the enterprise, it is not surprising that [drug] industry-sponsored trials published in medical journals consistently favor sponsors’ drugs— largely because negative results are not published, positive results are repeatedly published in slightly different forms, and a positive spin is put on even negative results.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “A review of seventy-four [74] clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that thirty-seven of thirty-eight [ 37 of 38 ] positive studies were published.”
    “But of the thirty-six negative studies, thirty-three [ 33 of 36 negative studies ] were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Many drugs that are assumed to be effective are probably little better than placebos, but there is no way to know because negative results are hidden.”
    “One clue was provided six years ago by four researchers who… obtained FDA reviews of every placebo-controlled clinical trial submitted for initial approval of the six most widely used antidepressant drugs approved between 1987 and 1999— Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, and Effexor.”
    “They found that on average, placebos were 80 percent as effective as the drugs. The difference between drug and placebo was so small that it was unlikely to be of any clinical significance.”
    “The results were much the same for all six drugs: all were equally ineffective. [Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, and Effexor].”
    “But because favorable results were published and unfavorable results buried [NOT published]... the public and the medical profession believed these drugs were potent antidepressants.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Conflicts of interest affect more than [ just ] research. They also directly shape the way medicine is practiced, through their influence on practice guidelines issued by professional and governmental bodies, and through their effects on FDA decisions.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “A few examples: in a survey of two hundred [ 200 ] expert panels that issued practice guidelines, one third [33%] of the panel members acknowledged that they had some financial interest in the drugs they considered.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “In 2004, after the National Cholesterol Education Program called for sharply lowering the desired levels of “bad” cholesterol, it was revealed that eight of nine [ 8 of 9 ] members of the panel writing the recommendations had financial ties to the makers of cholesterol-lowering drugs.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Of the 170 contributors to the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), ninety-five [56%] had financial ties to drug companies, including all [100%] of the contributors to the sections on mood disorders and schizophrenia.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    Let me repeat this. EVERYBODY involved in writing the sections in the DSM-4 on how to treat anxiety and depression, and schizophrenia had been paid by the drug companies!
    — Larry Hobbs

    “Perhaps most important, many members of the standing committees of experts that advise the FDA on drug approvals also have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “In recent years, drug companies… they have begun to promote diseases to fit their drugs.”
    “The strategy is to convince as many people as possible (along with their doctors, of course) that they have medical conditions that require long-term drug treatment.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Sometimes called “disease-mongering…”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Thus, heartburn is now “gastro-esophageal reflux disease” or GERD; impotence is “erectile dysfunction” or ED; premenstrual tension is “premenstrual dysphoric disorder” or PMMD; and shyness is “social anxiety disorder”. Note that these are ill-defined chronic conditions that affect essentially normal peopleso the market is huge and easily expanded.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “It seems that the strategy of the drug [companies]... is to convince Americans that there are only two kinds of people: those with medical conditions that require drug treatment and those who don’t know it yet.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “Shyness as a psychiatric illness made its debut as “social phobia” in DSM-III in 1980, but was said to be rare. By 1994… it had become “social anxiety disorder,” now said to be extremely common.
    ... GlaxoSmithKline, hoping to boost sales for its antidepressant, Paxil, decided to promote social anxiety disorder as “a severe medical condition.” ”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “We are now in the midst of an apparent epidemic of bipolar [disorder] in children (which seems to be replacing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as the most publicized condition in childhood), with a forty-fold [40-fold] increase in the diagnosis between 1994 and 2003.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “These children are often treated with multiple drugs off-label…”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “The problems I’ve discussed are not limited to psychiatry…”
    “Similar conflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine…”
    — Marcia Angell, MD

    “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical [ drug ] research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.”
    — Marcia Angell, MD



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