Overdo$ed America

In de VS verscheen een nieuw boek over de methoden die farmaceuten gebruiken om de uitkomsten van onderzoeken in hun eigen voordeel om te buigen.

Het boek, geschreven door een Harvard docent en arts, draagt als ondertitel:

How the Pharmaceutical Companies Distort Medical Knowledge, Mislead Doctors, and Compromise Your Health”.

Op deze site tonen we al langer aan dat veel van de onderzoeken die bijvoorbeeld de gevaren van meeroken zouden bewijzen, ook tot stand komen door dit soort manipulaties, waardoor de objectiviteit van onderzoeken erg in gevaar komt.

Here are some specific means Dr. Abramson wrote about by which medical knowledge is
• A clinical trial result can be published in a peer-reviewed journal where the results are not
statistically significant, yet claimed to be highly positive.
• Relative risk reduction (RRR) is used to magnify results when the absolute risk reduction is
small. If a drug, test, or device cuts the subjects with the medical condition from 2 in a million to 1
in a million, the RRR = 50%. But in such a case, why bother?
• Many clinical trials study mostly or entirely men, but the results are applied to women as well.
• Subjects in clinical trials may be 40-60 years old to start, but the results are then applied to those
70-90 years old and children.
• Key findings often are not in the abstracts of the articles reporting on clinical trials.
• Review papers are often written by drug industry experts to praise certain drugs.
• Clinical trials are stopped when the data become bad for the drug, not when the original trial
duration planned has been reached.
• Trials that do not favor the drug are not published or reported to the FDA.
• Advertisements for drugs ignore FDA warnings on over-promotion.
• Common conditions are elevated to pathological states to sell drugs.
• Surrogate endpoints (bone density, blood pressure, cholesterol) are substituted for clinically
certain endpoints (death, cancer, heart problems, ability to walk).
• Internet sites claiming to be patient focus groups are sponsored by drug companies.
• Continuing Medical Education seminars are produced by drug, test and device makers to sell their
products, not to educate.
• Physicians are wined and dined to favor certain corporate goals.

Bespreking van het boek (pdf)

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