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Drug companies are hiding research

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  • Drug companies are hiding research

    Drug companies may not be publishing complete and comprehensive data that could affect a physician’s ability to practice safe and effective medicine. ‘Evidence based medicine’ is the trend in the medical community. But, what if the research was biased and based on selectively published clinical trials? It seems that this may be what is actually happening and it could be a deadly scenario for all of us. is a website created by Dr. Ben Goldacre, turned epidemiologist. Dr. Goldacre felt misled with information that drug companies were hiding critical clinical trial results. Dr. Goldacre explained in a Ted Talk that while positive clinical trial results are published, many negative clinical trial results are not published. As pharmaceutical companies publish positive data and suppress the negative, physicians base clinical decisions on what may be biased and selective data.


    As an example, anti-depressants have led to a billion dollar pharmaceutical industry in North America. However, these medications are rarely prescribed in many countries overseas. A recent analysis of 74 studies of anti-depressants showed that 38 clinical trial results were positive and 36 trial results were negative (1). 37 out of the 38 clinical of the positive results were published while only one out of the 36 negative results was published (1). This is an example of a misleading bias, which may have caused many physicians, including Dr. Goldacre and I, to practice unsafe medicine because what is believed to be ‘evidence based medicine, could actually be ‘selectively biased medicine’.


    The publication bias may not only be limited to anti-depressants. Tamiflu is a popular anti-viral drug used to treat influenza. Roche, the makers of Tamiflu, have refused to release 8 out of the 10 clinical trial results conducted on Tamiflu (2). In 2009, the BMJ (British Medical Journal) contacted Roche requesting the manufacturer release the data as an effort to subject the medication to unbiased scrutiny. Roche has not released the data (3). Concurrently, an investigation into conflicts of interest within WHO (World Health Organization) was published, presenting links between creating the guidelines for pandemic flu planning and Roche (4). The two published studies resulting in a positive effect were funded by Roche, authored by Roche employees, and external experts paid by Roche (2).

    100,000 unnecessary deaths?

    Lorcanide is an anti-arrhythmic drug prescribed to reduce the rate of deaths in those following a myocardial infarction (heart attack). In a study performed in the 1980’s, 95 people were assigned to either placebo or Lorcanide (5). Nine of the 49 people in the Lorcanide group died, while just one person in the placebo group died (5). This study was not published at the time and may be another example of publication bias (5). Due to the fact that this study was not published at the time it was conducted, multiple pharmaceutical companies created anti-arrhythmic drugs which Dr. Goldacre believes may have led to 100,000 unnecessary deaths in North America (6). Dr. Goldacre’s claim may seem dubious, but two large clinical trials have demonstrated that the misuse of anti-arrhythmic drugs can greatly increase the rate of sudden cardiac death (7).

    Your physician may not be at fault

    This may not be a mistake made by a physician. Many physicians genuinely have the patient’s best interests in mind and would likely be infuriated if they were aware that drug companies and lobbyists could be hiding clinical trial results. Many medical graduates in North America have spent more than ten years in school and require continuing education credits to maintain their independent practice license.These physicians sacrificed years of their life to help others and would like nothing more but to practice quality evidence-based medicine. Unfortunately, it may be very difficult to practice evidence-based medicine when you have to question every clinical guideline and claim made by the pharmaceutical industry.

    The solution

    I do not claim to have a solution to this issue, but I am doing what I can by writing this article and making it known that my desire is to make the best clinical decisions with the best evidence available.

    The first thing I would like everyone to do is to sign the petition at When you sign this petition, you’re forcing drug companies to release all clinical trials so your physician has all research, not just the research the drug companies publish.

    What else can you do? Use social media to your advantage and spread awareness of this growing issue. You can start by sharing this article or Dr. Goldacres’ Ted Talk which can be found here: Ben Goldacre: What doctors don't know about the drugs they prescribe | Video on

    My hope is that you do not believe that all medications are bad for your health or that physicians are prescribing medications without keeping the patient’s best interest in mind. This is not the case; there are many quality pharmaceuticals with valid research that can alleviate suffering and extend your life. I sincerely hope we can continue to discover more natural and pharmaceutical products with unbiased quality research so physicians can make the best clinical decisions.


    Ethical issues in psychopharmacology
    Tamiflu campaign | BMJ
    Tamiflu correspondence with Roche | BMJ
    Tamiflu correspondence with the World Health Organization | BMJ
    The effect of lorcainide on arrhythmias and su... [Int J Cardiol. 1993] - PubMed - NCBI
    Ben Goldacre: What doctors don't know about the drugs they prescribe | Video on
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  • #2
    I call this "evidence based marketing " it has very little to do with medicine.


    • #3
      Drug companies are hiding research
      Ya think?

      Anybody that has a shred of sense should know that drug companies, the medical industry in general and all other "health care" related industry, inflate, cook or just plain lie, when it comes to the "benefits" of what they are marketing.

      No different than food companies marketing their "heart healthy" food as being good for you.

      Follow the money.....simple.

      And I apologize in advance for being a bit flippant here. I get so tired of trying to tell people things that, instinctively, they should know.
      AKA: Texas Grok

      Originally posted by texas.grok
      Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light


      • #4
        My re-education started after immigrating to New Zealand and learning about natural healing and living; this made me realize that disease is mainly caused by unnatural living conditions and can be overcome by natural methods of living and healing.

        While I learned about the harmful nature of drug treatment, I was still thinking of it as being ineffective and causing side-effects rather than as a main cause of our diseases. Diseases caused by medical treatment are called iatrogenic diseases. The total number of iatrogenic deaths in the USA for 2001 is estimated to be 783,936. These were due to fatal drug reactions, medical error and unnecessary medical and surgical procedures. With this, the medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States. In comparison the 2001 heart disease death rate was 699,697 and the annual cancer death rate 553,251 (1).

        This is also the reason why it is so beneficial for patients when doctors go on strike. Statistics show that whenever there was a strike by doctors, the death rate in the affected population fell dramatically. In 1976 the death rate fell by 35 per cent in Bogotá, Colombia. In Los Angeles County, California, it fell by 18 per cent during a strike in the same year, while in Israel it fell by 50 per cent during a strike in 1973. Only once before was there a similar drop in the death rate in Israel and that was during another doctors' strike 20 years earlier. After each strike the death rate jumped again to its normal level (2).

        However these figures of iatrogenic deaths do not take into account iatrogenic diseases from the long-term harm done by medical treatments where patients survive but with a chronic disease. My real awakening to this problem started when I became aware of the story of Orion Truss who discovered the Candidiasis-causing potential of antibiotics.

        Dr Orian Truss

        In 1953 Dr Orian Truss discovered the devastating effects of antibiotics in an Alabama (USA) hospital (3). During a ward round Truss was intrigued by a gaunt, apparently elderly man who was obviously dying. However, he was only in his forties and in hospital for four months. No specialist had been able to make a diagnosis. Out of curiosity Truss asked the patient when be was last completely well.

        The man answered that he was well until six months before when he had cut his finger. He had received antibiotics for this. Shortly afterwards he developed diarrhoea and his health deteriorated. Truss had seen before how antibiotics cause diarrhoea. It was known that Candida was opportunistic and thrived in debilitated patients, but now Truss wondered if it might not be the other way round, that Candida actually caused the debilitated condition.

        He had read that potassium iodide solution could be used to treat Candida infestation of the blood. So he put the patient on six to eight drops of Lugol's solution four times a day for 3 weeks and soon the patient was again completely well.

        Soon afterwards he had a female patient with a stuffy nose, a throbbing headache, vaginitis and severe depression. To his amazement all her problems immediately cleared with Candida treatment. Some time later he saw a female patient who had been schizophrenic for six years with hundreds of electroshock treatments and massive drug dosages. He started treating the woman for sinus allergies with a Candida remedy. Soon she had recovered mentally and physically, and remained well.

        From then on he treated his patients against Candida at the slightest indication of its presence. Many of his patients made remarkable recoveries from most unusual conditions, including menstrual problems, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, autism, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and auto-immune diseases such as Crohn's disease and lupus erythematosus.

        Every experienced naturopath can relate similar success stories. Also some alternative medical practitioners have realized the curative potential of anti-Candida therapy, as for instance Dr William Crook who wrote several books about the successful treatment of allergies and hyperactive children (4).
        The rest of this story:

        Modern Wheat causes a Pandoras Box of health problems:
        Wheat Belly Blog | Lose the Wheat Lose the Weight



        • #5
          Of course they are hiding what they really know. I mean anyone who is over the age of 11 should realize that one.


          • #6
            I like Dr Mike's approach, your doctor is not dishonest, just gullible. But don't we pay them to Think? Isn't the degree of Doctor, supposedly imply an ability for independent thought that adds to the knowledge of society? Do MDs ever write a thesis Paper?


            • #7
              More Americans Estimated to Die from Hospital Mistakes than from Strokes and Accidents Combined
              September 21, 2013

              Going to the hospital is increasingly a risky proposition, considering that more Americans die from mistakes in the hospital than those killed by strokes and accidents combined.

              A new study published in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients annually don’t make it out of hospitals because of some kind of preventable harm.

              These figures eclipse those reported in earlier studies that blamed bad hospital care for 98,000 deaths (1999, Institute of Medicine) and 180,000 fatalities (2010, Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services, which only focused on Medicare patients). More here:
              More Americans Estimated to Die from Hospital Mistakes than from Strokes and Accidents Combined -



              • #8
                Originally posted by Greg Rx View Post
                I like Dr Mike's approach, your doctor is not dishonest, just gullible. But don't we pay them to Think? Isn't the degree of Doctor, supposedly imply an ability for independent thought that adds to the knowledge of society? Do MDs ever write a thesis Paper?
                Yes they get paid to think but if they don't receive the correct information they can only base their reasoning on what resources they possess.

                They can hardly be expected to replicate clinical trials, so what happens is they read the available information and, should they think the information suggests the particular drug may be of use, they dispense the meds to their patients and then they get feedback in one form or another from their patients.

                If they are informed/read research which informs them that 66% of patients will show an improvement taking drug X, and only 7% in reality do (or half their patients die as a result) then they will have an idea that the research may be at fault. What they then do would be based on their intelligence and fitness to be a doctor (one could argue).

                Unless the doctor is psychic, or has inside information to the contrary they have little option but to take the published research as being accurate.
                I don't ask that you like me - all I ask is that you respect my life experiences and i will do the same.


                • #9
                  I know what you are saying because I am a pharmacist that let myself become a victim of statin side effects and as a result, poly pharmacy. If a pharmacist can be a misinformed victim, what chance did my patients Have?
                  On the other hand, once your eyes have been opened, it is not hard to spot the flaws in literature and advertisements. Biggest lie in TV ads: a simple blood test is all that is needed. This is about rhabdomyolysis but is implied to refer to muscle pain in general. The truth is that once your liver enzymes are high enough to raise the alarm, you are near death. Everyone knows that muscle pain and damage are the big side effect of statins but we are supposed to forget that the heart and lungs depend on muscle.
                  Do you think I would have better luck educating doctors if I bought them bagels and donuts?


                  • #10
                    I too am a pharmacist, Greg, and I recently got back into retail pharmacy, after being primal about a year......I simply don't believe in most of the medicines I am dispensing! I used to be naive and blind to the fact that big pharma is following the dollars, but not any is really disgusting how the whole system propagates itself in a maddening vicious cycle of creating and treating symptoms without getting at the root cause.....I am going back into Nuclear Pharmacy real soon, and now that I know what I know, I am really happy about that! I will no longer have to 'lie' or stay mum in conversations with my patients about why they have to take this stuff.....because let's face it, they are customers too, and it all follows the money trail!
                    The life I have today is far better than I deserve.......

                    M, 58, 6'0
                    SW - 192
                    CW - 180
                    GW - 165-170

                    Current addiction: ice cream (and sugar in general).....doing battle with it!


                    • #11
                      No doubt about it! I wrote a similar post here:
                      Check out the links in that post. The article I linked to has some really good links to published findings. It's also a hilarious read!


                      • #12
                        Even worse, peer reviewed studies are apparently not being reviewed at all. See this article from last year:

                        Bogus science paper reveals peer review's flaws - Technology & Science - CBC News