Would you accept money "with no strings attached" from a robber who, in the act of stealing, happened to kill some of his victims? Would you accept money that has been stolen? Would you accept sponsorships from tobacco companies for a meeting about lung diseases? Few doctors would. Why is it then that most doctors willingly accept sponsorships from drug companies that have earned much of their money illegally while being fully aware that their criminal activities have killed thousands of patients, the very people whose interests doctors are supposed to take care of?
To identify the impact of industry involvement in the publication and interpretation of meta-analyses of antidepressant trials in depression.
Study Design and Setting
Using MEDLINE, we identified all meta-analyses evaluating antidepressants for depression published in January 2007–March 2014. We extracted data pertaining to author affiliations, conflicts of interest, and whether the conclusion of the abstract included negative statements on whether the antidepressant(s) were effective or safe.
We identified 185 eligible meta-analyses. Fifty-four meta-analyses (29%) had authors who were employees of the assessed drug manufacturer, and 147 (79%) had some industry link (sponsorship or authors who were industry employees and/or had conflicts of interest). Only 58 meta-analyses (31%) had negative statements in the concluding statement of the abstract. Meta-analyses including an author who were employees of the manufacturer of the assessed drug were 22-fold less likely to have negative statements about the drug than other meta-analyses [1/54 (2%) vs. 57/131 (44%); P < 0.001].
There is a massive production of meta-analyses of antidepressants for depression authored by or linked to the industry, and they almost never report any caveats about antidepressants in their abstracts. Our findings add a note of caution for meta-analyses with ties to the manufacturers of the assessed products.
What is overuse?Overuse is a catchall term for medical tests, treatments, and other services that patients don’t need or don’t want.
Overuse occurs when a patient is hospitalized unnecessarily, or receives a test, treatment, drug, or procedure that is unnecessary, ineffective, or unwanted.
“Unnecessary” means that a particular patient is very unlikely to benefit from the treatment because they don’t have the disease or symptom it’s intended to diagnose or treat, or because the possible harms of treatment outweigh the possible benefits.
“Ineffective” means that the treatment has been shown to be no more effective than no treatment or a placebo (sugar pill or sham surgery).
“Unwanted” means that the patient, if fully informed, would choose another testing or treatment option.
Estimates of the money wasted on overuse each year range from around $200 billion to over$800 billion – between 10 percent and 30 percent of US health care spending.
Overdiagnosis is a related problem, where patients are diagnosed with conditions that were unlikely to cause symptoms or shorten the patient’s life. With increased use of screening tests and highly sensitive imaging technologies such as MRI and CT scans, more conditions are being diagnosed based on anatomical abnormalities and treated as actual disease. This is most common for cancers like breast, prostate, and thyroid cancer, many cases of which are slow-growing and not harmful, but which many patients and doctors are uncomfortable leaving untreated. Overdiagnosis is also common for some mental health conditions, such as ADHD in children.
A review of studies that assess clinical antidepressants shows hidden conflicts of interest and financial ties to corporate drugmakers.
After many lawsuits and a 2012 U.S. Department of Justice settlement, last month an independent review found that antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine) is not safe for teenagers. The finding contradicts the conclusions of the initial 2001 drug trial, which the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline had funded, then used its results to market Paxil as safe for adolescents.
The original trial, known as Study 329, is but one high-profile example of pharmaceutical industry influence known to pervade scientific research, including clinical trials the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires pharma companies to fund in order to assess their products. For that reason, people who read scientific papers as part of their jobs have come to rely on meta-analyses, supposedly thorough reviews summarizing the evidence from multiple trials, rather than trust individual studies. But a new analysis casts doubt on that practice as well, finding that the vast majority of meta-analyses of antidepressants have some industry link, with a corresponding suppression of negative results.
Quelle a été l’attitude de la recherche tout au long de ces années ? R.P.: Le tabac a représenté la plus grande atteinte à l'intégrité intellectuelle depuis l'époque nazie. Au moins 25 Prix Nobel ont perçu des sommes d'argent des fabricants, et reçu des bourses du célèbre Conseil Américain de la Recherche sur le Tabac (CTR), le principal organe responsable de la recherche menée par l'industrie pour servir d'écran de fumée. Plus de 400 millions de dollars ont été alloués à ce seul organisme et des chercheurs industriels de haut vol ont été sollicités pour participer à l'élaboration de la campagne anti-cancer menée à l'initiative de Nixon. C'est la raison pour laquelle le tabac a été quasiment passé sous silence pendant cette opération, alors que la cigarette est responsable d'environ un tiers des cancers - cancers qui n'existeraient pas sans cela.
Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced it will no longer pay health care professionals to promote its products or the diseases they treat to “audiences who can prescribe or influence prescribing.” Glaxo also plans to stop compensating its sales...
Si chiama disease mongering ovvero la mercificazione della malattia. La salute è da sempre un grande business e non solo per le aziende farmaceutiche. Così succede che per allargare il mercato si creano nuovi clienti, facendo dei sani i nuovi malati. Quali sono le tattiche del disease mongering : La medicalizzazione di eventi naturali, come... Continue reading →
Coke paid health experts to promote its mini-cans as a healthy snack option during American Heart Month in February, raising concerns among those fighting obesity rates in the U.S.
"We have a network of dietitians we work with," said Ben Sheidler, a Coca-Cola spokesman, who declined to tell The Associated Press how much the company pays experts. "Every big brand works with bloggers or has paid talent."
In February, many nutrition blogs and some major newspapers ran articles about healthy snack options that recommended a 7.5-ounce can of Coca-Cola — a 90-calorie shot of high-fructose corn syrup.
Those articles were penned by health experts and dieticians like Robyn Flipse and Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, who bill themselves as "consultants" for major brands like Coke.
The articles usually don't disclose directly the connection with Coke, and only sometimes are they marked with fine print indicating they are a "sponsored article."
"This is an example of opaque sponsored content," said Kelly McBride, who teaches media ethics at The Poynter Institute. McBride pointed out that using the word "consultant" doesn't do enough to show that the author of the article was shilling for Coke.
One trade group, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, have stated in its code of ethics that practitioners endorse products "only in a manner that is not false and misleading."
Another group, Dietitians for Professional Integrity, has made a direct call for dieticians to disclose their corporate ties prominently.
Facing state budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin system and dwindling federal funding, Robert Golden would love to find a pile of money somewhere.
But there are certain things Golden — and some other medical school officials across the country — say they won't do: take money from drug companies for doctor education programs and let them have any say in what goes into the courses.
It’s patients who lose out if doctors and professional journals stop asking the right questions.
During a recent clinic consultation, I saw Mary, in her early 60s, with type 2 diabetes. She was concerned that the muscle pains in her legs may have been a result of the cholesterol-lowering statin drug she was taking. “But I’m scared of stopping it.” She explained how a specialist nurse had told her a clot could break off from her aorta, travel to her brain and cause a massive stroke.
I assured her that even in those with established heart disease, who stand to gain most from taking the drug, the risk of death from stopping the medication for two weeks to see if the side-effects would go was close to 1 in 10,000 .
Unfortunately, such misinformation and fear-mongering is common. One of the root causes is undoubtedly driven by the commercial interests of the pharmaceutical industry.
As cardiologist eter Wilmshurst points out in a talk he gave at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine last year, the drug and device industry has an ethical and legal responsibility to produce profit for their shareholders but not to sell patients and doctors the best treatment. But the real scandal, he says, is the failure of regulators and the collusion of sorts between doctors, institutions and medical journals.
Amazon’s web services are now worth more than its entire retail operation – and growing three times as fast.
The internet, in just two decades, has gone from something that seemed exotic to most people to a utility that is taken for granted – like electricity. Just as most people – at least in industrial societies – rarely go through a day without switching on a light, so most of us use the internet every day. In that sense, it has become what historians of technology call a GPT – a general purpose technology, like steam power, electricity, mass production and the automobile.
In 1999, Andy Grove, then the CEO of Intel, was widely ridiculed for declaringthat “in five years’ time there won’t be any internet companies. All companies will be internet companies or they will be dead.” What he meant was that anybody who aspired to be in business in 2004 would have to deal with the internet in one way or another, just as they relied on electricity. And he was right; that’s what a GPT is like: it’s pervasive.
Could our relentless pursuit of good health be making us sick? Advances in medicine have propelled health care to new heights and a vast array of diagnostic tests and drug therapies is now available. But are we getting too much of a good thing? An increasing number of doctors now say that sometimes, "less is more" when it comes to medical interventions. Some doctors are concerned that resources are being wasted on the "worried well" and that the ever-expanding definition of how we define "disease" has been influenced by vested interests. Could excessive medical interventions be causing more harm than good? Dr Maryanne Demasi examines how our relentless pursuit for good health might be making us sick
Are you overpaying for your health care compared with those in a nearby city? The arbitrary pricing strategies put in place by health care providers makes large pricing swings the rule rather than the exception, experts say. It’s a puzzling (and little-known) fact of the health care industry: Health
Once again, the United States Preventive Services Task Force’s latest draft report on the potential benefits and harms of mammography screening was met by outcries from radiologists and others that thousands of women would die if the recommendations were followed. The Task Force concluded that women between the ages of 50 and 74 should get mammograms every two years. But for women under 50, the chances that a mammogram will help her rather than harm her are very small. For younger women, the decision to get a mammogram should be made on a case-by-case basis.
This is reasonable advice, but you wouldn’t know it from comments on Twitter and in some media outlets. In 2009, when the Task Force last issued recommendations on mammograms, everybody from breast cancer advocacy groups to members of Congress accused the panel of “killing women.” Radiologists, some of whom have a vested financial interest in mammography, claimed the panel used outdated evidence. One newspaper columnist suggested that Congress should “take pity on the Task Force and send it to the Death Panel for a humane end.” The reaction this time around has been only a little less negative.
(NaturalNews) Statins, the widely prescribed class of drugs said to lower "bad" cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart problems, has recently come under fire after a study revealed that they destroy human health more than they work to improve...
Roberto Maroni, in una conferenza stampa, ha parlato di un danno «stimato in oltre sessanta milioni di euro per il sistema sanitario regionale» La Regione Lombardia intenterà «una serie di azionilegali nei confronti dei gruppi Novartis e La Roche» per il caso del farmaco Lucentis, che sarebbe stato favorito al posto del meno caro Avastin. Lo ha annunciato il presidente Roberto Maroni che, in una conferenza stampa, ha parlato di un danno «stimato in oltre sessanta milioni di euro per il sistema sanitario regionale». Per questo la sua giunta ha deliberato di dare «incarico all’avvocatura regionale per recuperare in sede giudiziale o extragiudiziale» la somma.
If it often seems like America's "civil servants" and public officials no longer work for us, the people, it's because they don't. The government today, both locally and federally, has been hijacked and turned into a private corporation, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is definitively nothing more than a for-profit business perpetuating both its own continued existence and the corporate agendas of its puppet masters.
Just to be clear, this isn't just some tongue-in-cheek rant expressing dissatisfaction with government "incompetence," or with the actions of the current political party "in charge" -- it's an undeniable fact that inevitably leads us all much further down the rabbit hole, and a truth that more Americans need to understand for the purpose of learning how to both escape from the clutches of Government Inc. and ultimately shut it down.
Certain parasitic entities, you see, have infiltrated our once-free Republic and turned it into a military-industrial fascist state that serves private interests. And you, American, if you don't learn how to "opt out" of this evil system, are a willing participant in your own tyranny, whether you realize it or not. Though it might sound complicated, it's really quite simple: The "government" that essentially rules over Americans today is an illegal, private corporation that has supplanted our real government, which once acted on behalf of the people to protect their interests and freedoms from the type of tyranny that, ironically, has taken over America from within.
Before 2005, I did pay attention to the antivaccine movement, but it wasn’t one of my biggest priorities when it comes to promoting science-based medicine. That all changed when Robert F. Kennedy published his incredibly conspiracy-packed black whole of antivaccine pseudoscience entitled Deadly Immunity. Sadly, almost exactly ten years later, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. hasn’t…
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