Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Notes from a Conflict-of-Interest "Myth" Instigator: Big Pharma Has Cures What Don't Ail Ya!

Notes from a Conflict-of-Interest "Myth" Instigator: Big Pharma Has Cures What Don't Ail Ya! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

A study published in 2010 found significant financial gifts (up to 69 percent of overall funding) in the state of Vermont between pharmaceutical companies and specialists in psychiatry (Chimonas, et al. 2010). Although all these are covered by “disclosure laws,” which maintain that it is acceptable to have a conflict of interest in this scenario as long as it’s openly stated, it can and should make the average citizen question the validity of research being done in the field of psychiatry.


Furthermore, while it’s no secret that document review procedures are often inefficient within drug companies (Bernhardt, 2003), the public has it all wrong if they suppose that the studies done on their antidepressants are strictly scientific. When JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) evaluated the research quality, they found an overwhelming bulk of medical studies “[contained] false or misleading statistics” (Murray, 2009, p.17).


It has been argued that the prevalence of psychiatric drugs in particular arose out of the increasing pressure on psychiatrists to produce evidence-based practices for actual diagnosis, in order to be seen as providing “cures” in the same way as most medical practitioners (Burwell & Stith, 2008, documentary). They needed official guidelines for mental illnesses, and they needed viable treatments. Enter the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual). The first edition consisted of just over 100 mental disorders, quite a step up from the vague general label of lunatic. Now, with the release of the DSM-V, we currently have about 300 mental illnesses. With such numerous options for mental maladies, who couldn’t find a disorder for which they might need a pill? - See more at:


Recently, the media has come out with multiple reports about the changes in the fifth and newest edition of the DSM. Some of these changes include: Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (temper tantrums), Major Depressive Disorder (bereavement following the loss of a loved one), Binge Eating Disorder (eating too much twelve times in three months), and Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, just to name a few. (Frances, 2012). Of course, the implications of the changes are that you may be slapped with a label and medicated with greater ease.


- See more at: http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/big-pharma-the-business-of-curing-what-ails-you/2015/05/21#sthash.5jD7MOVG.dpuf

Pharma Guy's insight:


The person who wrote this obviously qualifies as a conflict-of-interest myth "instigator' as defined by Tom Stossel in his new book, PharmaPhobia, Read more about Dr. Stossel's attempt to bust the COI "myth" here: http://bit.ly/1Fw2o7d 

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Tom Stossel Attempts to Debunk the Conflict-of-Interest "Myth"

Tom Stossel Attempts to Debunk the Conflict-of-Interest "Myth" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Yesterday, I interviewed Thomas P. Stossel, M.D., visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, about his new book, PharmaPhobia, and his call to action against the "Conflict of Interest Movement," which he claims undermines American medical innovation. You can hear some of his main arguments in the 5-minute audio snippet from that interview (here: http://bit.ly/1Fw2o7d). You can listen to the full interview here.


Stossel uses many combative terms to describe the focus of his critique. In his book and in the interview, Stossel repeatedly refers to the "Conflict-of-Interest Movement," "Conflict-of-Interest Narrative," and conflict-of-interest "instigators, enablers and enforcers.” 

Here's a sample of his acerbic style: “The case underlying the conflict-of-interest movement is a mixture of moralistic bullying, opinion unsupported by empiric evidence, speculation, simplistic and distorted interpretations of complicated and nuanced information, superficially and incompletely framed anecdotes, inappropriately extrapolated or irrelevant psychological research results, and emotionally laden human-interest stories.” 

Tell us what you REALLY think Dr. Stossel! To me this sounds like every pharmaceutical marketing campaign, especially the part about "emotionally laden human-interest stories" (read, for example, "Online e-Patient & Celebrity Patient Video Testimonials"). 

But will his book, which ends with a section on "What is to be done," turn the tide as he hopes it will?


More here: http://bit.ly/1Fw2o7d 

Pharma Guy's insight:


Stossel hopes that his book will be read by read by the general public. But he himself admits "it's really complicated and even intelligent, well-educated people -- even doctors -- don't understand innovation and how wrong" are the conflict-of-interest movement is. Also, the book is over 300 pages long, which is beyond modern-day readers' attention spans.


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