Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Widespread Ghostwriting of Drug Trials Means "Scientific" Credibility of Pharmaceutical Industry is a Sham

(NaturalNews) The discovery that drug companies have been ghostwriting scientific studies using in-house writers, then paying (bribing) doctors and high-level academics to pretend they were the author of the article is making shockwaves across conventional medicine. This latest revelation of scientific fraud exposes a massive, widespread system of fraud involving not only the drug companies, but also hundreds of different peer-reviewed, "scientific" medical journals that have published these ghostwritten articles. This scam is the latest embarrassment to conventional medicine; a system built on such a foundation of scientific fraud that the admission of dishonesty no longer surprises anyone. The pharmaceutical industry, it seems, is now supported almost entirely by fraudulent science fabricated by marketing personnel.

Remember, it is these studies -- the very ones now discovered to be ghostwritten by Big Pharma's in-house authors -- that the FDA uses to approve these drugs, unleashing them onto the public where potentially hundreds of millions of doses of the drug may be sold in just the first few years of its approval. But what we're learning now is that the whole system is an elaborate scam. For these studies, there's no real science involved at all.

To back this up, let me explain how this scam works in seven simple steps:

Step 1: A drug company runs an in-house study (using fraudulent study design from the start) to "prove" that their drug is both safe and effective. If the study produces negative results, it is thrown out. If it produces positive results, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: That same drug company uses in-house writers ("ghost writers") to write up the results of the study in a favorable light by discarding any data that doesn't fit the desired outcome. Note that these in-house writers are marketing people, not doctors or scientists, and they are on Big Pharma's payroll!

Step 3: The drug company contacts a noted doctor or academic and offers to pay them a bribe (a "writing fee") to put their name on the paper as if they were the original author. In reality, the paper has already been completely written and the doctor needs to write nothing.

Step 4: The paper is submitted to peer-reviewed academic journals (such as JAMA) for publication. Since the paper appears to have been independently written by an outside scientist or doctor, the journal is far more likely to consider it credible. Thus, it gets more easily published. The drug company reveals nothing about the true origins of the paper.

Step 5: The drug company that sponsored all this forwards the peer-reviewed, published study to the FDA, claiming this is now "scientific fact" that proves their drug is both safe and effective. Since the study was published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, it must be true, right?

Step 6: The FDA, which conducts no drug safety studies of its own, automatically believes the conclusions of the study (since it was published in a credible journal, after all), and therefore approves the drug for sale! From there, the FDA claims its decisions are based on the "gold standard of evidence-based medicine!"

Step 7: Once the drug is approved by the FDA, the drug company then claims the drug has been declared safe and effective by an independent government agency, and therefore the drug must indeed be both safe and effective. In other words, even though the drug company fabricated much of the evidence used by the FDA to make their approval decision, the drug company still claims that the FDA's decision is an independent, science-based approval of their drug! Furthermore, the drug companies are now arguing that FDA approval should immunize them from any lawsuits or claims of harm stemming from their drugs. Amazing, huh?

No comments:

Post a Comment