Home | Best Expose' of Big Pharma | Direct to Consumer Advertising is Bad | 55,000 died from VIOXX, both FDA & MERCK knew of risk | 2008 Review--Merck knew of VIOXX deaths | OPIOIDS ARE NOT ADDICTING IN MEDICINAL AMOUNTS | METHAQUALONE: how drug companies profited | PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY DATA | CRESTOR, a Statin, causes renal failure | Bush's Tort Reform: Government as Friend of Industry | FDA dependent on drug companies--consequences | Naproxen & Celebrex join Vioxx as a killer; more on FDA's blindness | ACETAMINOPHEN: THE GREAT DANGEROUS DRUG HOAX | Acetaminophen Leading cause of Liver Failure | PLACEBO--HOW TO VIOLATE A DOUBLE-BLIND STUDY--jk | HOW PROFITS CORRUPT MEDICAL SCIENCE & TREATMENT--jk | Medical Journals support their advertisers | BAD DATA FROM DRUG COMPANIES--Scientific American Article. | Concealment of Trial Results | Pharmaceutical Shocking Facts | NEEDLESS SURGERY | FDA SUPERVISION OF THE DRUG COMPANIES--Arianna Huffington | Accutane increase birth defects rate 42% | DRUGS FOR MENTAL ILLNESS, a review | Antidepressant Doesn't Work, Giant Drug Company Suppresses Results | ASPIRIN CHEAP, BEST NASID | Watch our for Naproxen (Advil) | LINKS: MEDICAL ADVOCACY


There is no free lunch.  So when our government allowed the drug companies to advertise directly to consumers in 1997, they do so to the tune of $19 billion annually.  Is if you wonder why are drugs cost much more than in other nations, it is because of the their advertisements. 



A chief difference between faith and science is that science makes earnest attempts to know.  This includes medical science.  Medicine is different that other sciences in that the effects of the market place corrupt the testing process.  Executives of drug companies dont want to know that a drug they are marketing or seeking FDA approval to market doesnt work or doesnt work as well as their trial studies seem to indicate.  We thus have the situation where the hands of science are tied by those who fund the studies.


     The articles here publish provide instructive examples of this unfortitutous relationship.  In Methaqualone:  How Drug Companies Profited is a story about how in country after country the manufacture of methaqualone, owning the evidence of its research, mislead the government regulatory agencies as to its safety and abuse potential, a tranquilizer which became a popular recreational drug in the late 70s and early 80s.  At first it was available over-the-counter, then prescription but not regulated, then regulated (scheduled).  There was no action against the two manufactures for deceiving the public, the FDA, or physicians.  The control of evidence by those who profit entails its manipulation; the Methaqualone story is one of the most successful (dollar wise) examples of what is standard practice, the manipulation of evidence that the companies own. 


     In Bad Data From Drug Companies:  Scientific American Article, another example of the manipulation of evidence for the sake of profits.  The data . . . [on Lotronex] are incredibly misleading.

The article goes on to describe deceptive presentation of data and the excluding of data as being common. 


     The article by Arriana Huffington, FDA Supervision of Drug Companies is an example of how the pharmaceutical industry establishes new markets.  Irritable bowls, hyperactivity, sweaty palms, flatulent, are a few examples for which medications have been developed for conditions that had up to recently gone unmedicated.  Now there are nearly 2 million kids currently taking Prozac and its equivalents even though the FDA hasn't approved these drugs for use by anyone under 18. 

The article goes beyond the failure of Congress to require that the drug companies show that their drugs are both safe and effective for children.  Congress in its pro-business posture deliberately declined to pass such legislation to empower the FDA to require this research of drug companies.  Efforts to bring the bill to a vote have been thwarted by drug companies loyal beneficiaries [$18 million in campaign contributions in 2002].  Huffington goes on to point out how top posts in the FDA have traditionally been filled by members of the industry they are to supervise and prosecute.  Huffington concludes:  This kind of self-serving, the-public-be-damned thinking is precisely why we need strong drug industry oversight in Washington, not appointees and politicians beholden to their deep-pocket patrons.


     The acetaminophen story, Acetaminophen, the Great Dangerous Hoax, is an example of how cheap drugs, in the mind of the industry, ought to be replaced by expensive ones.  Thus we have acetaminophen being taken nearly as much as aspirin, though both are many times more expensive and neither is as effective or safe.  A similar story is to be told about barbiturates, which at one time were as cheap as aspirin.


There is a pernicious relationship.  Why else would Congress pass the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, passed in 1992?  The act requires firms to pay the FDA almost $500,000 in to­tal fees for each approved drug.  How objective can the FDAs review be?


This is a pernicious relationship.  It costs lives when a less effective medicine is made to seem more effective.  It causes pain and suffering through the administration of a less effective treatment.  It costs dollars through the administration of a more expensive treatment.  We need to remove the setting of up of trials and the publication of results from the companies that profit from the results.  To do this we need to remove the relationship between government and business maintained through donations.  The process of medical colleges doing testing of established treatments for publication should be extended to trials for new drugs.  It is good enough for established treatments, why not to drug treatments being developed?

Why Take Ibuprofen

     First, it has a better reputation than aspirin among the non-medical public.  Second, because of this doctors are more likely to prescribe ibuprofen.  Third, it is fairly inexpensive.


Ways the Two Are Essentially Equal

First, they both work about equally well.  Second, they both cause stomach bleeding.  Third, they both lower the risk of blood clots (including strokes and thrombosis type heart attacks)


Why Take Aspirin

     First, it has been in use for a much longer period of time and has no major side effects other than intestinal bleeding, and this can be avoid quite effectively by taking coated aspirin.  Second, it costs a fraction of Ibuprofen.  Third, those women taking aspirin regularly while pregnant have under one-forth the incident of caesarean section (5.6% versus 23.9% in a meta study).  Fourth and most importantly, it lowers the incident of the number 2 cause of cancer deaths, colon cancer, by approximately 50% (demonstrated in a retrospect study of over 600,000 people).  



           In a more perfect world, one where the profit motive play a much less role in the health industry, aspirin and coated aspirin would be the NSAID recommended, except for those whose which have other therapeutic uses.  For example, phenylbutazone is a potent uricosuric agent useful in the treatment of gout. 



When profits direct the behavior, truth suffers.  Thus for example the much touted reduced incidents of adverse gastrointestinal reaction was only with the lower dose and for a short duration. 

Issues with COX-2 inhibitors

While it was hoped that this COX-2 selectivity would reduce gastrointestinal adverse drug reactions (ADRs) there is little conclusive evidence that this is true. The original study touted by Searle (now part of Pfizer), showing a reduced rate of ADRs for celecoxib, was later revealed to be based on preliminary data - the final data showed no significant difference in ADRs when compared with diclofenac.


Oher classic examples of deception include the comparing of Warfarin to 90 mgs of aspirin instead of the standard dose of 325 mg, comparing ibuprohen coated to uncoated aspirin when studying adverse gastrointestional reacctions, or the above example of using only the preliminary results to push a COX-2 inhibitor.