Popular Science News | Drugs Trials System Flawed

Popular Science News – according to Ben Goldacre in the New Scientist:

“Drugs are tested in poorly designed studies which are then selectively reported, with unflattering data hidden. This biased evidence is then communicated to doctors ¡n a chaotic and distorted system by marketing departments and Chinese whispers. I have an almost grudging respect for the clever ways in which data can be distorted, but as a result of this distortion patients suffer and die unnecessarily.”

Ben has written a highly rated book called Bad Pharma which exposes the bad science behind the development and marketing of new drugs. He accuses the pharmaceutical industry of creating a scam which, while sophisticated, is basically a deliberate removal of negative evidence.

“We know that about half of all trials that are conducted in medicine never get published, and that trials with positive results are about twice as likely to be published as trials with negative results. That’s one of the reasons why, overall, industry-sponsored trials are about four times as likely to give a positive result, compared with independently funded trials. This results in a distorted picture. If a drug company can conduct many trials, but only publish the ones with positive results, then doctors are plainly misled about the benefits of that treatment.”

Perhaps the next time you’re tempted to pop a drug in your mouth, you should rethink your actio? Who in their right mind would take the drug which, according to her death certificate, killed my mother:

“Prednisone, or cortisone, is a very effective short-term medication for ailments. However, if prednisone is used for long-term treatments, some potentially dangerous health risks may arise. Extended use of prednisone can cause health disorders such as hypertension, osteoporosis, peptic ulcers, diabetes, cataracts and intestinal bleeding, just to name a few. It is important to note that if prednisone has been taken for a prolonged period, time should be taken to taper off prednisone and not to simply stop taking the medication.“[www.livestrong.com]


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