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Another one of those things...

Posted 08-05-2009 at 09:00 AM by ostarella

From the NY Times, "Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy"

Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known...

The articles, published in medical journals between 1998 and 2005, emphasized the benefits and de-emphasized the risks of taking hormones to protect against maladies like aging skin, heart disease and dementia...

But the seeming consensus fell apart in 2002 when a huge federal study on hormone therapy was stopped after researchers found that menopausal women who took certain hormones had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. A later study found that hormones increased the risk of dementia in older patients...

The documents suggest the practice went well beyond the case of Wyeth and hormone therapy, involving numerous drugs from other pharmaceutical companies.
I don't know why anyone should be surprised. When I was at business school, we took a class on statistics. The one thing I took away from that class was the idea that numbers can be made to say anything - you have to look at who is putting them out there.

From my own dismal experiences with the medical community, I knew better than to just "follow doctor's orders". I'd known that doctors and drug companies worked hand in hand - which brand drug you get depends largely on how much kickback the doctor/clinic/hospital gets from the drug company. Now it seems there's even more reason to question what the guys in white tell us - because they themselves have been mislead by the drug companies.

IMHO the whole medical community is poisoned by the idea of propaganda over science. How do you think the cancer researchers have kept going all these years - without any kind of real success? There are cures out there - and there's more to prevention than "quit smoking" - but to put forth those theories means their jobs could be out the window, so...

Bit of a rant here - my ages-old bitterness at how the medical community as a whole screwed up my family. (Well, killed them off one by one, basically, via their damn God Complex.)

Anyway - one more reason to listen skeptically to what some white-coated guy with a piece of paper on the wall tells you. Listen to your own body and trust what it tells you. And have the courage to say "no" to your doctor. I'm sure their ego will survive.
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