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Medical Pseudoscience in the News
Medical Pseudoscience in the News

Where trial meets error

The Guardian, November 2004 02.18 GMT

"Somewhere in Rayong or Chon Buri on the coast of Thailand, a young woman may at this very moment be baring her arm for a shot of an experimental Aids vaccine that many of the leading scientists in the field say categorically has no hope at all of working.

She will be one of 16,000 volunteers recruited for the second large-scale Aids vaccine trial, a $119m exercise many scientists believe is a farce."

Pharma rep spying on dissent. NY Times photo.

Ethical dilemma at Harvard Medical School

New York Times, March 2, 2009

Sometimes doctors, scientists and even the entire first year class at Harvard medical school balk at the abject lack of ethics in the pharmaceutical industry.

See also Pfizer Worker Photographed Protesters at Harvard published on the same day.

Revealed: secret plan to push 'happy' pills

The Guardian, 7 November 2004

  • MPs probe drugs giant's bid to boost Seroxat
  • Fears over new targets for anti-depressant
Happy pills only make the producer of them happy. A recent Duke university study showed exercise works as well as if not better than anti-depressants; furthermore anti-depressants only mask the symptom by great accelerating the serotonin levels. The proper treatment is to displace animal and trans fats in cellular membranes with the phospholipids that are supposed to be there: various short chain fatty acids in the omega 3 family: ALA, DHA, EPA and GLA; this allows the neurotransmitter receptors to function properly and not "ignore" the already correct level of serotonin in your body.

When is a placebo not a placebo?

Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2010

A placebo is a placebo is a placebo ... or maybe not, a new study suggests

When is a placebo not a placebo? When it's not and affects the outcome of a double blind study.

See also: pubmed/20956710

Are Your Medications Safe?

Slate Feb 9, 2015
The FDA buries evidence of fraud in medical trials. My students and I dug it up.

By Charles Seife

"For more than a decade, the FDA has shown a pattern of burying the details of misconduct. As a result, nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses."

"...Faked X-ray reports. Forged retinal scans. Phony lab tests. Secretly amputated limbs. All done in the name of science when researchers thought that nobody was watching.

That misconduct happens isn’t shocking. What is: When the FDA finds scientific fraud or misconduct, the agency doesn’t notify the public, the medical establishment, or even the scientific community that the results of a medical experiment are not to be trusted. On the contrary. For more than a decade, the FDA has shown a pattern of burying the details of misconduct. As a result, nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses. The FDA has repeatedly hidden evidence of scientific fraud not just from the public, but also from its most trusted scientific advisers, even as they were deciding whether or not a new drug should be allowed on the market. Even a congressional panel investigating a case of fraud regarding a dangerous drug couldn't get forthright answers. For an agency devoted to protecting the public from bogus medical science, the FDA seems to be spending an awful lot of effort protecting the perpetrators of bogus science from the public.

Much of my research has to do with follies, foibles, and fraud in science, and I knew that the FDA wasn’t exactly bending over backward to correct the scientific record when its inspectors found problems during clinical trials. So as part of my investigative reporting class at New York University, my students and I set out to find out just how bad the problem was—and how much important information the FDA was keeping under wraps."

The corrupt business of medicine

The New York Times Review of Books, Jan 15, 2009.

Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial by Alison Bass
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 260 pp., $24.95

Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs by Melody Petersen
Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 432 pp., $26.00

Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness
by Christopher Lane
Yale University Press, 263 pp., $27.50; $18.00 (paper)

Financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and the academic physicians who largely determine the market value of prescription drugs.

Stupid Pharma Tricks

Alternet, December 22, 2010

15 Dirty Big Pharma Tricks That Rip You Off and Risk Your Health for Profit.

Big Pharma Shamelessly Shills Dangerous Bone Drugs You Don't Need

Drugs meant to strengthen bones may not work -- and many have a slew of harmful side-effects like a higher cancer risk, irregular heart rate, and stomach bleeding.

By Martha Rosenberg / AlterNet November 10, 2010,

Bogus | Ethics | Secret | Placebos | Fda | Ties | Tricks | Bones | Atlantic  

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