INVISIBLE AND FLYING UNDER THE RADAR
INVISIBLE AND ABANDONED STUDIES ACCOUNT
FOR HALF OF ALL EUROPEAN MEDICAL RESEARCH
How could I get paid to do research for BIG PHARMA, yet never end up on their bad side (like a CHRIS EXLEY, a HUGH FUDENBERG, or a DEAN BURK)? In other words, how could I make sure I’m always in the money, with my next project lined up and ready to roll as soon as my current project is finished? Easy. Be a “team player” and do what everyone else in the field is doing. Simply bury studies that don’t show the results that your employer (the company funding the study) was hoping for.
A quick peek at my site and you’ll see that I’ve warned you repeatedly about this all-too-common phenomenon known within the biomedical research community as “INVISIBLE & ABANDONED” (for the record, this includes half of all American medical studies). Don’t like what you’re seeing? Stop the study midstream. Results aren’t shaping up for a stockholder windfall? Don’t publish. The DRUGS are more dangerous than ever imagined? Sit on the results, never letting them see the light of day, all while figuring out new ways to WHITEWASH THE STATS.
This makes the results of a brand new study (Compliance with Requirements to Report Results on the EU Results Registry: Cohort Study and Web Resource) published two days ago in the British Medical Journal almost passe. “Out Of 7,274 trials where results were due, 49.5% reported results.” That, folks, is just under 50%. “Institutions such as the World Health Organization, European Commission, and US Food and Drug Administration have called for the disclosure of results. However, there is extensive and longstanding evidence that the methods and results of completed clinical trials are commonly left unreported. These findings are consistent with a previous review.” An article for Reuters by Kate Kelland (Half of Europe’s Clinical Trials Fail to Report Results Despite EU Rule) put it this way.
“Most major pharmaceutical companies are coming close to complying with EU reporting rules for trials in people…. Work published in the BMJ British medical journal, researchers at Britain’s Oxford University found that around 90 percent of trials funded by non-commercial sponsors – such as universities, hospitals, governments and charities – and about 32 percent of trials sponsored by drug companies have not published results onto the register. Ben Goldacre, who co-led the research as director of the DataLab group at Oxford, said the group’s findings strike ‘to the heart of evidence based medicine.'”
Hold on Kate. How on earth could these numbers be considered “close“? Let’s be honest with each other for a moment. Do you really think that universities are for the most part funding their own studies? The studies are being done at the universities with industry and government monies (the next link reveals that these are often times the same). And as for striking to the heart of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE…. Not only is this nothing new, it’s exactly why they do it. Circumvent the process while smugly talking about “best evidence”. And with the right PRESS RELEASE, industry can parade meager results to the public as “miracle cures,” while covering up and burying the screw ups and mistakes. As Bruce Hornsby sang back in the day, when there is this much money involved, “that’s just the way it is, some things will never change” (HERE).
Ahhh money. That’s what makes this whole mess even worse — the fact that ultimately, and to no one’s surprise, the goal is to get that money at any cost, no matter who gets in the way. Proof positive comes from Ornstein & Thomas’s article in the New York Times from earlier this week on Dr. Jose Baselga (Top Cancer Researcher Fails to Disclose Corporate Financial Ties in Major Research Journal). Check this dude out.
“One of the world’s top breast cancer doctors failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from drug and health care companies in recent years, omitting his financial ties from dozens of research articles in prestigious publications like The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. The researcher, Dr. José Baselga, a towering figure in the cancer world, is the chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He has held board memberships or advisory roles with Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb, among other corporations. Dr. Baselga’s extensive corporate relationships — and his frequent failure to disclose them — illustrate how permeable the boundaries remain between academic research and industry, and how weakly reporting requirements are enforced by the medical journals and professional societies charged with policing them.”
The problem is, as I showed you last week (HERE), this is essentially the norm and has been for a very long time —- and it’s just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Big Pharma, working hand-in-hand with GOVERNMENT REGULATORY AGENCIES and our university system, is stacking the deck against you, while doing a brilliant job of making you think you’re holding all the cards.
What’s almost comical is what the 59 year old Basegla said as he walked into the Tahitian sunset of his retirement (he’ll probably still work as a “CONSULTANT“), with an overstuffed bank account, crying, in similar fashion to politicians, for more “transparency,” while hiding in the dark slime at the bottom of the pond making millions. Yesterday’s resignation letter from Dr. B contained this interesting sentence. “It is my hope that this situation will inspire a doubling down on transparency in our field.” If you really believed that Jose, you’d put your money where your mouth is and donate the whole wad to ON TIME MINISTRIES!
How can you fight back? Stop being Big Pharma’s source of income. Stop being their commodity. Stop being their lackey. There are very few of you reading this who are unable to make significant changes in your health by improving your diet and lifestyle. HERE are a group of posts to help get you started. Be sure to share this with others if you like our site. FACEBOOK is a great way to reach those you love and care about most.