TRUST THE DRUG COMPANIES?
The BMJ study that came out only yesterday (Financial Ties of Principal Investigators and Randomized Controlled Trial Outcomes: Cross Sectional Study) looked at almost 200 randomly chosen RCT’s (Randomized Controlled Trials) —- the epitome of the gold standard of medical research — concluding that, “Financial ties between principal investigators and the pharmaceutical industry were present in 67.7% of the studies. Of 397 principal investigators, 58% had financial ties, 39% reported advisor/consultancy payments, 20% reported speakers’ fees, 20% reported unspecified financial ties, 13% reported honorariums, 13% reported employee relationships, 13% reported travel fees, 10% reported stock ownership, and 5% reported having a patent related to the study drug. The prevalence of financial ties of principal investigators was 76% among positive studies and 49% among negative studies. Financial ties of principal investigators were independently associated with positive clinical trial results. These findings may be suggestive of bias in the evidence base.” Gulp!
In other words, if the research they happened to be working on showed the drug they were studying in a favorable light, they were 27% more likely to be cashing in. Cha Ching! The JAMA IM study (Patient Advocacy Organizations, Industry Funding, and Conflicts of Interest), which also came out yesterday, came to similar conclusions concerning a slightly different area. “This study found that 67% of a national sample of patient advocacy organizations, virtually all of which were not for profit, reported receiving funding from for-profit companies. Twelve percent received more than half of their funding from industry; a median proportion of 45% of industry funding was derived from the pharmaceutical, device, and/or biotechnology sectors.” In English this means that…..
“Patient advocacy organizations (PAOs), such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the National Organization of Rare Disorders, are influential stakeholders in health and health care. In addition to intervening at the individual level, many PAOs fund or conduct medical and health services research, influence national policy, and play key roles in allocation decisions made by legislatures and government agencies. Patient advocacy organizations need to secure financial support, which may come from many sources, including for-profit entities. However, relationships between PAOs and industry might influence PAOs’ activities in ways that might not align with the interests of the constituencies they represent. There is increasing evidence that financial relationships can create bias in medical research and physicians, and PAOs may be subject to the same concerns.”
Not to be outdone, the medial daily STAT ran a piece by Sheila Kaplan yesterday called Behind Patient Advocacy Groups, Donors are Exerting a Powerful Force. In it she mentioned something I have been hollering about for a very long time — the fact that sugar industry and JUNK FOOD manufactures are actually supporting and funding research coming out of the American Diabetes Association (HERE). Funny enough, it was only YESTERDAY I mentioned a doctor who was talking about all the “fake news” coming out of the medical community, much of it having to do with the lies perpetrated by the ADA as far as effective treatment of Diabetes is concerned.
All three of these papers mentioned can be found in their entirety online. The problem is, it’s more of the exact same problem(s) I’ve been showing you for years (HERE), and instead of getting better, it’s becoming exponentially worse. Oh; in case you actually decide to read these studies, make sure you have a trash can nearby so as not to mess up the floor when you invariably sicken yourself.