Does the pharmaceutical industry turn a blind eye to side effects?
Another extract from Find It, File It, Flog It: Pharma's Crippling Addiction and How to Cure it, by Hedley Rees.
“Does the industry turn a blind eye to side effects?
An article in the UK Telegraph by Laura Donnelly and Edward Malnick, titled Doctors refusing to prescribe statins, reported on the United Kingdom’s National Health Service’s advice that there should be widespread use of statins:
The advice has divided experts, with prominent doctors accusing NICE’s (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) experts of being too close to the Pharmaceutical industry.
Debate has raged for some time over the risks and benefits of taking a statin every day. The proponents of statins argue that lower cholesterol levels serve to reduce the overall risk of heart problems in the over 55’s population, whereas the opponents do not accept patients should be exposed to the potential side effects unless there is a properly diagnosed need.
One general practitioner describes the side effects as “horrific,” and a large percentage refuse to follow the advice, even though they could be financially penalized by not following NICE’s dictate.
Aside from the statin debate, the industry has a less-than-stellar record for being truthful about safety profiles of drugs, as evidenced by Vioxx, which has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many families and doctors affected.
For those not familiar with the story, Merck gained US FDA approval to launch a painkiller Vioxx (rofecoxib), in 1999, based upon clinical trial evidence.
Following launch, there emerged a growing body of evidence that the drug was implicated in heart attacks and death. The Drugwatch site reported “In the years that followed, it was mired in scandal. Merck was accused of misleading doctors and patients about the drug’s safety, fabricating study results to suit the company’s needs, continually thwarting an FDA scientist from revealing the drug’s problems and skirting federal drug regulations.”
During this time, patients were dying.
Campaigns have been started to achieve far greater visibility of safety profiles and other critical issues involved in clinical trials. None of this, however, seems to be persuading the industry to change.”
If you would like to here more on this, and a ton of other important stuff on the broken pharmaceutical system, and how to put it right, why not check out:
That’s it for now,
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