NEJM editor Says We Can ‘No Longer Trust Clinical Trials’

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Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Marcia Angell ain’t buying it, at least when “it” is clinical research, which he claims may be total fabrication, agenda driven and completely untrustworthy. The author of The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, is also the Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine. That’s quite a resume and certainly not someone we’d classify as having any incentive to spread “fake news.”

Her article called Drug Companies and Doctors: A Story Of Corruption, which was previously published in New York Review of Books, rings true to its title in terms of the message it pushes forth to readers.

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

One of her essential notes points to Dr. Joseph Biederman, a psychiatry professor from Harvard Medical School as well as the chief of pediatric psychopharmacology at Harvard’s Massachusetts general. She claims that his actions have led to “children as young as two years old” being prescribed “powerful drug” cocktails, some not even approved by the FDA.

“Thanks largely to him, children as young as two years old are now being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with a cocktail of powerful drugs, many of which were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for that purpose, and none of which were approved for children below ten years of age.”

The New York Times, at one point, claimed his studies supporting bipolar meds were so small and loosely designed that they were largely inconclusive.”

And things get worse…

Biederman was apparently paid off by the drug companies for which he prescribes medications. Yes, the bipolar meds he pushes on our kids are not only barely and irresponsibly studies, but he is also taking bribes in exchange for pushing them.

“Two of Biederman’s colleagues received similar amounts. After the revelation, the president of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the chairman of its physician organization sent a letter to the hospital’s physicians expressing not shock over the enormity of the conflicts of interest, but sympathy for the beneficiaries: “We know this is an incredibly painful time for these doctors and their families, and our hearts go out to them.”

Biederman, of course, never disclosed the monies to Harvard, which served to place him under investigation.

She continues to write, regarding doctors and bribes.

“No one knows the total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate from the annual reports of the top 9 U.S.-based drug companies that it comes to tens of billions of dollars a year in North America alone.By such means, the pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous control over how doctors evaluate and use its own products. Its extensive ties to physicians, particularly senior faculty at prestigious medical schools, affect the results of research, the way medicine is practiced, and even the definition of what constitutes a disease.”

How corrupt is our system? Probably way more than we can ever know, and we already know a lot.

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