The Drug Industry’s Paradise is Psychiatry: Their Quisling, the APA
This text is an introduction and background to an important video presentation about Professor Gotzsche [link below] and to his book ‘Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime’. It brings us back, yet again, to the subject of dishonesty, deception and bias, both in the medical research literature concerning general pharmacology [and especially psychiatry] and in the medical profession itself. I had not intended to return to this topic so soon, having attempted to raise peoples’ awareness of this subject repeatedly over the past decade.
However, bias and deceit in scientific publications is of crucial relevance to everything that we suppose might be true and to every medical action and decision that we take as a consequence of assuming that what we read in supposedly ‘scientific’ journals does actually represent an honest attempt to approach the truth on a subject. Those who do not yet appreciate that much of what we read in medical journals is dishonest are existing in a make-believe world.
Historical fact shows drug companies behave as if they were recidivistic liars and cheats, we cannot trust them, we must persuade others not trust them. How prescient was Ambrose Bierce in his cynical definition of ‘a Corporation’ over 100 years ago:
“Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.” Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary 1901.
Therefore, further significant information on this topic is noteworthy, because drug company dissemination of “disinformation” is an insidious abnegation of true science.
Or, as George Bernard Shaw phrased it:
"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
The Complicity of the Profession
Lest anyone think that I am apportioning blame only to the drug companies I will reiterate another important dimension which is doctors behaviour and the abject corruption of the biggest English-speaking psychiatric association, the American Psychiatric Association [APA], which is obviously rotten to the core, and complicit in much deceitful conduct. I will not dwell on this here, but this article in the Huffington Post summarises the situation and has links, particularly to Dr Nardo’s writing, which I have also cited.
Professor Peter Gotzsche
The video presentation [link below] to which I wish to draw your attention is about Professor Peter Gotzsche, a respected researcher, who has recently aired comments and conclusions concerning the role of pharmaceutical companies in producing deceptive research and promulgating misleading medical research findings: we should all be aware of his arguments. Gotzsche is an industrious researcher and was a co-founder of the now famous “Cochrane database collaboration”; he is the director of the Nordic Cochrane center in Copenhagen
The Cochrane database is contributed to by many leading medical researchers. Gotzsche has published many Scientific papers about research & methodology. A brief Biography is here:
He is an expert worth listening to. Here are a few of the papers that he has published, just in the last 12 months, which give an indication of the range of his research interests [1-10].
He calls psychiatry “the drug industry’s paradise", for much the same reasons that I have previously explained. Essentially, these reasons are that the data exaggerating the effectiveness of drugs has been so easily fudged that psychiatrists continue to be bribed, manipulated, bamboozled and deceived [perhaps too easily].
To summarise briefly what Prof Gotzsche has said: the research discussed in the Youtube video link below demonstrates that ruthlessly purposeful and deceptive hiding and manipulation of medical data, which misleads doctors for the main purpose of increasing drug sales and profits, continues to be the rule not the exception. This deception continues unabated, despite all the fuss, legal cases and fines imposed, concerning drug company malpractices over the last decade. For instance, see this link (Dr Nardo is ‘1boringoldman’) for a current synopsis of ongoing legal cases etc.
This deception continues because it is very profitable: indeed, it is orders of magnitude more profitable than the fines that have been imposed.
Here are a couple of quick updating examples to do with more recent drug company malpractices [there are so many to choose from]:
1) Pzifer have already been on the receiving end, in the USA, of a charge under the “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” [RICO] concerning ‘Neurontin’ [gabapentin]: penalties under RICO can put senior executives in jail, just like it has done for the Mafia bosses. More RICO indictments of drug company executives are needed if change is to occur.
See: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan v. Pfizer [under ‘notable cases’].
In December 2013, the US Supreme Court rejected the Pfizer appeal against their conviction and this 1st RICO conviction thus stands. Pfizer has to pay Kaiser $142 million and also $65.4 million for violating the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL). May other RICO charges follow! Pregabalin [Lyrica] perhaps?
2) Roche's extraordinary foot-dragging over providing the full [un-doctored] trial data for the influenza drug “Tamiflu” has now stirred up MPs in the UK who have expressed, in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report, their "extreme concern" about a lack of data on Tamiflu’s efficacy. This is contained in a report about the government's decision to stockpile Tamiflu, at a cost of nearly a billion dollars.
Not bad salesmanship, a billion dollars worth, for a vaccine of minimal, perhaps negligible, efficacy!
It is difficult to disagree with Gotzsche’s conclusion that many drugs are sufficiently dangerous, and the information doctors have about them is so misleading and deficient, that it thus becomes impossible for doctors to use them either optimally, or even safely. The data Gotzsche has amassed argue strongly that the general public would in fact be better off if many drugs did not even exist. Gotzsche has concluded that drug companies operate in a manner that makes them indistinguishable from criminal drug-peddling cartels [c.f. RICO].
These are serious issues which need to be thrashed out. One thing that we can all do is to spread the word concerning what Gotzsche is telling us all.
So, consider sending the link [to this commentary on my web site & to the video] to others. Remember, our individual actions about things like this make a difference.
Remember what the famous 18th c statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke is quoted as saying: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
Watch the presentation.
… and consider reading Gotzsche’s book “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime”.
1.Beller, E.M., et al., PRISMA for Abstracts: reporting systematic reviews in journal and conference abstracts. PLoS Med, 2013. 10(4): p. e1001419.
2.Bindslev, J.B., et al., Underreporting of conflicts of interest in clinical practice guidelines: cross sectional study. BMC Med Ethics, 2013. 14: p. 19.
3.Gotzsche, P.C., Deficiencies in proposed new EU regulation of clinical trials. BMJ, 2012. 345: p. e8522.
4.Gotzsche, P.C., Big pharma often commits corporate crime, and this must be stopped. BMJ, 2012. 345: p. e8462.
5.Gotzsche, P.C., European governments should sue Roche and prescribers should boycott its drugs. BMJ, 2012. 345: p. e7689.
6.Gotzsche, P.C., Mammography screening: truth, lies, and controversy. Lancet, 2012. 380(9838): p. 218.
7.Gotzsche, P.C., Strengthening and opening up health research by sharing our raw data. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes, 2012. 5(2): p. 236-7.
8.Gotzsche, P.C., Roche continues to drag its feet on access to Tamiflu data. BMJ, 2013. 346: p. f3001.
9.Gotzsche, P.C., [Doubtful whether topically administered NSAIDs have any effect]. Ugeskr Laeger, 2013. 175(6): p. 377-8.
10.Gotzsche, P.C., Developing a new drug costs less than $100m, not $900m. BMJ, 2013. 346: p. f398.