Manipulation And a Drugged America

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

News stories regarding Merck, the makers of Vioxx, began circulating midday April 15, with reports of manipulation of data and accusations of scientific fraud. By this morning, the inbox on my LG Voyager displaying several text messages from chiropractors throughout the United States (mostly east coast) sharing links to multiple websites and publications covering this topic.

News headlines coming from major outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe, included titles such as: Maker of Vioxx Is Accused of Deception, Drug firm paid MDs for bylines, and Merck Wrote Drug Studies for Doctors.

hired writers, not scientists, behind Vioxx studies Apparently, documents unearthed in lawsuits related to the pain drug Vioxx, expose a detailed display of pharmaceutical industry practice of ghost writing research studies for medical and academic journals.

While reports are being denied by some parties, others in the industry claim these are widespread practices, not limited to just one drug company. David Brown, staff writer of the Washington Post, shared a quote from Catherine D. DeAngelis, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in his article on the topic. “But make no mistake — the manipulation of study results, authors, editors, and reviewers is not the sole purview of one company.”

The website injuryboard.com, has headlines reading Merck Busted For Ghostwriting Vioxx Studies and an article posted by Jane Akre leading with the sentence… Drug maker, Merck & Co., has always characterized its conduct as above board and ethically appropriate among pharmaceutical companies.

The most interesting thing I’ve discovered in the short time these articles have been circulating the Internet, is the responses and comments from visitors to various websites. From what I’ve read, no one seems a bit surprised that the drug industry would function this way. Consumerist.com has an article, Merck Ghostwrote Vioxx Studies For Doctors which includes an image of scanned documents related to randomized, double-blind, clinical studies by the makers of Vioxx.

Visitors to the website left comments suggesting medical doctors have their licenses pulled if found to be participating in these frauds. There’s quite a discussion taking place and I suspect it’s only going to expose more manipulation in the field of health-care and the drugging of America.

planetc1.com-news @ 1:28 pm | Article ID: 1208377745