Friday, February 13, 2009

Big Pharma money and Corruption, Corruption, Corruption

How much corruption is there in the medical research industry?
How much does the apparent wide spread corruption slow down cures?

How much control of advocacy groups, clinical trial regulations, and drug approvals does Big Pharma have?

How many cures have been delayed?

Do the big Pharma ads on the web pages of advocacy groups and the underwriting of advocacy group conventions and magazines mean that advocacy group first priority is not cures but pleasing its Big Pharma sponsors and advertisers?

If a cure could come faster than a Big Pharma advertiser and underwriter wanted which direction would the officers of the advocacy group go?

Where does the majority of the money come from that pays the salaries of paid staff at advocacy groups?

Do FDA bureaucrats have a reason for the delays in cures?
Are there financial incentives for FDA bureaucrats to slow some cures so that more money can be made on the older, soon to be outdated and less effective treatments already FDA approved?

Who are advocacy groups really working for?

All of the above questions should be asked and answers demanded. The questions sound paranoid. Too paranoid to even write down, yet I keep wondering why amazing research discoveries are not making it to patients?

I would never have said the questions aloud let alone written them here until I read the following article about the massive corruption/scandal regarding which articles are published in major medical journals and which articles are the most cited. (The more citations the more likely authors are to get promotions and additional lucrative grants.)

Could there be a sinister reason that Ustekinumab has been delayed?

Read the article below and then decide for yourself whether or not it is time to engage in a little paranoia.

Publication Of Flu Vaccines Studies In Prestigious Journals Are Determined By The Sponsor

13 Feb 2009

Industry-sponsored studies on influenza vaccines are published in journals with higher rankings (impact factors) and are cited more than studies with other sponsors, but this is not because they are bigger or better, finds a study published on today.

Tom Jefferson and colleagues at the Cochrane Vaccine Field in Italy identified and assessed 274 studies on influenza vaccines and analysed their methodological quality, prestige of the host journals (impact factor) and citation rates in the scientific literature. They found no relationship between study quality, publication in prestige journals or their subsequent citation in other articles. They also found that influenza vaccine studies are of poor quality and those with conclusions in favour of the vaccines are of significantly lower methodological quality.

The single most important determinant of where the studies were published or how much they were cited was sponsorship.

Those partially or wholly funded by industry had higher visibility.

The researchers also found no relationship between journal impact factor and the quality of the influenza vaccine studies it publishes, suggesting that the impact factor is not the robust quality indicator that publishers suggest and confirming some of the widely expressed doubts on its appropriateness as a means of rewarding researchers with promotions and funds.

Dr Jefferson concludes: "The study shows that one of the levers for accessing prestige journals is the financial size of your sponsor. Pharmaceutical sponsors order many reprints of studies supporting their products, often with in-house translations into many languages. They will also purchase publicity space on the journal. Many publishers openly advertise these services on their website. It is time journals made a full disclosure of their sources of funding."

"Research: Relation of study quality, concordance, take home message, funding, and impact in studies of influenza vaccines: systematic review." BMJ Online Medical Journal

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