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Old 06-02-2003, 02:45 PM
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Cool Alternative medicine or The Big Fix :)

Hola! Alternative medicine source

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Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 11:00 PM Eastern Standard
Time And Sunday, June 1st 2003 at 4:00 AM and 12:00 PM
Eastern Standard Time. If you have friends, family,
doctors, etc. that may be interested in the Truehope
Program, please let them know about this exciting
documentary. Contact your cable or satellite provider
to make sure you have the Discovery Health Channel!

Sincerely,

TruehopeNutritionalSupport888-TRUEHOPE www.truehope.com

The Big Fix How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips
> Off American Consumers
> Katherine Greider
> Public Affairs, $14, pp 189 ISBN 1 58648 185 1
>
> Reviewed by Ray Moynihan
>
> The Big Fix opens with feisty 77 year old Melva
> McCuddy from Ohio struggling to
> find more than $6000 a year to pay for her multiple
> medications. We learn that
> she travels across the United States border to
> Canada, where her breast cancer
> drug, tamoxifen, is eight times cheaper than in her
> local pharmacy. Then we
> meet her son and grandson, both with medical
> troubles of their own, and
> discover that the family has three generations
> without any insurance cover for
> pharmaceuticals, and three generations forced to
> rely on handouts from their
> doctors. "The worst thing," Melva told the audience
> at the book's launch in
> Washington DC this month, "is being forced to beg
> doctors for free samples."
>
> Written in a plain, clear, direct style, and with
> its research funded in part
> by the AFL-CIO-the umbrella labour organisation in
> the United States-The Big
> Fix is an attempt to educate working Americans about
> the dirty tricks of the
> pharmaceutical industry. With the soaring costs of
> drugs and health care set to
> become the biggest domestic issue in next year's US
> presidential election, the
> book is certainly timely.
>
> Anyone familiar with the industry's antics won't
> find much that's new in The
> Big Fix. It is, however, a remarkably accessible
> round-up of the best evidence
> and the sharpest analysis about key issues,
> including drug pricing, patent
> battles, excessive profiteering, misleading
> marketing, disease mongering and
> doctor-drug company entanglement. Author Katharine
> Greider has distilled much
> scientific research, interviewed many key academics
> and activists, and made her
> way through bulky reports from Congressional
> hearings and other investigations.
>
> Full text
> http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1218?etoc
>
> The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips
> Off American Consumers
> by Katharine Greider
> Paperback: ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.60 x 8.27 x
> 5.50
> Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1st edition (May 6, 2003)
> ISBN: 1586481851
> AMAZON - US
A meticulously reported expose uncovers exactly how
> the drug industry boosts
> sales and bilks consumers in the most lucrative
> prescription drug market in the
> world.
>
> As the pharmaceutical industry invests more and more
> in the development of new
> drugs, true breakthroughs are few and far between.
> Into the breach comes a
> panoply of product-line extensions and me-too drugs
> aimed at grabbing market
> share. The industry plows its high profits back into
> research, but invests an
> equal or greater sum in flogging its products in
> every imaginable venue.
> Research studies are designed to support marketing
> claims. Many doctors all
> over the country get their first information about
> new drugs from a
> salesperson. And, increasingly, prescription drugs
> are pitched to consumers on
> TV and the internet with images of hope, terror, or
> chic. Evidence-based
> practice guidelines, which endeavor to get the right
> medicines to those who
> will benefit most, can't be heard over the din.
>
> Having created an unprecedented number of
> "megabrands"--blockbuster drugs with
> huge sales--and undergone an extraordinary wave of
> consolidation, some drug
> companies now find themselves in a precarious
> position. Patents are expiring on
> flagship products. In order to sustain the growth
> Wall Street has come to
> expect, these companies must produce billions of
> dollars worth of new
> revenue--fast. But can Americans continue to
> bankroll Operation Grow Big
> Pharma? Must we swallow the bad with the good?
>
> About the Author
> Katharine Greider has worked as a newspaper reporter
> and freelance magazine
> writer. Her articles, often focusing on health and
> medical topics, have
> appeared in a dozen publications from Self to Mother
> Jones. She lives in New
> York City with her family.
Howard D Trachtman <hdt@MIT.EDU>
> Subject: [SCI-psych] [ian.pitchford@scientist.com:
> [psychiatry-research] Research sponsored by drug
> companies is biased]
Please remember to credit the BMJ as source when
> publicising an
> article and to tell your readers that they can read
> its full text on the
> journal's web site (http://bmj.com).
>
> If your story is posted on a website please include
> a link back to
> the source BMJ article (URL's are given under
> titles).
> ______________________________
> (1) CONCERN THAT RESEARCH SPONSORED BY
> DRUG COMPANIES IS BIASED
>
> (2) DRUG TREATMENT LIKELY TO BE BASED ON
> BIASED EVIDENCE
>
> (3) WEEKLY CONTACT WITH DRUG REPS LINKED
> TO UNNECESSARY PRESCRIBING
>
> (4) MEDICAL PROFESSION ATTEMPTS TO "CLEAN
> UP" RELATIONS WITH DRUG INDUSTRY
>
> (5) RELATIONS BETWEEN THE DRUG INDUSTRY
> AND PATIENT GROUPS SHOULD BE OPEN
> ______________________________
>
>
>
> (1) CONCERN THAT RESEARCH SPONSORED BY
> DRUG COMPANIES IS BIASED
>
> (Pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and research
> outcome and quality: systematic review)
> http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1167
>
> Research funded by drug companies is more likely to
> produce results that favour the sponsor's product
> than
> research funded by other sources, claim researchers
> in
> this week's BMJ.
>
> They reviewed 30 studies that analysed research
> sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. Research
> funded by drug companies was less likely to be
> published than research funded by other sources.
> Studies
> sponsored by drug companies were also more likely to
> have outcomes favouring the sponsor than studies
> with
> other sponsors.
>
> However, none of the 13 studies that analysed
> methods
> reported that studies funded by industry were of
> poorer
> quality.
>
> These results apply across a wide range of diseases,
> drugs, and drug classes, over at least two decades
> and
> regardless of the type of research being assessed,
> say
> the authors. This suggests that there is some kind
> of
> systematic bias to the outcome of published research
> funded by the pharmaceutical industry.
>
> Possible explanations include the selection of an
> inappropriate comparator to the product being
> investigated and publication bias, they conclude.
>
> Contact:
>
> Joel Lexchin, Associate Professor, School of Health
> Policy and Management, York University, Toronto,
> Canada
> Email: joel.lexchin@utoronto.ca
>
>
> (2) DRUG TREATMENT LIKELY TO BE BASED ON
> BIASED EVIDENCE
>
> (Evidence b(i)ased medicine - selective reporting
> from
> studies sponsored by pharmaceutical industry: review
> of
> studies in new drug applications)
> http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1171
>
> Drug treatment is likely to be founded on biased
> evidence because drug companies tend to publish
> studies
> with more favourable results, suggest researchers in
> this
> week's BMJ.
>
> They identified 42 studies submitted to the Swedish
> drug
> regulatory authority to secure marketing approval
> for five
> antidepressant drugs. These studies were then
> compared
> with studies actually published between 1983 and
> 1999.
>
> They found evidence of three sources of bias:
> duplicate
> publication, selective publication, and selective
> reporting.
> For instance, 21 studies contributed to at least two
> publications each, and three studies contributed to
> five
> publications. Studies showing significant effects of
> a drug
> were published as stand alone publications more
> often
> than studies with non-significant results. The
> tendency to
> report the more favourable results only, in studies
> actually published, was a major cause for bias.
>
> These results should not be used to dispute the
> value of
> analysing the medical literature, say the authors.
> However, they are likely to be valid for other
> classes of
> drugs, so for anyone who relies on published studies
> alone to choose a specific drug, they should be a
> cause
> for concern.
>
> Without access to all studies (positive as well as
> negative, published as well as unpublished) any
> attempt
> to recommend a specific drug is likely to be based
> on
> biased evidence, they conclude.
>
> Contact:
>
> Hans Melander, Senior Biostatistician, Medical
> Products
> Agency, Uppsala, Sweden
> Email: hans.melander@mpa.se
>
>
> (3) WEEKLY CONTACT WITH DRUG REPS LINKED
> TO UNNECESSARY PRESCRIBING
>
> (Characteristics of general practitioners who
> frequently
> see drug industry representatives: national cross
> sectional
> study)
> http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1178
>
> General practitioners who see drug industry
> representatives at least once a week are more likely
> to
> express views that will lead to unnecessary
> prescribing
> then those who report less frequent contact, finds a
> study
> in this week's BMJ.
>
> Over 1,000 general practitioners randomly selected
> from
> 200 practices in England completed a questionnaire
> about their personal and practice characteristics,
> and
> their prescribing attitudes and behaviour.
>
> After analysing the responses, the research team
> found
> that frequent contact with a drug industry
> representative
> was significantly associated with a greater
> willingness to
> prescribe new drugs and to agree to patients'
> requests to
> prescribe a drug that is not clinically indicated.
>
> Those who reported frequent contact were also more
> likely to be dissatisfied with consultations ending
> in
> advice only, and were more receptive to drug
> advertisements and promotional literature from drug
> companies.
>
> General practitioners who saw drug representatives
> most
> often tended to be singlehanded practitioners and
> working in deprived areas.
>
> More research on the nature of this relationship
> would
> help primary care trusts to adopt policies
> encouraging
> more cost effective prescribing, conclude the
> authors.
>
> Contact:
>
> Chris Watkins, General Practitioner, Backwell and
> Nailsea Medical Group, Bristol, UK
> Email: chris.watkins@Bristol.ac.uk
>
>
> (4) MEDICAL PROFESSION ATTEMPTS TO "CLEAN
> UP" RELATIONS WITH DRUG INDUSTRY
>
> (Who pays for the pizza? Redefining the
> relationships
> between doctors and drug companies. 1: Entanglement
> 2: Disentanglement)
> http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1189
>
> As entanglement between doctors and drug grows, a
> two-part article by journalist Ray Moynihan in this
> week's BMJ explores the brewing conflicts at one of
> the
> world's leading medical institutions over how to
> redefine
> relations with big pharmaceutical companies.
>
> Across the United States, drug companies sponsor
> close
> to 300,000 events for doctors every year as part of
> their
> promotional efforts.
>
> Against this background, the University of
> California San
> Francisco (UCSF) is considering plans to end free
> lunches sponsored by drug companies and to remove
> drug representatives. Elsewhere, medical reform
> groups
> and student associations are also calling for
> disentanglement from drug companies and independent
> education and sources of information.
>
> "Relationships with industry are critical, but they
> need
> redefining," says Professor Haile Debas, Dean of
> Medicine at UCSF. "We have to make sure our
> relationships are more appropriate."
>
> "In some ways we are all addicts to big pharma's
> money," argues Chief Executive Officer of UCSF
> Medical Center, Mark Laret, "but we are going to
> have
> to wean ourselves off a dependency that is generally
> inappropriate. This relationship is one of those
> things we
> need to clean up. The sooner the better."
>
> Responding to the view that drug company funded
> education is necessary, Drummond Rennie, Professor
> of
> Medicine at UCSF says, "Nonsense. That argument
> presupposes that some of the most well off in our
> society
> can't afford to pay for their lunches, their
> education, or
> their conference."
>
> Many individual doctors, and their professional
> associations, are facing difficult choices about
> whether
> they remain part of the industry's extended
> promotional
> machinery or seek real distance in their
> relationships, to
> give prescribing, teaching, and advice that is truly
> independent, writes Moynihan. Growing moves toward
> genuine separation may well make previously
> acceptable
> conflicts of interest untenable, he concludes.
>
> Contact:
>
> Ray Moynihan, Journalist, Washington DC, USA
> Email: raymond.moynihan@verizon.net
>
>
> (5) RELATIONS BETWEEN THE DRUG INDUSTRY
> AND PATIENT GROUPS SHOULD BE OPEN
>
> (Relationships between the pharmaceutical industry
> and
> patients' organisations)
> http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1208
>
> Relationships between the pharmaceutical industry
> and
> patients' organisations must be at arm's length and
> transparent, and not affect the agenda and
> priorities of
> these groups, argues a senior doctor in this week's
> BMJ.
>
> Advertising drugs to patients in the United Kingdom
> is
> not allowed, so drug companies try to inform
> patients
> through partnerships with self help groups and
> patients'
> organisations, writes Dr Andrew Herxheimer of the UK
> Cochrane Centre.
>
> The Long Term Medical Conditions Alliance offers
> guidelines to voluntary health organisations on
> relations
> with the pharmaceutical industry. However, many
> organisations volunteer minimal information about
> their
> structure and funding, and some are reluctant to
> discuss
> the subject.
>
> If industry directly or indirectly funds a large
> part of the
> budget, say over 20%, the organisation comes to
> depend on it and this, if nothing else, will
> influence
> policies, he says.
>
> Most patients' organisations are poor and have
> little
> independent funding. Grants and joint projects with
> pharmaceutical companies can help them grow and be
> more influential, but can also distort and
> misrepresent
> their agendas. Relationships must therefore be
> acknowledged and open, without public relations
> flummery, stresses the author.
>
> Some modest public funding for patients'
> organisations
> should also be considered, and regulatory agencies
> have
> to distinguish between independent and extensively
> funded patient groups, he concludes.
>
> Contact:
>
> Andrew Herxheimer, Emeritus Fellow, UK Cochrane
> Centre, London, UK
> Email: andrew_herxheimer@compuserve.com
> News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences - Issue 96 -
> 19th May, 2003
> http://human-nature.com/nibbs/issue96.html

james m nordlund
__________________
Injustices/
Addressing, not addressing them
have costs, the former is individual, and
the latter is global, as well.

Matutinally Yours,

james m nordlund reality (aja)
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