I know I might be chastised by the medical and medical research industry with this statement – that Big Pharmaceutical companies are behind a lot of the scientific fraud in cancer research right now!
Now that’s a controversial remark which might make me more unpopular among my detractors. But as a clinical researcher, doctor and now naturopathist turned cancer specialist, I can confidently say that “most of the so-called ‘peer-reviewed’ scientific studies on new cancer drugs you read on the internet today are generated with the funds of Big Pharma and hence, are manipulated to a certain extent to look GOOD on them.”
Let me explain my point in detail.
In 1999, a study called “Evaluation of Conflict of Interest in Economic Analyses of New Drugs Used in Oncology” was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The study’s researchers tried to determine the association between the pharmaceutical industry’s sponsorship of cancer drug research and the “economic assessment” of these cancer drugs.
The research covered 44 different studies of 6 different anti-cancer drugs over a period of 10 years (1988-1998). These studies revealed which drugs were sponsored by Big pharmaceutical companies and which ones were sponsored by non-profit organizations. What were the astounding yet not unfamiliar results of the study?
Firstly, the study found out that only 1 of the studies funded by a pharma company had an unfavorable rating of the drug they were testing (about 40% of the studies reviewed had authors that were linked to a pharma company). Of the studies sponsored by not-for-profit organizations, about 1/3rd of them had less than enthusiastic reviews about the cancer drugs in question.
The conclusion of the study stated that research that were paid for by profit-making drug companies were “somewhat more likely than non-profit-sponsored studies to overstate quantitative results” as well as delivering favorable quantitative analyses to results that were neutral or unfavorable to the drugs they were sponsoring, or a neutral conclusion when the quantitative results were negative or unfavorable to them.
I already know the hard truth — and that is big drug companies tend to paint a very rosy picture of their drug products to their favor.
And the deceit and fraud continue up to this day. Take a look at this comment from the Permanente Journal of Winter 2007! A reviewer, Dr. Howard Kushner, has something else to say about cancer studies that are rigged to the favor of big pharma: “Rigging medical studies, misrepresenting research results published in the most influential medical journals, and withholding the findings of whole studies that don’t come out in a sponsor’s favor have all become the accepted norm in commercially sponsored medical research.”
How about a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2002, volume 94, saying that “cancer death rates are systematically underestimated”. This means that patients who die of conventional cancer treatments are largely not counted in the reportage.
Moreover, a 2009 study by the University of Michigan on the funding of cancer drug-related research discovered that 29% of published cancer research had “serious conflicts of interest”, indicating that pharma-funded cancer drug research were steered towards favorable outcomes.
Countless research studies indicating the “clear link” between Big Pharma and favorable results towards anti-cancer drug trials. And yet this issue continues to be ignored by drug legislators in the government and drug control bodies. How did this happen? Do we just sit back and let them control the piper’s tunes?
Image by Anatomy for Dummies / CC BY 2.0