January 17, 2014

Medical Research May Now Be Beyond Redemption

The source of this blog is a Scottish General Practitioner, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. What he says is very true and I would agree with him. He states that medicine today is heading in the wrong direction with over-diagnosis and over-treatment. In other words, polypharmacy is becoming a massive problem.

This is driven mainly by the pharmaceutical industry – an industry that wants to see the entire population of the world taking medication every day and forever. He clearly says that the industry has grabbed hold of medical research and twisted it to their own ends.

I would caution that in reading his blog, many spellings are not American, but British spellings. He quotes an article from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and adds comments to avoid copyright quarrels. I will encourage you to read his blog, as I will summarize for my understanding. Dr. Kendrick says this about the BMJ - they are the only major journal that seems keen to criticize the industry.

Evidence based medicine (EBM) was opposite the drug industry in the 1990's. Doctors could ward off an army of pharmaceutical representatives because their promotional material was devoid of evidence. About the turn of the century, the drug industry realized that EBM was an opportunity rather than a threat, and when published in a prestigious journal was worth more than thousands of sales reps.

Today, without evidence, there is no seat at the guideline table. This is now the elephant in the room because the drug industry controls and funds most research. The drug industry and EBM have set about legitimizing illegitimate diagnoses and then widening drug indications. Today doctors can prescribe a pill for every ill.

The 66 percent increase in prescription in one decade in England does not reflect a true increase in burden of illness or an ageing population, just polypharmacy supposedly based on evidence. The drug industry’s corporate mission is to make us all sick, regardless of how well we feel.

Clinical research in now corrupt and the promotion is passed off as postgraduate education. I suspect that medical schools will be the next area for expansion to recruit doctors in the formative years. Then when they graduate, they will promote polypharmacy.

Dr. Kendrick says we are at a crisis point. Medical research today is almost beyond redemption. I know he is talking about England, but this applies to the United States as well and the drug industry has bought their way into most research and is strongly influencing doctors in their prescribing habits. When we have the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists training the drug reps how to promote drugs more effectively, most officers of the ADA and AACE having large conflicts of interest as well as many of our doctors getting paid for speaking, and promoting different medications by the drug industry, what are we to think.

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