Flutterby™! : Medical trendiness

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Medical trendiness

2009-12-08 21:41:03.917981+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Just in case your cynicism meter isn't pegged: British Medical Journal review claims that Roche is withholding information on effectiveness from Tamiflu studies. So how about that swine H1N1 flu? Ya think maybe the gloom and doom predictions could have financial incentive?

[ related topics: Health ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-09 20:46:53.701007+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm sure we've addressed it peripherally before. The medical thing pisses me off particularly because I know a number of people who are into the "alternative medicine" thing in ways that sometimes to me look a little too deep and trusting, but if I try to point out evidence for and against then often-times the arguments for conventional medicine start to look pretty damned shakey as well.

Thus I start to branch out when I'm looking at medicine too: Seems to me that far too often the naysayers who are often quacks are right in terms of suppressed side-effects and such.

Which I also think ties in to my oft-discussed on Flutterby issue of police credibility: high profile breaches of confidence kill my ability to believe any of the class of assertions.

I don't expect "computer science" to have reputable journals; if people were dealing with the subject honestly it'd be mathematics, and "software engineering" would be sociology. Which kind of goes back to the "nothing that calls itself 'science' is" observation...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-09 20:25:23.560024+00 by: m

I am not sure if we discussed the following topic here. I did a search of flutterby, but found nothing.

Overt and passive falsification of published articles has been a major scandal, most recently with regard to pharmaceuticals in the media this past spring.

Elsevier (possibly the major player in publications of journals) and Merck are reputed to have published six fake medical journals

An Australian MD and member of the World Association of said: "Only close inspection of the journals, along with knowledge of medical journals and publishing conventions, enabled me to determine that the Journal was not, in fact, a peer reviewed medical journal, but instead a marketing publication for MSD[A]. [a reference to Merck Australia]" http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55671/

Fraud is not limited to whole journals, but is also included in individual articles which are published in otherwise reputable journals. Unfortunately, "merely" withholding information is the least of the sins committed in the area. Such depravities include prominent MDs and scholars being paid to sign on as authors of papers they never wrote or in any other way participated in. Repeated trials of a drug until a favorable trial is produced -- sometimes after a dozen or more hidden attempts. Falsification of data within a trial, purported use of double blinds that are in fact not, hiding of industry funding sources and direct payments, and so on.

Such behavior is not limited to the industry, but also occurs elsewhere. In government paid for studies, data is often sequestered away from peer review. This even when serious threats to the health of children are claimed, and protection would come at massive costs. When all that appears to be at stake is the reputation of the researcher, not even industry money.

Additional fraudulent journals are said to be common place in all fields, even including computer science.