Pharmacomafia Lies

Pharmacomafia Lies: 94% of the PharmacoMafia’s advertising is NON-Scientific!!

In general, I have the impression that the PharmacoMafia has more political clout in the United States than it does in Europe. Thus the finding that the Emperor has been exposed to have only 6% honest clothing is most revealing and further emphasizes the great need for individuals to insist on knowing ALL the facts before taking any ”elective” drug. Yes, there is a need in emergency situations to have drugs available. BUT the vast majority of prescribed medications are given electively for POSSIBLE benefits. When compared with safe alternatives, very few drugs can compete. Remember that the placebo effect averages 35%. There is virtually no drug that is 70% effective. Most are 2 to 15% ”better” than placebo, with complications ranging from minor rashes to death. The Congressional Office of Technological Assessment determined some years ago that 86% of the drugs approved by the FDA did not have scientific validity for their recommended use! Now we see that the PharmacoMafia actually willfully and purposefully deceives physicians with totally incorrect information, put into direct physician advertising. And a majority of physicians receive all their ”education” from pharmaceutical representatives with minimal scientific training and only a vested interest in selling their products. Someday the PharmacoMafia leaders will have to pay the karmic price for their evil deceit. Meanwhile, if they lie 94% of the time to physicians, imagine how great the deceit in their ads on TV!! Indeed, if the recommendation for a drug is elective—that is, if the illness is not life threatening, seek every known safe alternative and skip the prescription. Doing nothing is safer. And of course the two leading drug groups—statins and antidepressants-have the worst safety and efficacy science!

BMJ 2004;328:485(28 February),doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7438.485-a

News roundup

Only 6% of drug advertising material is supported by evidence

Heidelberg Annette Tuffs

A new study of the advertising material and marketing brochures sent out by drug companies to GPs in Germany has shown that about 94% of the information in them has no basis in scientific evidence.

The study, carried out by the Institute for Evidence-Based Medicine, a private independent research institute in Cologne, evaluated 175 brochures containing information on 520 drugs, which were either sent by post or handed out to 43 GPs since last June. The study was published in this month s issue of the drugs bulletin Arznei Telegramm (2004;35:21-3; www.di-em.de/data/at_2004_35_21.pdf).

About 15% of the brochures did not contain any citations, while the citations listed in another 22% could not be found. In the remaining 63% the information was mostly correctly connected with the relevant research articles but did not reflect their results. Only 6% of the brochures contained statements that were scientifically supported by identifiable literature.

The evaluation was done by two specially trained and independently acting reviewers. In cases of doubt a third reviewer was involved.

”This is the first study in Germany evaluating the quality of drug advertising material,” says Thomas Kaiser, a scientist at the institute who published the study together with Peter Sawicki and other colleagues.

He points out that the advertising material presents distorted images of the drugs profiles. The article lists several examples of misrepresentation: medical guidelines from scientific societies are misquoted or changed, the side effects of drugs are minimized, groups of patient are wrongly defined, study results are suppressed, treatment effects are exaggerated, risks are manipulated, and effects of drugs were drawn from animal studies.

The authors warn that such a high amount of misinformation puts patients health at risk. Studies from other countries have shown that doctors tend to base their decisions on the information and advertising material sent out by drug companies. Therefore, the authors conclude, an independent institution should be established to monitor the content of such material.

More information about the Institute for Evidence-Based Medicine can be found on its website, www.di-em.de/z_index.htm