04 Jan Pharmaceutical Concerns!
Very interested to read an article on Pharmaceutical companies and the fact that they routinely withhold results of clinical trials on prescription drugs. That’s right, Regulators do not have access to “all available” information from clinical trials. It is suggested that Pharma companies release approximately just 50% of clinical trial results. Unsurprisingly, they are also twice as likely to release the positive outcomes rather than the negative ones.
A number of things occur to me. Firstly, are we to believe that these trials have been performed before or after the drug in question gets its’ approval. Either way it isn’t great, but if it is before, that is a truly shocking state of affairs! Alternatively, if the trial results do relate to ongoing drug prescriptions, why is this information being kept from GPs as this would obviously help them in their quest to prescribe the right medication, for the right illness, at the right time.
One of the drugs at the centre of all this attention is TAMIFLU. Experts are totally unable to agree on its effectiveness, and indeed it has now been shown that a huge amount of mostly negative clinical trial results have been withheld from the Regulators. Should I tell you now or later that the HNS have stockpiled £424m worth of TAMIFLU!!
One of the powerful committee of MPs looking into this situation, believes that withholding information from trial results “has ramifications for the whole of medicine”. You might consider that to be a little extreme, but I for one couldn’t agree more. As an Osteopath we have always been kept out of Mainstream Medicine. “The Powers That Be” are just about ok for us to use the term Alternative Medicine. Apparently, the main reason given why Osteopaths could never be part of Mainstream Medicine is that we can’t prove Osteopathy works. In terms of controlled experiments/clinical trials, I can only but agree, it is very, very difficult to prove. I do not, therefore, need to tell you how totally hypocritical I find this scenario.