Big Pharma are Big Cheaters

Trust plays a big part in our healthcare system.

  • You trust that your doctor cares about you.
  • You trust that your doctor is prescribing the correct drug/treatment/procedure
  • You trust that your doctor is constantly learning about the latest breakthroughs & treatments by studying the most up to date research
  • You also trust that the people doing that research are being completely honest about their work.

And that’s why researchers from Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital and McGill University were shocked to find that financial ties between researchers and pharmaceutical manufacturers weren’t being declared in a majority of meta-analysis studies.

“Patients want their doctors to make their drug choices or treatment decisions based on unbiased evidence,” said Michelle Roseman, the lead author of the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “But we found that a lot of these studies that combine results from a number of different drug trials might have findings that are biased due to drug company sponsorship.”

The Study

Researchers reviewed 29 meta-analyses on a range of drug treatments published in major medical jounals – JAMA, Lancet and BMJ. Those 29 meta-analyses included results from 509 individual drug trials.

The researchers found that only 2 of the 29 meta-analyses mentioned the funding sources of the original 509 drug trials.

In fact, when the researchers identified 7 meta-analyses in which every single drug trial was paid for by the maker of the drug – they found that only one of those studies mentioned who funded the trials.

  • And there goes the trust.
  • And if your doctor can’t trust the research being given to him by drug reps, how can you trust your doctor?
  • And if you can’t trust your doctor, the whole healthcare system starts to fall apart….doesn’t it?


  • National Post
  • JAMA


  1. Drugs in this country are big money…especially the prescription kind. What is interesting is we are the only country that allows pharmaceutical companies to marekt directly to consumers.

    I trained a client once who was a chemist working in a higher end job in product development for one of the larger drug companies and she had an interesting perspective. The truth is the money side of pharma pushes the research and there are a lot of life saving drugs out there…unfortunately I think the money side of pharma is slowly degrading the research process. Anywhere from poorly designed studies to selectively deciding what to report, to biased interpretations of the results to out and out decent.

    I dated a physician for three years and the amount of wining and dining that goes on with Pharma reps and doctors is just unreal. I went to several of these very expensive dinners. Most of these drug reps are young, energetic and attractive marketing majors…who have absolutely no pharma/medical/research training whatsoever and doctors do put a lot of trust in what these reps tell them. There was always a nice slide show presentation of course citing these studies, and lots of free samples but there is a lot more pleasure than business going on at these functions. My impression is that docs do sometimes put too much trust in the sales pitch.

    In this case, it sounds like important info was not being disclosed. Research is supposed to employ the highest ethical standards but money seems to be able to corrupt anything these days.

    While I think drugs have a place in our lives…I think it really is buyer beware. In the end the driving force in Pharma is money. In fact…I read recently somewhere that last year big pharma companies spent more on marketing then they did on research and development. That should be telling us the patients something. And when they don’t get us on the prescription side they hit us on the “all natural” supplement side. In fact, many of the supplements the pharma haters buy are actually produced by subsidiaries of the drug companies.

    Honestly, I think every person should take a good research methods class. Research is so easy to manipulate and misinterpret. One study, although interesting, is generally meaningless. 10 large studies encouraging. 20 independent, well designed studies, over 10 years, maybe now we are getting somewhere and even then…no guarantees.

    I also think doctors need to start using drugs as a last resort and patients need to do everything they can to avoid taking drugs, period.

  2. Exactly right. I’m so suspect of the drug companies and the drugs they push. That drug reps are the main source of information and statistics for the physicians is the scariest thing of all. Many physicians are prescribing drugs without knowing all of the side effects.

    One of the biggest jokes on us is the drug companies telling us not to purchase prescriptions outside of the USA because we cannot be sure of the purity of the medicines.

    WHAT’S WITH THAT?? Most of the drugs are actually MADE outside of the USA. The last diabetes medication that my doctor prescribed for me was made in Taiwan. And it’s cost was 200% more than the Generic, generally prescribed medication for diabetes. Needless to say, I did not purchase that medicine.

    Those who believe that we do not have legalized drugs in the US are really behind the times. The Big Pharma companies are selling some of the worst drugs of all, and it’s legal for them to do so.

  3. There have been numerous reports of misdiagnosed cases of schizophrenia. With the high rate of bullying that is prevalent in today’s society many people who say they are being followed, watched, stalked are probably really being stalked, watched, monitored. Just look at all the traffic cameras, store cameras, information gathering that is going on in this country (of course this isn’t considered “monitoring”). Bullies typically isolate their victims from forming friendships that would prevent them from harassing their victims. If you look at signs and symptoms of schizophrenia you will notice that lack of interest in one’s appearance is one of the symptoms. Hello? Look around you… There aren’t many people in todays society who care outside of work what their appearance looks like. Those that do are told they are showing exhibitionist characteristics and this is another mental disorder all together. Another “sign” of schizophrenia is frequent moves, trips or walks that lead to nowhere. Every trip a person takes leads to somewhere, so the “sign” here makes no rational sense, there is no such thing as a trip that goes nowhere since “nowhere” is non existent. Another is the –functional impairment in interpersonal relationships, work, education, or self-care. Functional impairment? Really, where is the perfect balance here? Since logically there is no such thing as perfect who is there to say that a person suffers from a functional impairment if they decline to involve themselves in the conflicts of others? Self care? With obesity on the rise in this nation no one can point fingers at others because they aren’t perfectly healthy. Just because one refuses to cater to the insurance and health care industries and the high-jacking of your pocket book doesn’t mean you don’t care about yourself. The “Let’s give you a pill or a shot and everything will be “better” mentality”, does not mean that it will make someone who’s supposedly mentally ill “better”, It just means the psychologists’ kick-backs from big pharma increases. Now let’s tackle another of the supposed “symptoms” from a logical stand point. Withdrawal from society… Now here’s a newflash for you… Are you prepared? Not all people are designed the same, just because a person makes a personal decision not to interact with others doesn’t mean they are mentally ill, it just means they refuse to participate in the “drama” society that we as human beings seem to covet so much. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the “Oh my God, have you seen what Lindsey Lohan is up to today?” line. We are a society of sheeple and just because someone refuses to participate in the “sheeple” society doesn’t mean they are schizo.
    Let’s look at another “symptom”, I’m sure this is a big money maker for big pharma too.
    –Directionless- lack goals, or the ability to set and achieve goals. Back in the day they were called under achievers. Today it is a symptom of a mental disorder.
    Then there’s the word salad baloney… when further down the list you see this symptom –Difficulty expressing thoughts verbally. Or not having much to say about anything. Now if you don’t express yourself “properly” you have a problem, yet if you say nothing then you for sure have a problem? Well which is it? Talk or do not talk and it’s still a symptom. Really? Is there a medium in between?
    Another symptom is:
    –Conversations that seem deep, but are not logical or coherent. How many have actual knowledge of the definition of logic? Or how about the definition of deep? Coherent? Is it logical to pay a cable company hundreds of dollars a year to have commercials broadcast into your living room? You pay people to torture you, I mean really, who wants to watch commercials. Lack of education causes people to have problems in getting their point across or in organization of thoughts or being able to put thoughts down on paper. The ridiculous list that make up the symptoms of “schizo” are in themselves rhetorical. If you convince society that some people really have a “problem”, or and “illness” then you increase the health care industries vast wealth. Because someone is “different” doesn’t mean they are insane. You cannot and I repeat cannot make the assumption that a person “may” lose it, so to speak, just because they see things differently than the masses. Most religious people would be surprised to see that following God is one of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Now I know for sure that makes big pharma really happy. How many people follow religion of any sort? How many mental illnesses does this add to big pharma’s potential wealth?

    The one that is a really big money maker for health care professionals and big pharma is this one:
    –Rapidly changing mood- from happy to sad to angry for no apparent reason (called labile mood)
    Now we all know that there is only constant states on our planet, that nothing changes and therefore we need to only have one “mood” at a time, it needs to be spread out over days or weeks or months or years, and be very careful not to change your mood until you have a “health care” professional evaluate you and tell you what your “mood” needs to be on any given day. I am sure they will prescribe you “something” to help you understand what and when you are allowed to have a different “mood”. For pete’s sake, human behavior is unpredictable on any given day, the most predictable person you can find will eventually want some sort of change in their life. Let’s take a look at one of the other “symptoms” in the supposed illness of schizophrenia…
    –Drug or alcohol abuse.. WOW now this is an interesting “symptom”. In order to examine this one, we need to look at numbers. Supposedly there are millions of Americans who drink, either “socially” or supposedly chronically. I’m sure that the alcohol manufacturers really love this one. How much money do the manufactures make off of this supposed illness? Then let’s tear down the “drug” end of this “illness”, in essence the psychologists who prescribe drugs to schizophrenic patients are contributing to the drug problem in this country, there have been many doctors, lawyers, teachers, and leaders in this nation that have taken some sort of drug. Since the government allowed the “street” drugs into this country and helped to aid and abet the supposed “druggies” in their habits, I find it difficult to condemn someone who has a “drug” problem. Let’s look at the Oliver North scandal, can you see where the drugs are coming from and tell where the profits are going? Drug rehab centers make tons of money off of the people who fall victims to drugs.

    Because it is easy to declare someone mentally insane, “mental health” professionals rejoice in having a new subject to experiment on. Let’s take a look at history and “mental” health facilities.
    People who are put into asylums cannot fend for themselves. And let’s not forget the ultimate test subjects, the people in our national prisons. Okay, I admit here, there are people who are not good and do not support the theory of “cause no harm”. Some people do need to be kept away from the general population, murderers are some of those among us that need to be put away. I do not subscribe to the theory that they should become test subjects for the greedy pharmacology industry. If people continue to support this type of behavior that the health care industry promotes then they are leading themselves to the trough so to speak.
    Another symptom of schizophrenia is:
    –Sudden irritability, anger, hostility, suspiciousness, resentment.
    This tends to washout another symptom which is:
    –Low motivation, energy, and little or no enthusiasm.
    Seriously? Which is it? You are either irritated, angry or hostile, or you have no motivation, no energy and no enthusiasm. Really? The psychologists’ logic seems to be confused on their own “symptoms”. Does this mean they are schizo? The contradictory statements in the “symptoms” are somewhat confusing, therefore where is the “logic” in the symptoms? Could this be considered “word salad”? Or is it considered “Nonsensical logic”?

    If you would like to analyze the symptoms for yourself please follow the link below and see if you can interpret what they are really trying to say.

    Most of the symptoms listed here are nonsensical in their very complicated idea of logic. Now does that make sense? About as much sense as the whole idea of schizophrenia.

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