Company Gives Secret Report to Medical Societies on Results
of HRT Study August 24, 2003
Pharmaceutical giant Wyeth secretly briefed a
number of medical societies about the results of a study into
hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and dementia before they
were published, causing grave concern in the research community.
The study, funded by Wyeth, shows that the company's combined
estrogen and progestogen pill doubled
the risk of dementia among elderly women.
Typically, embargoed copies of journal articles are distributed
to news organizations prior to publication to help story preparation,
however, Wyeth briefed medical societies long before embargoed
copies were released.
Reportedly, the company released a summary report of the
data to certain medical societies to allow them the opportunity
to “respond knowledgeably to their constituents at the
time the data became public.”
Past studies have shown that Wyeth’s hormone replacement
therapy increases the long-term risks of blood clots, strokes,
heart attacks, and breast cancer.
However, the company is marketing the drug for short-term
relief of symptoms and is attempting to downplay the significance
of the current study’s findings by stressing that the
women in the study were over 65 years of age and the effect
might not apply to younger women.
Industry-sponsored clinical research is increasing and the
outcomes affect how doctors prescribe medicine. However, results
that show negative results to the company’s product
pose financial risks to the sponsor. Therefore, industry-sponsored
research may result in biased results due to pressures to
show drugs in a favorable light.
Several studies have found that research sponsored by the
drug industry was more likely to produce results favoring
the product made by the company sponsoring the research than
studies funded by other sources.
Researchers have suggested several possible explanations
for the favorable results seen in industry-sponsored research.
Drug companies may selectively fund trials on drugs that they
consider to be superior to competition; the industry may conduct
poor quality research that results in positive findings; the
studies may intentionally compare the new drugs to older drugs
at inappropriate doses or drugs that are not equivalent; there
may be publication bias in which industry-sponsored studies
attempt to keep unfavorable results from being made public.
Additionally, industry-funded research appears more often
in symposiums, which are known to lack peer review and favor
the sponsor’s product. The absence of peer review may
result in an overly favorable interpretation, often not supported
by data, of the results of a trial.
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
As you all know, the drug industry is one of the largest and
most powerful industries on the planet. They will use everything
in their power to maintain and expand their control and economic
prominence; this includes continuing to deceive you by creating
the illusion of “fixing” your health so they can
extract even more of your money.
Don’t be fooled by their illusions: what they typically
provide you is just a symptomatic Band-Aid that will only
further accelerate your path toward degeneration, allowing
them to sell you even more Band-Aids down the line. What you
should be addressing--and what they won’t address because
it is not profitable--are the underlying causes of your health
One of the primary purposes of this newsletter and my new
book, The No Grain Diet, is to provide you with the insight
to protect and defend yourself from these major corporate
interests (as well as the government they’ve purchased)
with practical and straightforward advice and suggestions
on how to optimize your body to find and prevent disease,
reach your optimal weight, and live longer in the first place.
You will find that many of these approaches are, relative
to the costs of endless prescriptions, surgeries, and doctor
and hospital visits, quite inexpensive. You will also find
that most are based on common-sense approaches using natural
products and methods. If the relative low-cost and simplicity
of these approaches versus endless drugs and surgeries makes
you suspect, remember this: the drug companies and all the
other corporations who benefit from the Band-Aid mentality
need you to believe that only they can “save you,”
in order to keep profiting from you.
If you discover that, with proper nutrition and a healthy
lifestyle, you can largely avoid their drugs and surgeries,
they have forever lost control of your wallet and life. So
who do you want controlling your wallet and your life?
If you want to regain control of your health, if you believe
the above is true--even in part--you can help change the medical
paradigm by passing this message, or any Mercola.com article
of interest, on to your family and friends. Just use the simple
“E-mail a Friend” feature in the upper-right corner
of the articles. Including a personal letter of encouragement
is often more effective than simply passing it along, but
that’s up to you.
That may be one of the best gifts you can give someone this
year: A practical resource to help them recapture their health.
Finally, if you want to further understand how corporations
and government manipulate science and the media by preying
upon the public trust--and how to protect yourself--I highly
recommend the book "Trust
Us, We're Experts." It is truly one of those books
that all Americans should read, and would make an important
gift for any young adult who wants to maintain control over
him or herself as they enter “the real world.”