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15 July 2006

Drug Companies Paying for Research Outcomes

Modern Medicine has always proclaimed that it is more inclined to scientific evaluation. Unfortunately most research done are on drug trials and hence do nothing in helping find the cure for diseases. It may come as news to most people, but apart from antibiotics no other drugs actually cure a particular disease... So all these drugs actually do is suppress symptoms. What is even more disconcerting is drug companies are paying researchers for a particular outcome, rather than being objective. Here is an article in the New York Times which highlights this:

Medical Journal Says It Was Again Misled

Published: July 13, 2006

CHICAGO, July 12 — For the second time in two months, The Journal of the American Medical Association says it was misled by researchers who failed to reveal financial ties to drug companies.

The journal is tightening its policies for researchers as a result.

Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, the journalÂ’s editor in chief,

said her main concern was the impact on readers, who she said needed to know about researchersÂ’ financial conflicts of interest to properly evaluate their studies.

The latest incident, disclosed in letters to the editor and a correction in WednesdayÂ’s journal, involves a study showing that pregnant women who stop taking antidepressants risk slipping back into depression.

Most of the 13 authors have financial ties to drug companies including antidepressant makers, but only two of them revealed their ties when the study was published in February.

Antidepressant use during pregnancy is controversial, and some studies have suggested that the drugs could pose risks to the fetus.

The authors of the study defended their research in a letter to the editor published Wednesday. The lead author, Dr. Lee Cohen of Massachusetts General Hospital, who is on the speakerÂ’s bureau for eight drug companies, disputed that such ties could influence findings.

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