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The truth about the pharmaceutical industry continues to hit the internet… This article has actually been around since 2009, but if you’re like me, you haven’t seen it before now… -LW
It’s a safe guess that somewhere at Merck today someone is going through the meeting minutes of the day that the hair-brained scheme for the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine was launched, and that everyone who was in the room is now going to be fired.
The Scientist has reported that, yes, it’s true, Merck cooked up a phony, but real sounding, peer reviewed journal and published favorably looking data for its products in them. Merck paid Elsevier to publish such a tome, which neither appears in MEDLINE or has a website, according to The Scientist.
What’s wrong with this is so obvious it doesn’t have to be argued for. What’s sad is that I’m sure many a primary care physician was given literature from Merck that said, “As published in Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, Fosamax outperforms all other medications….” Said doctor, or even the average researcher wouldn’t know that the journal is bogus. In fact, knowing that the journal is published by Elsevier gives it credibility!
These kinds of endeavors are not possible without help. One of The Scientist’s most notable finds is a Australian rheumatologist named Peter Brooks who served on the “honorary advisory board” of this “journal”. His take: “I don’t think it’s fair to say it was totally a marketing journal”, apparently on the grounds that it had excerptsfrom peer-reviewed papers. However, in his entire time on the board he never received a single paper for peer-review, but because he apparently knew the journal did not receive original submissions of research. This didn’t seem to bother him one bit. Such “throwaways” of non-peer reviewed publications and semi-marketing materials are commonplace in medicine. But wouldn’t that seem odd for an academic journal? Apparently not. Moreover, Peter Brooks had a pretty lax sense of academic ethics any way: he admitted to having his name put on a “advertorial” for pharma within the last ten years, says The Scientist. An “advertorial”? Again, language unfamiliar to us in the academic publishing world, but apparently quite familiar to the pharmaceutical publishing scene.
It is this attitude within companies like Merck and among doctors that allows scandals precisely like this to happen. While the scandals with Merck and Vioxx are particularly egregious, we know they are not isolated incidents. This one is just particularly so. If physicians would not lend their names or pens to these efforts, and publishers would not offer their presses, these publications could not exist. What doctors would have as available data would be peer-reviewed research and what pharmaceutical companies produce from their marketing departments–actual advertisements.
Summer Johnson, PhD
In the last couple of days, I have seen a wealth of information hit the Internet that exposes so many of the lies we have been told by the medical profession. Hang tight! This is more disclosure. -LW
In the past few years more professionals have come forward to share a truth that, for many people, proves difficult to swallow. One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.
Dr. Horton recently published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false.
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” (source)
This is quite disturbing, given the fact that all of these studies (which are industry sponsored) are used to develop drugs/vaccines to supposedly help people, train medical staff, educate medical students and more.
It’s common for many to dismiss a lot of great work by experts and researchers at various institutions around the globe which isn’t “peer-reviewed” and doesn’t appear in a “credible” medical journal, but as we can see, “peer-reviewed” doesn’t really mean much anymore. “Credible” medical journals continue to lose their tenability in the eyes of experts and employees of the journals themselves, like Dr. Horton.
He also went on to call himself out in a sense, stating that journal editors aid and abet the worst behaviours, that the amount of bad research is alarming, that data is sculpted to fit a preferred theory. He goes on to observe that important confirmations are often rejected and little is done to correct bad practices. What’s worse, much of what goes on could even be considered borderline misconduct.
Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is considered to another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, makes her view of the subject quite plain:
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine” (source)
I apologize if you have seen it before in my articles, but it is quite the statement, and it comes from someone who also held a position similiar to Dr. Horton.
There is much more than anecdotal evidence to support these claims, however, including documents obtained by Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD, from the Neural Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia, which reveal that vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and health authorities have known about multiple dangers associated with vaccines but chose to withhold them from the public. This is scientific fraud, and their complicity suggests that this practice continues to this day. (source)
This is just one of many examples, and alludes to one point Dr. Horton is referring to, the ommision of data. For the sake of time, I encourage you to do your own research on this subject. I just wanted to provide some food for thought about something that is not often considered when it comes to medical research, and the resulting products and theories which are then sold to us based on that research.
It’s truly a remarkable time to be alive. Over the course of human history, our planet has experienced multiple paradigm shifting realizations, all of which were met with harsh resistence at the time of their revelation. One great example is when we realized the Earth was not flat. Today, we are seeing these kinds of revelatory shifts in thinking happen in multiple spheres, all at one time. It can seem overwhelming for those who are paying attention, especially given the fact that a lot of these ideas go against current belief systems. There will always be resistance to new information which does not fit into the current framework, regardless of how reasonable (or factual) that information might be.
Here are just a few of the CE articles related to this subject:
We’re seeing an increased number of earthquakes. Is it just the sun, or does the CERN Hydron Collider have something to do with this? -LW
People are already claiming this is disrupting their sleep patterns and seeing increases in Earthquake when this thing is only operating at 2 collisions per second. Now, CERN will be operating at 2,800 collisions per second. -LW
Now they will increase the particle collisions from 2 per second to 2800 per second.
SOLAR AND QUAKE LINKS @ http://www.BPEarthWatch.Com
Finally, technology is being developed to replace broken, trust-based systems. Isn’t it funny how most of these involve our present-day government, isn’t it? -LW
Bitnation has been busy building tools for ‘Government 2.0′ – a collection of decentralized and voluntary services to replace many of the traditional roles of central government. Now they are offering the first glimpse of what their ‘Pangea’ platform will look like, with a proof of concept alpha release.
Is this the beginning of the end for the banking cartel? -LW
They called themselves “The Cartel” and used secret chat rooms to plot strategy and manipulate prices on the world’s trillion-dollar currency markets.
On Wednesday, the worst of the trading abuses came to light as four of the world’s biggest banks based in the U.S. and Britain agreed to pay record fines totaling over $5 billion after pleading guilty to criminally manipulating global currency market over a period of more than five years beginning in 2007.
Justice Department officials called the settlement “historic,” while the top executive of one of the banks caught up in the scheme, which involved a handful of traders, called it “an embarrassment to our firm.”
Traders at Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, and The Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to plead guilty to felony charges, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a May 20 press conference. It’s the first time in more than two decades that global banks have admitted to wrongdoing on such a scale.
“For more than five years, traders in ‘The Cartel’ used a private electronic chat room to manipulate the spot market’s exchange rate between euros and dollars, using coded language to conceal their collusion,” Ms. Lynch said. “They acted as partners — rather than competitors — in an effort to push the exchange rate in directions favorable to their banks but detrimental to many others.”
“The Cartel” traders coordinated their currency trades to manipulate the benchmark rates set at the two major daily snapshots of the eurodollar exchange rates, known as “fixes,” which take place at 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m., said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer. Those fixes are supposed to be reported by unbiased third parties, Mr. Baer said.
The group also hatched plans in the chat room to protect themselves at other times during the day by agreeing to hold off buying or selling dollars and euros, he said.
Analysts said the penalties marked a victory for the government and reflect a broader effort by the Justice Department, long criticized as reluctant to prosecute big banks, to tackle financial misconduct.
The banks blamed the currency manipulation scheme on a few bad actors.
“The lesson here is that the conduct of a small group of employees, or of even a single employee, can reflect badly on all of us,” said Jamie Dimon, the chief executive officer of JPMorgan, in a statement.
Citi Chief Executive Michael Corbat said nine employees had been fired and others disciplined in the wake of the settlement.
“The behavior that resulted in the settlements we announced today is an embarrassment to our firm, and stands in stark contrast to Citi’s values,” he said. ” … We will learn from this experience and continue building upon the changes that we have already made to our systems, controls, and monitoring processes.”
The four banks will pay a combined $2.5 billion in criminal penalties to the Justice Department for illegal manipulation of currency rates between 2007 and 2013. The Federal Reserve is imposing an additional $1.6 billion in fines, as the banks’ chief regulator.
Britain’s Barclays is paying an additional $1.3 billion to British and U.S. regulators for its role in the scheme, and Switzerland’s UBS has agreed to plead guilty to manipulating key interest rates and will pay a separate criminal penalty of $203 million.
Federal prosecutors called out UBS in Wednesday’s press conference as a chronically bad actor.
UBS has a “rap sheet” that cannot be ignored, said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.
“Within the past six years, the department has resolved criminal investigations of UBS three times, resulting in non-prosecution or deferred prosecution agreements,” she said. “UBS also has entered into civil and regulatory settlements on multiple occasions within the past few years. Enough is enough.”
Department of Justice officials say the banks have each agreed to a three-year period of corporate probation, which will require regular reporting to authorities and cessation of all criminal activity. All banks are to continue cooperating with the government’s ongoing criminal investigations, and the plea agreements do not prevent the Obama administration from prosecuting culpable individuals for related misconduct.
“The penalty all these banks will now pay is fitting considering the long-running and egregious nature of their anticompetitive conduct,” Ms. Lynch said. “It is commensurate with the pervasive harm done.”
*Brennan Weiss contributed to this report, which was based in part on wire service reports.