Health conspiracies are everywhere you look: thalidomide, Agent Orange, Vioxx, Celebrex and the list goes on. Only this weekend The Weekly Australian Magazine ran an article entitled: Hard to Swallow: When a multinational company devised a strategy to downplay the dangers of its controversial hormone replacement drugs, the result was scientific scandal.*
This article involved Dr. John Eden, director of the Sydney Menopause Centre who was studying women being treated for breast cancer and who had written a paper supporting high doses of progestin, the extra hormone in Prempo, to reduce the occurrence of the disease. He was flown to New York to present his research by the drug giant Wyeth which marketed Premarin and then Prempo to those suffering from menopause. Eden’s research contradicted a major US study which showed that women on Prempo had in fact a 26% higher risk of breast cancer! Wyeth were about to see the collapse of a $1 billion a year drug business and needed a plan.
Documents show that Wyeth designed a programme which included DesignWrite, a medical communications company who placed its staff to work with Wyeth and to come up with the subject matter of various articles based on their scientific knowledge. DesignWrite would write a manuscript, send it to some of the world’s most high profile researchers into menopause drugs, who had been targeted as the eventual authors, and then prepare a draft based on the author’s guidance.
Then these ‘research papers’ would be published in major medical journals to minimize the negative impact of the US study. Dr. John Eden was purportedly one such scientist. He claims that he had no idea of Wyeth’s plans but did admit that he had accepted ‘honoraria’ from drug companies for years! DesignWrite prepared 20 scientific papers on behalf of well known and respected researchers which cost Wyeth $US464, 000. In fact one ‘ghost writer’ hired to write an article entitled ‘Breast Cancer & Progestins’ was a young microbiologist who at the time was working in a laboratory studying cattle faeces and wrote science papers to supplement her income.
Did you know? Recently The Journal of the American Medical Association researched the connection between authors of clinical guidelines and the pharmaceutical industry. Over HALF received financial support from the pharmaceutical industry to conduct research. And 38% served as employees or consultants for a pharmaceutical company. “This represents a MASSIVE CON, a criminal fraud perpetrated on you and me, and the public, engineered behind closed doors by the pharmaceutical conglomerates. They have so much money to spread around Washington that they practically OWN Congress, the FDA and the National Institutes of Health. To heck with the public health and welfare – their goal is to get everyone hooked on prescription”. W.C.Douglass
The saddest fact of all is that the medical profession is falling for it, allowing itself to be manipulated into acting as an accessory to this crime and taking the unsuspecting public with it. Doctors are still looked upon by the majority of the public as knowing the best treatment for us. However we also know that they are overworked and constantly marketed to by the pharmaceutical industry which provides their latest ‘research’ for them and on which they have come to rely. You don’t have to be an Einstein to work out what treatment their research supports.
* The Weekly Australian Magazine April 4th 2010 P. 12 – 16