Vioxx

Silencing public health advocates: Outspoken Vioxx critic loses job after testimony against Merck in federal trial

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 by: Alexis Black
Tags: Cleveland clinic, dr. topol, Vioxx

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
There's something fishy going on at the Cleveland Clinic. In a surprising move in December 2005, the prestigious clinic removed Dr. Eric Topol, a well-known cardiologist and vocal critic of Merck's prescription Vioxx arthritis medication, from his position as chief academic officer at the hospital's medical school. Topol was apparently told that the position of academic officer, which also gave him a seat on the clinic's board of governors and conflict of interest committee, had been eliminated just two days after he testified at a federal Vioxx trial that Merck was guilty of scientific misconduct, according to an editorial appearing in The Houston Chronicle

News of the elimination of Topol's position came less than a week before an announcement by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that the Cleveland Clinic will conduct a $100-million study into the safety of Celebrex, the last of the COX-2 inhibitors (the class of drugs that Vioxx belonged to) on the market in the United States.

Coincidence? No one knows for certain, but the series of events leading up to the elimination of Dr. Topol's position at the clinic has certainly raised some eyebrows.

Let's start at the beginning. Dr. Topol started speaking out about the cardiovascular risks posed by COX-2 inhibitors, especially Vioxx, in 2001, long before the painkiller was pulled off the market in 2004 because of its link to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Joining him in his campaign against the dangerous drugs at the time was his associate at the clinic, Dr. Steven Nissen. The two doctors, along with Debabrata Mukherjee, wrote a review of Vioxx clinical trials for the Journal of the American Medical Association in August 2001, which stated that Vioxx was linked to a 200 percent increased risk for blood clots, heart attack and stroke.

Following the decision to pull Vioxx from the market three years later, Topol continued to publicly criticize Vioxx-maker Merck for its slow response and for its decision to put the dangerous drug on the market in the first place. Dr. Nissen, however, was less vocal.

Subpoenaed in the first federal Vioxx trial in November 2005, Dr. Topol gave a three-hour videotaped deposition attacking Vioxx and accusing Merck of scientific misconduct. Less than a week after that deposition, Topol lost his position at the Cleveland Clinic.

There is one other important point to note here: At the same time Dr. Topol was being demoted, his past partner in protest, Dr. Nissen, was being asked to lead the $100 million study into the safety of Celebrex.

Was Dr. Topol muscled out?

The Cleveland Clinic has claimed that the timing of the elimination of Dr. Topol's position is purely coincidental and simply part of broader administrative reorganization at the clinic, stating that his "position was no longer needed."

However, many are not buying this claim. A Dec. 19 editorial on newsinferno.com challenges the clinic's explanation, saying: "It seems quite odd to many observers that the doctor with superior qualifications would have his leadership position done away with as part of an administrative reorganization making that position 'no longer necessary' at a time when he would be the ideal person to lead the independent study of Celebrex."

Odd indeed. Could it be that Topol's demotion is really an attempt by the joined-at-the-hip medical and pharmaceutical industries to silence one of their most vocal critics?

It would certainly not be the first time conflicts of interest in the medical community have come into play. In fact, conflicts of interest have become a standard of sorts in the medical community, and perhaps one of the biggest reasons behind Dr. Topol's troubles is his desire to speak out against those problems in the industry.

In addition to his vocal criticism of Vioxx, Dr. Topol also reportedly questioned financial ties between the Cleveland Clinic and ArtiCure, a company that sells a medical device used in a surgical procedure the clinic promotes, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Perhaps it is Dr. Topol's consumer concern that has left a bad taste in the mouths of the powers-that-be in the profit-driven medical industry, but for the average consumer, there simply aren't enough professionals like Dr. Topol in the world who are willing to fight for the health and safety of the public.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.