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Merck Engaged in Blatant Scientific Fraud with Vytorin Cholesterol Study? (opinion)

Friday, January 11, 2008
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Vyrotin, Merck, drug marketing

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(NewsTarget Editorial) It's no surprise these days to hear about a pharmaceutical company committing scientific fraud and distorting clinical trials to get the results they want, but it's unusual to see it done as blatantly and arrogantly as what you're about to see here.

In June, 2002, Merck and Shering-Plough began a cholesterol study called "ENHANCE" to test the effectiveness of their blockbuster drug Vytorin ($3 billion in sales so far). The trial concluded in 2006, and the final results are still not available. Why? Because the companies are sitting on the data, trying to figure out how to manipulate the results enough to make them look good!

The trial was attempting to measure the reduction of arterial plaque in the carotid arteries, and this reduction was measured by a high-tech ultrasound imaging technique called intravascular ultrasound. The measurements from the study were murky and unreliable. Some were "biologically implausible," meaning the images were showing things that could not possibly exist in a human body. So instead of doing the scientifically correct thing and ditching the study results, they decided to do something arrogant (and scientifically invalid): They changed the definition of what the study was measuring, after the fact!

In other words, they decided to cherry pick the data they wanted to use by redefining the goal of the study after it was complete. This is such a blatant violation of scientific principles that it would earn you an "F" if you tried to pull this stunt in a high school chemistry class.

Upon hearing about this utterly non-scientific alteration of the trial goals, the medical community expressed outrage. Big Pharma critics leapt at the opportunity to point out how drug-company-funded clinical trials are little more than junk science designed to distort findings and produce the results desired by the study sponsor. Even Congress got in on the act, announcing an investigation of Merck for its apparent attempt to commit scientific fraud with Vytorin study results.

By the way, the FDA doesn't require medical studies to be non-fraudulent. The agency is happy to accept fraudulent studies from Big Pharma -- and it has done so for decades! When it comes to pharmaceuticals, the point of conducting studies is not to discover the scientifically-validated truth about a particular drug's effects on the human body, but rather to provide a sufficient amount of pseudoscientific cover to allow the FDA to approve the drug and proclaim it to be both safe and effective. It's all about sales, after all, and if a little science needs to be "redefined" along the way to earn another billion dollars a year in the marketplace, then that's easy to accomplish.

So now, instead of measuring three points along the carotid artery where plaque typically accumulates, the Vyrotin ENHANCE study will retroactively select just one point. And guess what? Merck gets to choose which point!

I sure would like to use this system the next time I got to Vegas. I'll just place my bet on the roulette wheel after the spinning stops! Or maybe I'll go to the poker table, have the dealer toss me ten cards, and then I'll decide which five cards I want to be in my hand! It sure would be nice to be able to cherry pick the results I want to "count" after the fact, wouldn't it?

That's what Merck is doing with this study: It's decided what data to choose after all the cards are on the table!

Now, I don't know what your definition of the Scientific Method is, but most people agree it goes something like this:

1. First, you define the goal of the study and declare what you're going to measure.

2. Next, you take your observations and measurements.

3. Then, you analyze the observations and measurements to reach a reasonable conclusion based on the data.

Merck apparently believes there should be a fourth step:

4. You discard whatever results don't match the outcome you wanted to see, then write up a conclusion based on the selective evidence.

This is what Big Pharma now considers to be "scientific."

I just call it quackery.

In fact, I just posted a YouTube video with a satire Vytorin ad that makes fun of this stupid scientific nonsense now being spouted by Merck. Check it out by clicking the link below:

Scientific fraud is routine in pharmaceutical medicine today

What's important in all this is not simply the fact that Merck is apparently engaged in scientific fraud in this particular study, but rather the fact that Merck thought selectively discarding data and redefining the goal of the study after the fact was an acceptable scientific practice!

This is an indication of just how completely drug companies have abandoned anything resembling the Scientific Method and are now just making up the science as they go along. It's sort of like listening to the Bush Administration talk about global warming: They just make up whatever goofy logic sounds good for the moment, and then declare that to be "scientifically sound." It's science by declaration!

More importantly, the only reason these drug companies have to keep fudging the data like this is because their drugs don't work! If the drug was any good, they wouldn't have to cherry pick the data, would they? The fact that this kind of scientific nonsense is taking place tells you just how shabby the data are in the first place.

Let's face it: If you're playing poker and the dealer hands you a royal flush right from the get go, you don't need new cards, do you?

Now, I'm not saying that testing pharmaceuticals is the same as playing poker in Las Vegas, but there's no doubt that if you base your decisions on the studies being funded by Big Pharma, you're gambling with your health.

Why "evidence-based medicine" is a joke

Modern pharmaceutical medicine has become a grand medical hoax. Beyond all the bribery, price fixing, corruption, dishonest advertising, monopoly prices and deadly drug side effects, underneath the whole thing it's all based on scientific fraud. We're not just talking about one drug and one study here, you see. This is the way Big Pharma routinely conducts business. It's all about getting the results they want to see, regardless of what it takes, who has to be bribed, which researchers have to be intimidated, and so on.

The result, of course, is an entire system of medicine that has produced the most diseased population in the history of modern civilization. While Americans pay more money (by far) than anybody else for medicine, they simultaneously rank dead last in avoiding preventable disease (Source: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2008).

Americans are the most drugged and yet least healthy people among industrialized nations. Our FDA is the most corrupt drug agency among such nations, and our pharmaceutical companies are in my opinion the most dishonest. There's nothing they won't do to win approval for their dangerous chemicals, including committing blatant scientific fraud.

Modern pharmaceutical medicine, you see, is no longer about good science. It's all about good marketing. The science is gone, and it's been replaced with a profit agenda. It makes you wonder how any intelligent person can really trust pharmaceuticals, doesn't it?

The truth, of course, is that intelligent people don't take pharmaceuticals anymore. They've found healthier, natural alternatives that are safer, cheaper and far more effective, like turmeric root for cancer prevention, blueberries for cholesterol control and cinnamon for blood sugar control. They're adopted healthier lifestyles, turning to raw foods, juicing, superfoods and microalgae like spirulina and chlorella. They've realized that the drug companies are full of bunk, and that no pharmaceutical has ever cured any disease. Yet diabetics, heart disease patients and cancer patients and reversing their diseases like never before by turning to a plant-based diet, engaging in regular exercise and avoiding all toxic chemicals (including those in foods, drugs and personal care products).

To those people who still think for themselves, pharmaceuticals are largely irrelevant. The drug companies -- with all their slick marketing, scientific fraud, political influence and celebrity sponsorship -- will soon find themselves selling products only to the uninformed, low-IQ junk food eating consumers who simply don't know any better. All the smart, successful, sexy, healthy and productive people are turning to natural remedies and increasingly adopting plant-based diets.

It's pretty simple, really: Plants make you healthy; drugs make you sick. Plants protect your liver; drugs destroy it. Plants enhance brain function; drugs destroy brain function. Plants are naturally compatible with human biology; drugs are naturally toxic to human biology. Plants need no slick marketing; drugs require slick marketing. Plants were put here by God and Mother Nature; drugs were put here by greedy, criminal-minded drug company personnel who profit from your disease.

Which would you rather trust with your life: Mother Nature, or Big Pharma?

Be sure to watch my satire video on YouTube:

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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