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Originally published August 19 2004

New study shows that 94% of marketing claims made by pharmaceutical companies have no basis in fact

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Think that health claims made on the advertising material of pharmaceuticals is based on scientific evidence? Think again. A new study carried out by the Institute for Evidence-Based Medicine in Germany has found that 94% of the information contained in promotional literature sent to doctors by pharmaceutical companies has absolutely no basis in scientific fact. Virtually all of the information in the promotional brochures has been distorted or exaggerated, the study revealed.

For example, as quoted in the study, medical guidelines from scientific groups are misquoted, the side effects of drugs are minimized, groups of patients are wrongly defined, study results are suppressed, treatment effects are exaggerated, risks are manipulated, and many effects of drugs are actually drawn from animal studies, not from human studies, even though the drugs are intended for human consumption.

If you've been reading articles on this site for very long, you already know that pharmaceutical companies engage in mass scientific fraud in order to distort their studies and get drugs approved based on rather shaky science, but what surprises me about this new research is the extent of it: 94% of the marketing claims are unsubstantiated and unsupported by scientific evidence. That's an alarming number -- it means 19 out of 20 statements made by drug companies in their marketing literature are false.

And yet, absurdly, doctors tend to rely on this information in order to make decisions about what drugs to prescribe to patients. Conventionally trained doctors tend to believe this information. They have faith in the idea that the pharmaceutical companies are engaged in rigorous scientific studies and clinical trials. And as a result, when they receive these promotional brochures, they read the material and believe it, and then they turn around and prescribe these drugs to their patients. And yet, these beliefs are absolutely false.

Now, it isn't just this one study that is demonstrating the distortions, exaggerations, and suppression of good science pursued by pharmaceutical companies -- we've also seen this coming out in many other ways, such as the recent revelation that makers of antidepressant drugs have been for years suppressing the studies showing a strong correlation between the use of antidepressant drugs and the risk of committing suicide or engaging in violent behavior.

The sad truth on all of this is that we've only scratched the surface. Just wait until the truth comes out about statin drugs someday -- when the mainstream press starts warning the public about all of the neurological damage, heart damage and even brain damage that's being caused by statin drugs. We're going to have a massive public outcry. In the meantime, tens of millions of people are continuing to take statin drugs based entirely on false and fraudulent evidence that has been drummed up and hyped by the pharmaceutical companies -- and then rubber-stamped by the FDA so that these drugs can be sold to consumers and generate billions of dollars in profits for Big Pharma.

What we have here, folks, is a system of unprecedented scientific fraud. The evidence continues to come out demonstrating that this is unquestionably the case. We see greatly exaggerated claims of treatment, we see the suppression of studies showing negative results, and we see financial influence between people who make decisions about public health policy (such as acceptable cholesterol levels) and pharmaceutical companies. We also see a revolving door policy between the FDA, pharmaceutical companies, private industry groups, and even so-called independent spokespeople who are actually on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies. At the same time, we continue to see undue influence of pharmaceutical companies in medical schools and doctors' offices, where outright bribery continues to be one of the favorite tactics of drug companies.

So, where does all of this end? Probably with a massive class-action lawsuit against Big Pharma. Someday we will see an inquiry resembling the Big Tobacco trials, and we will see the pharmaceutical industry finally having to face the music on the untold suffering and death that it has caused in the United States and around the world.


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