Because the mega-drug companies are keeping a close watch on Congress — they certainly want to keep getting the best bang for the $758 million bucks they’ve spent on lobbying legislators since 1998 — it should come as no surprise at least half of U.S. medical schools participating in a recent study were willing to give companies that sponsor studies of drugs and treatments considerable control over the results.
Take a look, by the numbers, at the long reach of mega-drug companies may have on studies that could tone down negative findings, if not shut research projects down entirely when the results weren’t to their liking:
- Half would let companies draft research papers and nearly 25 percent would let them provide the data.
- More than two-thirds of administrators surveyed said competition for research money created pressure on administrators to compromise with drug companies seeking to finance trials.
- More than 80 percent of medical schools had experienced at least one dispute with an industry sponsor after a trial agreement had been signed. Although the disputes typically involved money, sometimes “embedded ethical issues” surfaced.
It’s studies like these that continue to fuel my vision to spearhead a movement to replace the irretrievably broken conventional health care paradigm — focused on drug-based solutions for curing conditions — with one that emphasizes prevention and treats the true causes of disease.
New York Times May 26, 2005Registration Required