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.

USA Today May 25, 2005

New York Times May 26, 2005Registration Required

New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 352, Number 21, May 26, 2005: 2202-2210