There is good science, bad science & PR for the pharmaceutical industry

Wrong again?

Wrong again?

The scientific approach changed during the second world war. The war demanded something more urgent and goal directed. New weapons needed to be manufactured and new technologies invented to aid soldiers in the battlefield. Physicists had created sonar, radar , chemists had produced chemical weapons etc etc. The undisputed crown jewel of this targeted effort was the atomic bomb which brought the war to an end.As the New York Times put it the day after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima; “gone were the tweedy prima donna university professors wandering about in search of obscure truths, driven by the mere desire to satisfy curiosity. This may work for commercial objectives however the reality is the history of medicine is replete with many examples of “cures” optioned years, decades even centuries before the mechanism of action was understood by experienced practitioners observing patient responses.

For years scientists have been telling us to stay away from saturated fats, now they say its not fats its sugar  that is dangerous. Probably the biggest “silent killer” is smoking? Yet right up to the mid 50s the cigarette industry used the medical profession on TV to promote the health benefits of smoking. The advertisements suggested that the individual physicians’ clinical judgment should continue to be the arbiter of the harms of cigarette smoking even as systematic health evidence accumulated. Doctors smoke camelsThe smoking industry would continue to solicit physicians and scientists with materials disputing the relationship between smoking and disease and would also seek out physicians who doubted the harmfulness of cigarettes in order to undermine emerging scientific findings, that smoking caused cancer. The American Medical Association remained loyal to their generous sponsor  would not publicly acknowledge the harms of cigarette smoking until 1978. I wonder if one day we will say the same about “one size fits all”mass vaccination programmes?

When I was growing up to say something was “scientific was seen as a badge of honor, unfortunately  scientists have abused their position of trust to do PR for industry and the government. It was not only smoking, they played down the dangers of Radiation from nuclear tests , Asbestos, Thalidomide, Vioxx etc etc most recently we had the admission that the swine flu vaccine caused narcolepsy but no one wants to compensate the victims

Government Minister John Gummer trying to demonstrate beef was safe to eat

Government Minister John Gummer trying to demonstrate beef was safe to eat

Who can forget Government minister John Gummer in 1990 feeding his own daughter a beef burger on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Donald Acheson;

“After taking advice from leading scientific and medical experts, he had no hesitation in saying that “beef can be eaten safely by everyone, both adults and children, including patients in hospital” Sir Donald Acheson 1990.

At least 32 people died from CJD others would have had neurological damage from contaminated beef.

Dr. Richard Horton editor of the Lancet, one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world recently published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false.

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” 

This is quite disturbing, given the fact that these studies are used to develop drugs/vaccines to supposedly help people, train medical staff, educate medical students and more. He went on to say that journal editors aid and abet the worst behaviors, that the amount of bad research is alarming, that data is sculpted to fit a preferred theory.

So would the medical establishment suppress information in a study that did not correlate with their beliefs and the outcomes they were looking for to conclude a vaccine was safe. This 5 min news item says they would.

Evidence released in 2014 show how adverse effects of Tamiflu could have been avoided and billions wasted by health services, trying to protect against bird flu, if all the data had been made available.  Cochrane Collaboration, a London-based nonprofit, shows that a significant amount of negative data from the drug’s clinical trials were hidden from the public. Newsweek reported that The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knew about it, but the medical community did not; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which doesn’t have the same access to unpublished data as regulators, had recommended the drug without being able to see the full picture. When results from those unpublished trials finally did emerge, they cast doubt over whether Tamiflu is as effective as the manufacturer says.

Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is considered to another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, makes her view of the subject quite plain:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”  

Documents obtained by Lucija Tomljenovic,  reveal that vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and health authorities have known about multiple dangers associated with vaccines but chose to withhold them from the public. he found

  • 1) Instead of reacting appropriately by re-examining existing vaccination policies when safety concerns over specific vaccines were identified by their own investigations, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in the UK either a) took no action, b) skewed or selectively removed unfavourable safety data from public reports and c) made intensive efforts to reassure both the public and the authorities in the safety of respective vaccines;
  • 2) Significantly restricted contraindication to vaccination criteria in order to increase vaccination rates despite outstanding and unresolved safety issues;
  • 3) On multiple occasions requested from vaccine manufacturers to make specific amendments to their data sheets, when these were in conflict with JCVI’s official advices on immunisations;
  • 4) Persistently relied on methodologically dubious studies, while dismissing independent research, to promote vaccine policies;
  • 5) Persistently and categorically downplayed safety concerns while over-inflating vaccine benefits;
  • 6) Promoted and elaborated a plan for introducing new vaccines of questionable efficacy and safety into the routine paediatric schedule, on the assumption that the licenses would eventually be granted;
  • 7) Actively discouraged research on vaccine safety issues;
  • 8) Deliberately took advantage of parents’ trust and lack of relevant knowledge on vaccinations in order to promote a scientifically unsupported immunisation program which could put certain children at risk of severe long-term neurological damage;

Harris Coulter ( Shot in the Dark 2003 ) describes how scientists might do this, on what he calls the “technique of the medical establishment to publish an article purporting to support certain conclusions and then refer to it endlessly in the literature as though it did support these conclusions.”

Coulter deconstructus a 1990 study: “Risk of seizures and encephalopathy after immunization with the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine”. They evaluated 38,171 children who had received 107,154 DTP immunisations in their first three years of life. They state only two children suffered encephalitis and onset was more than two weeks after the vaccination. They concluded it was not related to the vaccine.  They reported 277 other children had  seizures, 42 had a febrile seizure and 37 had seizures associated with other acute neurological illness. The study concluded that there was no evidence of a significant link to seizures and encephalopathy after immunisation with DPT vaccine.

The study is a retrospective study of patient Medicaid records and the National Vaccination Information Centre (NVIC) estimates that reporting accounts for only 10 per cent. of adverse events. In fact, in the study adverse reactions were identified in 1187 children, 3 per cent. of the group, a sizeable figure in view of underreporting.

How-To-See-Through-The-Smoke-And-Mirrors-2-300x221This figure was substantially whittled down for the conclusion. Of these 1187 adverse reactions, 526 were outpatients of whom 359 were excluded from the tally for lack of records leaving 828 adverse reactions in the study.  Of these, 470 were excluded as not meeting the “case definition”.  To wit, the “event of interest” had to be “the first non-neonatal seizure or episode of encephalopathy, hence 34 children were judged to have  had a “neonatal seizure” and excluded, 18 had “spells” that “were clearly not seizures”, 150 more were excluded because of an apparent  pre-existing neurological abnormality, 82  were diagnosed as failure to thrive, 121 had other non-neurological events and 65 had miscoded records thus leaving 358. Two subjects that developed encephalopathy  more than two weeks after the study were excluded reducing the cohort to 356 with adverse reactions. So this particular study could then conclude; “That the prevalence of neurological defects is the same whether children are vaccinated or not”. Back to where I started; Smoke and Mirrors by PR people calling themselves scientists

Here is another study that concluded the DTP vaccine was safe, despite the fact five children died within 24 hours of having the vaccine?? Or This 30 minute presentation on misinformation about vaccine safety  So when someone asks you for scientific evidence tell them. Scackets Model of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is supported by three pillars because he recognised  the limitations of only using published data. The other three are an experienced practitioner that you trust, your (the patients) previous experience.

Share Button
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

About Richard

Richard Lanigan 57 is the parent of four children, he was awarded a Masters in Health Promotion at Brunell University in 2004 he has practiced chiropractic at his practice Spinal Joint in Kingston Upon Thames since 1996 providing care for thousands of children

2 Responses to There is good science, bad science & PR for the pharmaceutical industry

  1. TA74 says:

    Thank you for this. As a mum of three who has never felt right about vaccination, I reluctantly vaccinated my two daughters. I tried to find out beforehand if I could source unbiased information but it was hard to know which sources to trust and I mean both ant vaccination positions and also the official pro vaccine literature. Most mums I knew seemed to vaccinate on the trust of the medical profession and someone even inferred that me questioning it at all was absurd when medical professionals with many years of training were saying it was the best thing to do.
    Now my son is facing vaccinations at 12/13mths -namely MMR and some other vaccines. I think it was the MMR that made me stop and take stock and research again. This time, I’ve realised that the safety studies so often quoted as proof these vaccines are safe are funded by pharmaceutical companies and that the safety data and way the trials are conducted are often skewed to obtain the “correct” result.

    Truthfully, I find it hard to leave behind the mind set that if I vaccinate I will be protecting him and others from harm but I am working on it and your site has named sources and scientists that I have come across in my reading so far which suggesting that vaccination is not all it is portrayed as. Until I feel sure I’m doing the right thing, none of them will receive any more vaccines and I’m not sure on the evidence so far that I’ll ever feel right about it again.

    I fear that we are headed like the US towards mandatory vaccination here in the UK and I sincerely hope that day never comes. Whilst the vaccine industry and pharmaceutical companies have so much influence on health policy and with governments, I don’t think we can afford to trust either with our health or that of our children.

  2. vera duffy says:

    happy new year Richard to you and all yours xxxxxxxx

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.