Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Drug companies: A five part report on the Street:

The Street.com has the first of five parts detailing the inherent conflicts and issues facing drug companies in issuing and promoting pharmaceuticals. You can go here to read more.

The series seems to be off to a good start, information wise. The Street.com's reporter notes: "Public leaders have begun to question how companies manage to gain regulatory approval of drugs like Vioxx and then turn them into wildly profitable blockbusters. And they have come to recognize the industry's incredible influence -- over drug development, approval and even consumption -- in the process."

It's worth reading especially when you see this:
"During a recent in-depth study, U.K. leaders uncovered plenty that troubled them. For starters, they found that drug companies can specifically design clinical trials to deliver favorable -- but possibly misleading -- outcomes. Richard Nicholson, editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics, cited a Merck trial of Vioxx as one example .

'We wondered to ourselves why on earth Merck wants to compare this with naproxen,' a drug popularly known as Aleve, Nicholson said. "They did not give us the details initially, and then when we asked and asked, we finally found out they had already carried out major trials against the two major anti-inflammatory drugs ... and found absolutely no advantage of their drug."

It's compelling reading and I look forward to the remainder of the segments.