In a Huffington Post article, writer Dana Ullman raises some very significant questions about the state of American medicine, which has come to rely so heavily on pharmaceuticals. In particular, he attacks the medical research system that supports it.
Drugs are subjected to clinical trials lasting just six weeks. How can that realistically evaluate a medication that individuals may take for years? And, Ullman writes, the system tends to push negative data under the rug.
He quotes a heavy hitter in this area: Marcia Angell, a woman who edited the New England Journal of Medicine for two decades.
“Marcia Angell, MD, the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and author of the powerful book The Truth about Drug Companies, said it plainly and directly: ‘Trials can be rigged in a dozen ways, and it happens all the time’ (Angell, 2004, 95).”
He quotes her further:
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. As reprehensible as many industry practices are, I believe the behavior of much of the medical profession is even more culpable.
And he quotes Turner EH, et al., “Selective Publication of Antidepressant Trials and Its Influence on Apparent Efficacy,” The New England Journal of Medicine, January 17, 2008:
A review of 74 clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that 37 of 38 positive studies were published. But of the thirty-six negative studies, thirty-three were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome.
Take a look at Ullman’s article, for plenty of food for thought that appears to me to be very relevant to the autism-vaccine debate.