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  • A Small Ray Of Sunshine? By Dr. Malcolm Kendrick (Drug companies sponsor medical societies)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, February 04, 2010 1:48 pm Email this article
    Finally, a sign that some ‘Opinion leaders’ may be finding themselves a trifle uncomfortable with the stench of corruption. Nose plugs only work for so long. Here is a clip from an article found in a newsletter sent out to pharmaceutical executives.

    (This article was written by Malcolm Kendrick, MD, author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .)

    Doctors Fight Over Drug Firm Influence

    A fierce, behind-the-scenes battle over how much influence drug companies exert on doctors is the raising blood pressure at the American Society of Hypertension.

    The society’s cofounder and longtime editor of the prestigious American Journal of Hypertension, Dr. John H. Laragh, has accused "academic physician/businessmen" who accept industry speaking and consulting fees of improperly coloring the group’s activities.

    "The lines separating marketing from education have been fractured," Laragh wrote in an e-mail message to physicians in the 3,000-member society.

    The episode is a stark example of a broader debate taking place within the nation’s medical societies, which represent physicians in virtually every medical specialty. Recently, many of the groups have become more sensitive to the potential for conflicts of interest relating to pharmaceutical industry grants.

    Disagreements have flared over industry money used to support the hypertension society’s educational programs, as well as the propriety of direct industry payments to physicians who serve as lecturers and consultants. The hypertension organization requires doctors participating in speaking programs to reveal the payments, but does not require them to disclose amounts.

    Critics say the payments help companies put a patina of scientific and medical legitimacy on what is otherwise an attempt to increase market share.

    "The society is seen as sort of a marketing tool by industry. There is a lot of money to go around," said Dr. Curt D. Furberg, a former member of its executive council and a professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.


    Dr. Furberg Has Discussed Problems with Calcium Channel Blockers

    Dr. Furberg has discussed the problem that blood pressure medicines called calcium channel blockers INCREASE the risk of death

    Good for you, Dr Furberg. You may not know who he is, but he has been making waves for years about the potential for calcium channel blockers (antihypertensives), to increase the overall mortality rate. This has made him particularly unpopular with those companies who make various calcium channel blockers. The word Pfizer springs to mind, for some reason.


    The American Society of Hypertension Is A Drug-Sponsored Society

    American Society of Hypertension and other societies are drug company constructs

    It comes as no real surprise to see the academic world of hypertension research hitting the barriers first. Drugs to lower blood pressure were amongst the first to be subjected to massive marketing hype, and ‘opinion leaders’ in this area have had their snouts in the trough for longer than anyone else. Societies, such as the American Society of Hypertension are, basically, pharmaceutical company constructs.


    All Medical Societies Rely On Drug Money

    All medical societies rely on drug money or they would not exist

    To quote Dr Michael A. Weber (singled out for particular criticism by Dr Laragh).

    All medical societies rely heavily on industry sponsorship, Weber said. “Otherwise we wouldn’t exist,”

    If the American Society of Hypertension wouldn’t exist without industry sponsorship, then maybe it shouldn’t exist at all.

    Anyway, I take this article as a small ray of sunshine – a small harbinger of spring in the midst of a bleak winter. Time, I hope, that the pendulum starts to swing back towards humanity and away from pure profit.



    Article Previous Published on THINCS.org

    This article was previously published on THINCS.org

    This article was previously published on THINCS.org (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics).

    I republished the article here with Dr. Kendrick’s permission.


    Malcolm Kendrick’s Contact Info

    Malcolm Kendrick’s Email Address—.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Dr. Malcolm Kendrick can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Malcolm Kendrick, MD is the author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .)


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