In the April 16, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the editor Dr.Catherine DeAngelis said that misleading pharmaceutical drug research is often published in major medical journals and doctors are lending their names to it. Doctors, regulators, publishers and others are all taking money, information and small presents from pharmaceutical companies and being influenced in the process.
JAMA published a paper accusing Merck and Co. of suppressing data that showed its now-withdrawn pain drug Viox was harming patients, and saying that academic researchers had lent credibility to the company’s allegedly manipulated research by putting their names on the work. Merck and the independent researchers have denied this and say the journal is mistaken in this case.
Dr. DeAngelis said there is a “gigantic” problem of drug companies influencing doctors and patients. Her journal presents the Merck case as a specific example of one facet of the problem. “We have given away our profession and we have got to take it back,” she said.
In our current medical system, large drug companies provide money and influence to direct the opinions of doctors and patients. Drug companies make money by patenting new substances to supposedly be the next big cure. Often that new drug comes with a big price to health.
The recent attack on cholesterol, making it public enemy number one, is a case in point. We are barraged by TV commercials for statin drugs like Lipitor and an obsession with “high cholesterol”. But complications of taking statin drugs can be serious including memory loss, muscle aches and pains, and myopathies. One of the ways statins do this is by blocking the production of CoEnzyme Q10, necessary for these functions in the human body. Cholesterol can be lowered with proper diet, exercise, specific nutrient supplementation, and bioidentical hormone replacement. If cholesterol is lowered too much with medications, it can affect hormone balance and quality of life because cholesterol is the base substance for the production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
The recent attacks on bioidentical hormone replacement have also originated in drug companies who see a dwindling bottom line as patients turn away from their dangerous synthetic hormones toward safer but non-patentable biodentical hormones.
The best medicine is preventative. Therapeutic lifestyle changes including a healthy diet and exercise are the basis of good health. Replenishing lost nutrients and hormone deficiencies keep your body working right and feeling good, and off pharmaceutical drugs.
Candice Lane, M.D., 1250 La Venta Dr., Ste 206, Westlake Village, CA, 91361,
Fellow and Diplomate American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine