August 06, 2008
A Whole New Level of Junk Science
It's no secret that the pharmaceutical industry trades in junk
science. We've talked about how prescription drug companies distort
research many times here on Health Beat, focusing on how companies
fudge measures of drug effectiveness and generally control our
knowledge of what works in medication. Big Pharma's track record of
shady science is a serious problem, especially considering the fact
that recent discussions about creating a Comparative-Effectiveness
Research Institute currently hold a place for prescription drug
companies on the organization's board.
The obvious problem is that, to the pharmaceutical industry,
"research" is just a code-word for "smart-sounding marketing."
If you really want a sense of how deep this deception runs, consider
the fact that the prescription drug industry relies on so-called
"research" not just to shill its drugs, but also to argue that it
has a vital role to play in shaping the doctor-patient relationship
for the better.
This dubious claim comes in the June 2008 issue of PharmaVoice where
Meaghan Onofrey from CommonHealth, a pharma marketing consulting firm,
pens a piece arguing that coaching from the prescription drug industry
can make sure that "physicians and patients speak the same language"
so that "everyone wins."