How Big Pharma gets dangerous, dud drugs on the market

Are you taking a drug that shouldn’t have been approved in the first place?

A new study has just turned over a large rock, exposing how Big Pharma lies, cheats and steals its way to getting drugs on the market.

And you’re not the only one being deceived. Your doctor is relying on the same phony information whenever he sends you off to the pharmacy with a new prescription.

This new research makes it crystal clear: If you’re taking an Rx drug for any reason, it’s more important than ever to do your homework before you pop pill #1.


A worst-case scenario

When a new drug hits the market, we typically read glowing news stories about how it shined in trial results… and how it’s been found to be the best med for (fill in the blank) that’s ever been developed!

But those claims are very often based on flawed, failed and misrepresented drug trials, something now done so commonly that it’s practically become the norm!

New research out of Finland looked at 113 clinical trials and found that a third of them weren’t publicly registered when they began. That lack of transparency is the first step to covering up unfavorable results.

That, however, pales in comparison to the other deceptions these researchers discovered:

  • In 1 out of 5 trials, the researchers didn’t even bother to specify what the main objective was! That little trick should disqualify a study immediately, as it leaves the door wide open for unscrupulous researchers to claim a drug met its goal when it was never made clear what that goal was in the first place.
  • Over half of the unregistered trials changed the outcomes they were originally looking for or lowered the bar for what was considered to be a success. That allows drugmakers to claim that a med works when, in fact, the rules got altered to fit the results.

And since, as the researchers pointed out, doctors rely on this critical information to “guide patient care decisions,” the wool is being pulled over their eyes as well!

Then, there’s the dark world of trials that go unpublished.

When trials never see the light of day, as Roberta Scherer, an expert at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, explains, they’re typically ones that found drugs didn’t work or were dangerous.

“The worst-case scenario,” Scherer said, is that you could be taking a treatment that’s not just “ineffective,” but “possibly even harmful.”

So, how do you really know when an approved drug is actually safe… or isn’t?

Well, the biggest thing this tells us is to avoid taking drugs as much as you possibly can — because you may never know!

And when you must take one, there’s some homework you should do before filling that Rx.

Just as you wouldn’t let someone sell you a car or even a vacuum cleaner without first checking on how it’s been rated or what others are saying about it, you need to do the same for drugs.

One way is to check the Public Citizen “Worst Pills” website by going to worstpills.org.

You can put the name of a drug your doc recommends to you in the search box and see what comes up. And if it should land in the group’s “Do Not Use” section — like the widely advertised bone med Prolia — you’ll immediately know it’s something you should avoid.

If only those docs would do the same!

Next, check it out with Cochrane, an independent group of researchers from around the world who specialize in analyzing drug trials at cochrane.org.

There, you can also search for a drug by putting its name in the box at the top right of the home page. For example, when there was a big media flurry last year over how statins can keep you from getting dementia (even Alzheimer’s!), Cochrane analyzed the research behind that claim and concluded that the “good evidence” shows statins “do not prevent” dementia.

These sources are especially important to counter all the stories and drug ads we’re smacked in the face with every day, which make it hard to tell real information from bogus claims.

And that’s something Big Pharma is counting on. After all, billions of dollars of worthless and dangerous drugs would never be prescribed in the first place if more people knew the truth.

“Discrepancy between trial goals, results may mask treatment risks” Lisa Rapaport, September 13, 2017, Reuters, reuters.com