By Ed Silverman // January 28th, 2010 // 7:57 am
You've heard of evidence-based medicine. Well, a new paper summarizes a panoply of practices employed over the past two decades or so - ghostwriting, suppressing or spinning data, disease mongering and managing side effect perceptions among docs - that the authors call marketing-based medicine. And they rely on internal documents from litigation - such as the much-publicized lawsuits over antipsychotics and antidepressants - to illustrate their point.
A stunning must-read from Ed Silverman on a must-read paper. The comments following Ed's post are also rich.
I imagine there will be blowback and some vigorous challenges to the facts and stats in the paper. But the industry emails quoted are themselves devastating, and suggest how successfully the marketing forces within the industry won out over those who wanted to make drugs that clearly worked, rather than aggressively sell drugs that either didn't work that well or worked for some but carried nasty side-effects that were downplayed.
Pharma, biotech, and medicine itself will be years digging out of the credibility hole this sort of thing put them in.
My favorite side effect from the drug commercials (I forget which drug, unfortunately) is "skeletal pain."
Ow. My skeleton hurts.
If you can't develop new treatments for old diseases, just invent new diseases for your old treatments.