For three weeks in a row, the pharmaceutical industry has trotted out their loyal horses, and printed articles in the New England Journal of Medicine on how poorly nutritional and herbal supplements worked as opposed to placebos and their stellar medications. The news media picks up exactly what the companies want them to report on, not the entire truth.
Week after week, flawed studies are paraded out, written by people with vested interests (paid shills) for the pharmaceutical industry who is seeing their profits erode because of the dangerous side effects of the medications they tout as life savers.
In this particular study, the big news supposedly was that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate did little better than placebo in controlling pain in arthritic joints but boy did Celebrex work (guess who funded the authors?). In actuality, in severe cases, the nutritional supplement was superior but no one seems to focus on that.
The flaws in the study include a very high drop out rate (20%), small sample population and a very high placebo effect. Placebo’s in this trial were incredibly effective, way beyond what is found in almost all other placebo controlled studies. All in all, this paper wouldn’t have seen the light of day in a respectable journal unless it is another in a series of articles that fit an agenda perpetrated by the editorial staff of the New England Journal of Medicine.