I know I sometimes harp on the pharmaceutical industry and how so many studies that show negative effects or less than positive ones, but a report out of Massachusetts has me very concerned about the validity of many studies out there. If you read this report from MSNBC.com, you can see why I am so disturbed.
It seems that Dr. Scott Reuben was fabricating data about the effectiveness of a number of drugs, including the pain killer Celebrex made by Pfizer and the antidepressant Effexor XR made by Wyeth among others. While this is certainly bad news for the two pharmaceutical companies, it should make us wonder how pervasive this is not only in the pharmaceutical world but also in the nutraceutical community.
I have often times railed against outrageous claims made by the makers of supplements that seem to be heavily anecdotal and curiously non-scientific. One case is the zeolite claims of chelating heavy metals. Still waiting for that study that is due any day showing how great it really is. Been waiting for over three years for something that was supposed to be out already. I’ve heard doctors get on stage and claim super high “cure” rates for autism, only to hear different numbers every conference he spoke at.
Research fraud is more common than you might think which means you need to read the studies with a more critical eye and not to jump on the latest hot drug or supplement. The studies have to make biochemical sense and not just report possible effects that seem too good to be true. There are a lot of Bernie Maddoff’s in science so approach those claims from the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies with a grain of salt. The life you save could be your own.