Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 Health
 Evidenced based medicine
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 5

McQ
Skeptic Friend

USA
258 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2007 :  17:15:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send McQ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Right. Kil asked that question. Like I meant to say. Sure am glad someone is paying attention to details.

Elvis didn't do no drugs!
--Penn Gillette
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2007 :  19:26:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Personally, I'd like to see some hard numbers on whether the pharmaceutical industry is more or less likely to engage in unethical and/or illegal behaviour than any other multi-billion-dollar industry. Until there's solid evidence that the drug companies rip off or harm their customers more often than plumbers, grocery stores, auto mechanics, mortgagers, roofers or anyone else does, then the complaints about data hiding or price fixing aren't really constructive unless one intends to find a method of legislating us out of all such shenanigans (which hasn't happened yet).

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2007 :  22:58:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

Personally, I'd like to see some hard numbers on whether the pharmaceutical industry is more or less likely to engage in unethical and/or illegal behaviour than any other multi-billion-dollar industry. Until there's solid evidence that the drug companies rip off or harm their customers more often than plumbers, grocery stores, auto mechanics, mortgagers, roofers or anyone else does, then the complaints about data hiding or price fixing aren't really constructive unless one intends to find a method of legislating us out of all such shenanigans (which hasn't happened yet).

But even if they are relatively more honest than those industries you mention, they could still be doing more damage when they actually do wrong.

A shoddy roof job might give one a heart attack indirectly, but a drug for which heart side-effects were covered up might do it directly, and to hundreds of people. Thus, I think, the pharmas need be held to a higher standard. Greed is everywhere, but drugs can easily be poisons. (I'd include mechnanics and groceries as potential threats to life and limb, too.)


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Go to Top of Page

beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  08:52:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi new member, kieranct.

This is an incorrect premise:

"The problem with evidenced based medication is the cost of obtaining the evidence. This has to be funded somehow and in the capitalist economy we live in (for which i make no apologies) this provides no incentives to find cures, only treatments for symptoms, which generates money."

There are numerous sources for research funding. For example, universities get numerous grants and there are non-profit foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Heart Association which raise and distribute research dollars.

This is an incorrect premise:

"Secondly it seems a shame to dismiss all anecdotal evidence, yes it won't be double blind etc, but if it has genuinely worked for someone then we need to document that and try it on larger scales. "

All anecdotal evidence is not dismissed. In fact, drug companies go out of their way to collect it. If I give a drug and a patient experiences a severe reaction, I would report it to the manufacturer. I can also obtain those unpublished reports by asking and I have done so. For vaccines there is a formal system called VAERS or vaccine adverse event reporting system where it is required I report all vaccine reactions from a list or anything serious not on the list.

And there are other ways anecdotal evidence is collected and used.


Edited by - beskeptigal on 01/24/2007 09:00:56
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  10:02:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The government gives a lot of money to corporations for drug research, and then lets those companies overcharge to recoup that money that they did not spend.

Having said that, I agree that the best solution is to remove all health care issues from the so-called "private" sector. While I think big companies do not necessarily equal evil, we need to remove short-term profit as one of the highest goals here.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



Go to Top of Page

kieranct
New Member

9 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  10:46:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send kieranct a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some interesting responses, i'll try and get through most of them

Dave W, your article is a really good read and the numbers certainly stack up. The problem i see is if a cure cannot be "owned" by any company. For example h pylori causing stomach ulcers, I think the bacterial link had to be proven by a doctor ingesting the bacteria then treating himself with antibiotics as his research was ignored (this is also due to the medical profession being stuck in their dogma's but that is another issue.)

Take for example another very common disease, Crohn's. The evidence is compelling that it is caused by a bacterial infection from milk, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=40722 gives a brief summary. I have researched this issue thoroughly and do believe that it is the cause, however I believe funding for a vaccine for this has been rejected partly as no pharmaceutical company would own the cure and (I know I am going to get seriously shot down for this) a powerful dairy lobby.

Here we have a disease that single treatments (monoclonal antibodies such as anti-TNF, infliximab) cost $10,000 (ish) a shot. Some pharmaceutical companies stand to lose a lot if a basic cause such as bacteria is proven.

There were quite a few arguments (including in Dave W's piece) on how pharmaceutical companies are run by real people with conscience. I would like to point out the S in SFN and suggest perhaps you are not being suitably skeptic. How many people in the 3rd world could survive diseases like malaria and HIV if they had access to cheap drugs. Ok there are massive issues about corruption but if pharmaceutical companies really had a conscience they wouldn't mind losing a billion or so (as Dave W says – a fraction of their profit) to save many lives.

quote:
The reason we see more treatment for symptoms and not actual cures is simply because symptoms are relatively easy to treat. The problem isn't a lack of research into curing cancer. It's simply that it's a really hard cure to find, if there is one


Agreed and so back to Dave W's economics, the pharmaceutical industry is extremely competitive, cures are hard to find, the economics of finding a cure make sense (if you can patent it) and so the fact that cure's are much harder to find makes investment in possible cures less likely. Ok the rewards for finding a cure might be larger but the risk is higher, this is ultimately an investment decision do you pour millions into treating symtoms (where there is a high chance of success) or into finding a cure (where the possibility of bringing a patentable product to the market is less.) I know which choice risk adverse investors will probably go for.

quote:
Even loosing money on an aids vaccine would do so much for the prestige of the company that they would make it up elsewhere on the market.


I doubt that, people aren't going to buy medicine for athlete's foot from one company just because you've found a cure for cancer. Loss leading only works in a market where you are offering several products or services to a single consumer. Besides I can't think of any famous companies in terms of medical breakthroughs, its always the researcher who gets the glory.

quote:
First, do you even know what you are saying?


Not really that's why I was hoping to discuss it. I am SO for the scientific method, it beats religion and superstition (the methods that prece
Go to Top of Page

McQ
Skeptic Friend

USA
258 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  11:15:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send McQ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

The government gives a lot of money to corporations for drug research, and then lets those companies overcharge to recoup that money that they did not spend.




Any specific examples to cite as evidence of this?


Elvis didn't do no drugs!
--Penn Gillette
Go to Top of Page

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  12:12:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps the problem is publicly traded phama. Profit is everything to the public company whereas an independent company could give a billion in aid without having to answer for it. Neither would go out of business or into the red for a billion, but to get a billion dollar giveaway from a traded company would be nigh impossible and would be enough to oust any board member/ceo/cfo etc.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Edited by - BigPapaSmurf on 01/24/2007 13:34:36
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  13:07:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner

But even if they are relatively more honest than those industries you mention, they could still be doing more damage when they actually do wrong.

A shoddy roof job might give one a heart attack indirectly, but a drug for which heart side-effects were covered up might do it directly, and to hundreds of people. Thus, I think, the pharmas need be held to a higher standard. Greed is everywhere, but drugs can easily be poisons. (I'd include mechnanics and groceries as potential threats to life and limb, too.)
And pilots and bus drivers, etc..

I think part of the problem is perhaps that when we're kids, most of us are taught to trust our doctors, because they're trying to make us better (even if the medicine tastes bad or the stitches hurt going in), and this trust extends to the whole of the healthcare industry for many. On the other hand, we're taught by the same parents to distrust mechanics and carpenters and all other service industries as being out to rip us off.

So when the mechanic does make a shoddy repair on our car - even if it was intentional - that's only to be expected. But when a drug company puts out a harmful product - even if it was due to a simple mistake - it's a horrific violation of trust.

I've got a feeling it's that feeling of having one's trust abused which has led the rise in "health freedom" advocates who don't actually have any suggestions for a better, safer system of healthcare, they're just pissed off.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  13:09:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by McQ

quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

The government gives a lot of money to corporations for drug research, and then lets those companies overcharge to recoup that money that they did not spend.




Any specific examples to cite as evidence of this?





I hope this answers your question, though I don't think it address specific examples:
quote:
The NIH report also found:
§ Public researchers often tackle the riskiest and most costly research, which is basic research, making it easier for industry to profit. The NIH report discovered that only 14 percent of the drug industry's total R&D spending went to basic research, while 38 percent went to applied research and 48 percent was spent on product development.33
§ This finding suggests that public researchers are doing the yeomen's work of identifying possible new medicines, while most drug industry R&D spending occurs after companies believe they have a marketable drug. The NIH report concluded: “To the extent that
basic research into the underlying mechanisms of disease drive new medical advances, the R&D in industry is not performing the role played by public research funding.”34

§ Taxpayer-funded scientists do more than basic research. They also conduct clinical trials.
NIH found that publicly-funded researchers either conducted or had their work cited in 61 percent of the clinical trials important to the development of the five blockbuster drugs it studied.
§ NIH research enables drug companies to secure more lucrative monopoly patents. According to the study: “[P]harmaceutical companies that organize in ways that tap the results of publicly-funded science are those that are most successful. For example,
they…obtained more patents per research dollar, on average, than firms whose scientists
work less closely with the public sector.”35



http://www.citizen.org/publications/release.cfm?ID=7065

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



Go to Top of Page

Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  13:31:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kieranct


The problem i see is if a cure cannot be "owned" by any company. For example h pylori causing stomach ulcers, I think the bacterial link had to be proven by a doctor ingesting the bacteria then treating himself with antibiotics as his research was ignored (this is also due to the medical profession being stuck in their dogma's but that is another issue.)

Take for example another very common disease, Crohn's. The evidence is compelling that it is caused by a bacterial infection from milk, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=40722 gives a brief summary. I have researched this issue thoroughly and do believe that it is the cause, however I believe funding for a vaccine for this has been rejected partly as no pharmaceutical company would own the cure and (I know I am going to get seriously shot down for this) a powerful dairy lobby.


Vaccines are for specific disease (a specific bacteria or virus). Since we do not know which bacteria may be causing Crohn's (BTW since Crohn's is Inflammatory Bowl it could be have many different causes from many different bacteria or other causes) we can't make a vaccine. Even if the bacteria in milk were the cause there is no link. All people who drink milk do not get Crohn's (or any other problem) necessarily. I wouldn't stop drinking milk even if there were a link, the same way as I eat pork despite its need for thorough cooking. The milk lobby (whoever they are) cannot really effect reasearch in Crohn's nor would it be finacially advantages.
quote:

There were quite a few arguments (including in Dave W's piece) on how pharmaceutical companies are run by real people with conscience. I would like to point out the S in SFN and suggest perhaps you are not being suitably skeptic. How many people in the 3rd world could survive diseases like malaria and HIV if they had access to cheap drugs.


Well, I made a similar argument but not from conscience. I have a more cynical veiw of human kind (but not much more). I agree that big pharma cares little for the third world, but neither do you. How much have you donated to the third world, how often do you even think of the third world. The average person (although you may not be average) and the average CEO only think about their immediate surroundings. They do think of their own family and certainly themselves.
quote:

Ok there are massive issues about corruption but if pharmaceutical companies really had a conscience they wouldn't mind losing a billion or so (as Dave W says – a fraction of their profit) to save many lives.


Yes they would. Companies must make profits. It is imperative. If they loose money for their share holders and did not make the best efforts to increase profits, they are technically commiting a crime. Researchers are not under this obligation, and can use the grant money for whatever research, profitable or not. They can even use the money from Phamaceuticals for whatever they wish to research, so long as it is the area that the company wanted to support research in.

quote:


I am SO for the scientific method, it beats religion and superstition (the methods that preceded it) anyday. All I am saying is that the economic environment we are in where it costs millions to do a doub

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Go to Top of Page

Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  13:34:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

Perhaps the problem is publicly traded phama. Profit is everything to the public company whereas an independent company could give a billion in aid without having to answer for it. Neither would not go out of business or into the red for a billion, but to get a billion dollar giveaway from a traded company would be nigh impossible and would be enough to oust any board member/ceo/cfo etc.



Companies go public to increase profits. If you want to see aid increased, then look at the CEOs not the companies. If the CEO wants to give aid he can just use his own funds instead of his business' funds.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Go to Top of Page

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  13:37:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Use his own funds! Zing!

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  14:05:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kieranct

Dave W, your article is a really good read and the numbers certainly stack up.
Thanks!
quote:
The problem i see is if a cure cannot be "owned" by any company. For example h pylori causing stomach ulcers, I think the bacterial link had to be proven by a doctor ingesting the bacteria then treating himself with antibiotics as his research was ignored (this is also due to the medical profession being stuck in their dogma's but that is another issue.)
Sure, but now antibacterials are part of the standard of care for ulcers. The H. pylorii story is one that cautions scientists against dogma, sure, but it's also one that demonstrates that scientific dogma does change over time. Wegener and plate tectonics is another good one.

And as for the cure not being "ownable," so what? The companies making generic drugs (drugs which have lost patent protection) aren't going out of business, either. The basic research for an unpatentable cure for something like ulcers or Crohn's will be done by universities and private labs, working off government or WHO grants, all over the world. (A search of PubMed for "paratuberculosis" in the last year returned 156 articles, so it's not like there's no research being done - well, okay, compare that to the 7,328 articles mentioning "breast cancer" in the last year... well, that's apples and oranges: there were only 1,145 articles about Crohn's last year.) And your average doctor wants to treat you with what works. Neither the drug companies nor the "milk lobby" can prohibit your doctor from reading internationally-reknowned medical journals. If your doctor is prescribing care for you based only on what the drug companies tell him, it's time to get a new doctor.

quote:
Here we have a disease that single treatments (monoclonal antibodies such as anti-TNF, infliximab) cost $10,000 (ish) a shot. Some pharmaceutical companies stand to lose a lot if a basic cause such as bacteria is proven.
Yes, but the doctors who actually treat the patients shouldn't give a rat's ass about the drug companies losing money. If they do, it's time to switch doctors, because either that doctor is being lazy or he's getting kickbacks. But it's not like there's a doctor shortage here in the U.S. I'm only guessing a little bit, but there are probably ten family doctors within ten miles of my home, and I'm not living in a crowded city, but in the suburbs. Patients need to treat their doctors more like they do other service people, and vote with their feet if they get bad service.
quote:
There were quite a few arguments (including in Dave W's piece) on how pharmaceutical companies are run by real people with conscience. I would like to point out the S in SFN and suggest perhaps you are not being suitably skeptic. How many people in the 3rd world could survive diseases like malaria and HIV if they had access to cheap drugs. Ok there are massive issues about corruption but if pharmaceutical companies really had a conscience they wouldn't mind losing a billion or so (as Dave W says – a fraction of their profit) to save many lives.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  14:08:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

I'm pretty sure we can all agree that a company - pharmaceutical or not - is going to almost always act in its own best interest first, and that for the most part, a company's best interest is going to mean larger revenues and more profits.



Could be, but could it also be that boards will react as they think stockholders want them to react, which may mean short-term profit above all else?

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



Go to Top of Page
Page: of 5 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.64 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000