Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has dropped a bomb on the medical research community. The former editor in chief of the biggest name in medical journals now declares that it is “..no longer possible to believe much of clinical research published.”
This is major stuff. If she is right, how many patients have been adversely affected by decisions physicians have made based on what they read in the NEJM or other journals?
Of course, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a study funded by a drug company recommending the use of a drug made by that drug company might have inherent bias! Many if not most physicians have been skeptical of studies structured in this way for years. What is jaw-dropping is that a physician in Dr. Angell’s position would admit this problem.
Dr. Angell is focused on the pimple, however, rather than the cancer. Her criticism of big pharma’s influence on current medical research, while justified, ignores the much more dangerous benefactor of medical “research,” the federal government (see my post, here, from one year ago). Now that the “government” is determining “best practices” and acceptable “treatment guidelines,” all the result of government-funded “research,” do you think Uncle Sam has a stake in the outcome of these “studies?” Do you think future research grants will be awarded to those whose conclusions don’t line up with the political agendas of state apparatchiks, those “saviors”whose budgets depend on the denial of health care to the rest of us?
Too bad Dr. Angell didn’t come out of the closet while she was editor in chief, as that would have made all the headlines. We can only hope in follow up interviews she will use her influence to deliver a similar blow to the credibility of the medical research funded by the tyrants.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.