NSAID's - The Jaw-Dropping Truth

(c) by Shane Ellison M.Sc.

In an effort to sell more drugs, medical ghost writing is the practice of paying authors to write favorable drug reports for pharmaceutical companies. The truth be known, medical ghost writing leads to mass deception among medical doctors and declining health among prescription drug users. Worse, it can also lead to needless deaths.

To better illustrate the negative impacts of medical ghost writing we look to Dr. M. Michael Wolfe. As a medical expert, editors of the Journalof the American Medical Association (JAMA) sent him an unpublished drug review on the arthritis medication Celebrex to evaluate. At first glance, he was impressed by what he read. It appeared that after six months of a company-sponsored study involving more than 8,000 patients, the drug was associated with lower rates of stomach and intestinal ulcers than two older arthritis medicines, diclofenac and ibuprofen. Feeling confident that the drug was safe, Dr. Wolfe and colleagues wrote a favorable editorial about Celebrex to accompany the newly released findings in JAMA. Consequently, millions of M.D.'s began prescribing the now commonly used Celebrex.  

As time passed, it was later learned that like many medical doctors of today, Dr. Wolf was a victim of ghost writing. As fate would have it, Dr. Wolfe later came across the complete data from the same study as a member of the Food and Drug Administration's arthritis advisory committee. Numerous discrepancies were seen between the initial report and the newly found raw data. Most notably, Pharmacia, the manufacturers of Celebrex, made it appear as if the study lasted only 6 months. In reality, the study of Celebrex lasted a year. During the last half of the year (which was unreported) almost all of the ulcer complications that occurred during the study were in Celebrex users.  

When all of the data were considered, Dr. Wolfe stated that most of Celebrex's apparent safety advantages disappeared. Unfortunately, JAMA had already released the previously written findings that were derived from the fabricated report along with Dr. Wolf's favorable editorial. In an effort to discover why the initial report did not illustrate the entire findings of the study, Dr. Wolfe found that the study's 16 authors included faculty members of eight medical schools. All authors were either employees of Pharmacia or paid consultants of the company.

The Blatant lies and disregard for patients health get's worse. Between 1990 and 1997 all clinical trials performed on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as Alleve, aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Bayer, celecoxib --Celebrex, diclofenac -- Voltaren, etodolac --Lodine, fenoprofen -- Nalfon, indomethacin -- Indocin, ketoprofen - Orudis, Oruvail, ketoralac --Toradol, oxaprozin -- Daypro, nabumetone -- Relafen, sulindac -- Clinoril, tolmetin -- Tolectin, rofecoxib -- Vioxx were sponsored by the drug manufacturer! The result was that 100% of the studies showed the sponsored drug to have equal or superior efficacy when compared to other drugs.

The fallacies behind medical ghost writing of NSAIDS are quickly exposed via increasing body counts among users. Despite the fabricated studies showing NSAIDS to be safe, real-life observations show that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized every year for non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-related gastrointestinal complications. Moreover, at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients. This figure, as reported by Dr. Gurkirpal Singh, is comparable to the number of deaths from the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS] and shows that NSAIDS contribute to as many deaths as multiple myeloma, asthma, and cervical cancer combined!  

Although outrageously high, the aforementioned statistics do not account for over-the-counter use of NSAIDS. Thus, we can be confident that there are considerably more deaths caused by the use of NSAIDS that go unreported. And because few medical doctors are unaware of these statistics, NSAIDS can rightfully be considered a silent killer, especially when "experts" are paid to write favorable reviews and drug manufacturers carry out their own clinical studies.  

Not being aware of this silent killer, millions of American's are consuming NSAIDS on a daily basis on the false hypothesis that they will successfully enhance their longevity. This will go down in the history books as one of America's deadliest health myths. How many people do you know who take an aspirin a day in an attempt to lower their risk of heart disease? What about Celebrex?  

Ghost writing is a common, yet rarely mentioned practice among the drug industry. Very few professionals and patients are able to get the real-scoop on the drug they are either prescribing or consuming. This further illustrates the importance of seeking information about natural alternatives which are not only effective but have killed less people than bee stings.  

References  

  1. Okie, Susan. Washington Post, August 5, 2001; Page A11
  2. Ivan Oransky and Jeanne Lenzer. Ties to drug manufacturers deform medical reviews. USA Today. McLean, Va.:Aug1, 2002. pg A. 11
  3. Singh Gurkirpal, MD, "Recent Considerations in Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Gastropathy", The American Journal of Medicine, July 27, 1998, p. 31S
  4. Verrico MM, Weber RJ, McKaveney TP, Ansani NT, Towers AL. Adverse Drug Events Involving COX-2 Inhibitors. Ann Pharmacother. 2003 Sep;37(9):1203-13.

Author Profile

Shane Ellison holds a Master's degree in organic chemistry and has first-hand industry experience with drug research, design and synthesis. His web sites are www.health-fx.net and www.healthmyths.net. Visit them for jaw-dropping facts about health, fitness and natural medicine!

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