How Drug Companies Deceive Doctors
By Shane Ellison, M.Sc.
Health Myths Exposed © 2005
Following doctor's orders has become synonymous with danger. Every
year, FDA approved drugs kill twice as many people as the total
number of U.S. deaths from the Vietnam War. Death by medicine
flourishes because deceit, not science, governs a doctor's
prescribing habits. As an ex-drug chemist, I witnessed this first-
This deceit comes in many forms. Medical ghostwriting and checkbook
science are the most prominent.
Doctors rely on peer-reviewed medical journals to learn about
prescription drugs. These journals include the Lancet, British
Medical Journal, New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of
the American Medical Association. It is assumed that these
professional journals offer the hard science behind any given drug.
This assumption is wrong. Medical journals can't be trusted thanks
to medical ghost writing.
Medical ghostwriting is the practice of hiring PhD's to crank out
drug reports that hype benefits and hide negative side effects. Once
complete, drug companies recruit doctor's to put their name on the
report as authors. These reports are then published in the above
mentioned medical journals. The carrot for this deceitful
practice is money and prestige. Ghostwriters can receive up to
$20,000 per report. Doctors receive prestige from having been
published. Ultimately, patients get bad drugs disguised as good
As deplorable as medical ghostwriting sounds, it is more common than
you think. The world's most influential medical journal, the New
England Journal of Medicine, has admitted that 50% of their drug
articles are ghostwritten.
The editor of the British Journal of Medicine has acknowledged that
medical ghostwriting has become a serious problem for his
publication: "We are being hoodwinked by the drug companies. The
articles come in with doctors' names on them and we often find some
of them have little or no idea about what they have written."
Consider the testimony from deputy editor of The Journal of the
American Medical Association: "This [journal articles] is all about
bypassing science. Medicine is becoming a sort of Cloud Cuckoo
Land, where doctors don't know what papers they can trust in the
journals, and the public doesn't want to believe."
Other weapons of mass deception exist "checkbook science." As
defined by Diana Zuckerman, PhD, checkbook science is research
intended not to expand knowledge or to benefit humanity, but instead
to sell drugs. It has stolen the very soul of University research,
scientific method, and the patients who serve as human subjects.
Drug companies use checkbook science to sponsor their own drug
research via the halls of academia and government institutions.
Money is used to design their own studies, interpret the results,
and stuff negative data under the drug-rug. The drug-rug is a
behemoth rug. It has to be. A myriad of negative drug data exists.
Like medical ghostwriting, checkbook science is more common than you
think. A third of academic professors have personal financial ties
to drug makers. Called the "Stealth Merger" by the LA Times, top
scientists at the National Institutes of Health also collect
paychecks and stock options from the drug industry. This has
been going on for over 20 years. Known as the Bayh-Dole Act, U.S
law was amended in 1980 to allow for these flagrant conflicts of
This calculated deceit is scandalous. Hopefully the line at the
pharmaceutical trough gets shorter as this scandal becomes public.
Though, drug makers have an insurance policy for this "Direct-to-
Consumer" advertising. The oft repeated "ask your doctor" ensures
that the herd instinctively embraces drugs, drugs and more
Understanding medical ghost writing and checkbook science explains
why medical doctors have been hypnotized into drug worship -- they
only see the positive. It also explains why modern medicine is more
deadly and lucrative than war -- the danger has been silenced with
the pen and money.
Drug companies do not take responsibility for the wonton
prescription drug deceit. Instead, victims have been made
invisible - dehumanized. They are not recognized as children, or
men with significant contribution to society. Their deaths are
simply shrugged off and attributed to sickness or aging.
Those who profit from prescription drugs should hold some sort of
record for the having the most reckless disregard for human life.
If the deceit continues the prescription drug leviathan will
silently kill more people than Napalm dropped on Vietnamese
About the Author
Shane holds a Master's degree in organic chemistry and has first
hand experience in drug design. Specializing in therapeutic
nutrition, he has made it his mission to introduce healthy lifestyle
and nutrition habits to the general public. He is author of Health
Myths Exposed. His books and FREE offers can be found at
article is courtesy of Health Myths Exposed
 Approximately 58,000 American's died in Vietnam. FDA approved
drugs kill 106-125,000 people per year when used as prescribed.
 Source: CBC's Marketplace. Aired March 25, 2003. Researcher
 Shannon Brownlee. "Doctors Without Borders. Why you can't trust
medical journals anymore." Washington Monthly. April 2003.
 Zuckerman, D. "Hype in health reporting: "checkbook science" buys
distortion of medical news." International Journal of Health
 Bekelman, J.E., Li, Y. and Gross, C. P. "Scope and impact of
financial conflicts of interest in biomedical research." Journal of
the American Medical Association. 289: 454-465.
 Willman D. "Stealth merger: drug companies and government
medical research." Los Angeles Times. 2003 Dec 7;:A1, A32-3.
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