The beautified studies of the pharmaceutical industry



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Fine studies in the pharmaceutical industry? Are undesired studies often concealed so that sales of pharmaceuticals do not collapse?

(23.05.2010) It is a matter of nature, adequate health research hardly matches the economic interests of the corporations. As the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) found out, the results of the studies were often not published. This dangerous secrecy of studies has probably already killed tens of thousands of people, as the IQWiG says in the journal "Trial".

The concealment of undesired studies is not an individual description of a pharmaceutical company, but according to IQWiG it is very widespread. "The collection reads like a sketchbook for a crime series," said the scientists at the institute. According to IQWiG, 900 studies were made of 90 approved drugs in the United States alone. After five years of approval of the medication, 60 percent of the study results were still not published. Because otherwise they would have had a negative impact on the sales figures of the drugs? In addition, the pharmaceutical companies are not afraid to rewrite studies afterwards in order to make them appear in a more positive light. "As a result, study results are often presented more positively than they actually are," Beate Wieseler from IQWiG told the Berlin newspaper "taz".

In this context, one could speak of inhuman manipulation. Because patients have to live with the sometimes serious health consequences. Unpublished studies and subsequently manipulated study results can lead to serious health consequences. "As a result, doctors and patients use therapies that are actually useless or even harmful," said the IQWiG. The scientists assume that medication for cardiac arrhythmias, for example, cost the lives of tens of thousands in the 1980s because study results with indications of serious side effects were not published.

Due to the fact that study results are kept secret to this day, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) requires legal regulations so that all results are published completely and promptly. Appeals to companies and voluntary solutions have obviously not been able to solve the problem to date. The IQWiG is an independent scientific institute that benefits and harms medical measures
examined for patients. The clients for examinations are exclusively the Federal Joint Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health. (sb)

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