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Will Another Vioxx Critic Be Silenced?

Another of this nation's most vocal drug company critics -- Dr. Eric Topol -- may soon be silenced, although, I suspect, only temporarily.

Until recently, Dr. Topol was the outspoken, most public figure associated with the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. Over the past month, however, Dr. Topol's forceful opinions against such toxic drugs as Vioxx may have forced the clinic to demote him from his post as head of the clinic's medical school.

At the heart of the conflict: High-profile medical institutions like the Cleveland Clinic far too beholden to drug and medical device companies for money, technology and new developments, once again leveraging commerce against patient health.

Unfortunately, according to experts quoted in this excellent New York Times piece, the problems reported at the Cleveland Clinic aren't isolated. This struggle to balance good profits with good health is being felt across the board at many medical institutions.

Meanwhile, an independent committee is reviewing potential conflicts of interest at the clinic, but Dr. Topol isn't involved. In fact, he was recently removed for the clinic's conflict of interest committee...

Sounds like Dr. Topol is being treated to same shabby way as one of my heroes, Dr. David Graham, whose equally courageous stand against Vioxx has made him a pariah at the FDA.

New York Times December 17, 2005 Registration Required

Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger December 17, 2005

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