The Fallout From Negative Vioxx Studies Continues

You may recall the recent bombshell from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that Merck doctored studies published about Vioxx to make the numbers sound less lethal than they really were. Yesterday, the Journal published additional information about those deletions (free PDF link below) that would've shown any gastrointestinal problems Vioxx prevented would be negated by serious heart issues.

What was really interesting, however, were letters from Merck and non-company scientists defending the study as published, because updating it to include those extra heart attacks that occurred after a specific deadline would've been a breach of scientific protocol. Moreover, adding them, researchers said, wouldn't have affected the study's outcome.

This pretzel-like logic only makes sense in the twisted world of conventional medicine, one in which commerce almost always trumps health and true healing.

How this information plays a role in future Vioxx trials currently going on throughout the country is anyone's guess. That said, you don't have to resort to a drug -- prescribed or over-the-counter -- to treat your pain, if you take advantage of seven safer options I posted on my Web site last year.

New England Journal of Medicine February 22, 2006 Free Full Text PDF

USA Today February 23, 2006

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