Posted: December 16th, 2009 by Militant Libertarian
When it comes to selling chemicals that claim to treat H1N1 swine flu, the pharmaceutical industry’s options are limited to two: Vaccines and anti-virals. The most popular anti-viral, by far, is Tamiflu, a drug that’s actually derived from a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb called star anise.
But Tamiflu is no herb. It’s a potentially fatal concentration of isolated chemical components that have essentially been bio-pirated from Chinese medicine. And when you isolate and concentrate specific chemicals in these herbs, you lose the value (and safety) of full-spectrum herbalmedicine.
That didn’t stop Tamiflu’s maker, Roche, from trying to find a multi-billion-dollar market for its drug. In order to tap into that market, however, Roche needed to drum up some evidence that Tamiflu was both safe and effective.
Roche engages in science fraud
Roche claims there are ten studies providing Tamiflu is both safe and effective. According to the company, Tamiflu has all sorts of benefits, including a 61% reduction inhospital admissions by people who catch the flu and then get put on Tamiflu.
The problem with these claims is that they aren’t true. They were simply invented by Roche.
A groundbreaking article recently published in the British Medical Journal accuses Roche of misleading governments and physicians over the benefits of Tamiflu. Out of the ten studies cited by Roche, it turns out, only two were ever published in science journals. And where is the original data from those two studies? Lost.
The data has disappeared. Files were discarded. The researcher of one study says he never even saw the data. Roche took care of all that, he explains.
So the Cochrane Collaboration, tasked with reviewing the data behind Tamiflu, decided to investigate. After repeated requests to Roche for the original study data, they remained stonewalled. The only complete data set they received was from an unpublished study of 1,447 adults which showed that Tamiflu was no better than placebo. Data from the studies that claimed Tamiflu was effective was apparently lost forever.
As The Atlantic reports, that’s when former employees of Adis International (essentially a Big Pharma P.R. company) shocked the medical world by announcing they had been hired to ghost-write the studies for Roche.
It gets even better: These researchers were told what to write by Roche!
As one of these ghostwriters told the British Medical Journal:
“The Tamiflu accounts had a list of key messages that you had to get in. It was run by the [Roche] marketing department and you were answerable to them. In the introduction …I had to say what a big problem influenza is. I’d also have to come to the conclusion that Tamiflu was the answer.”
In other words, the Roche marketing department ran the science and told researchers what conclusions to draw from the clinical trials. Researchers hired to conduct the science were controlled by the marketing puppeteers. No matter what they found in the science, they had already been directed to reach to conclusion that “Tamiflu was the answer.”