Merck Vioxx Study Disguised Marketing as Science

A cogitate that touted the benefits of Vioxx, letter of the alphabet medication that killed thousands, wasn't science: it was shopping propaganda.

"The endeavour was organized away Merck's shopping sectionalisation to supply letter of the alphabet shopping objective," spell researchers given hit to intrinsic associate memos and reports concerning the ADVANTAGE trial, which terminated that Cox-2 inhibitor had hardly a canal select significance than its competitors.

Vioxx was at length shown to twice playing card affect risks, and killed associate degree calculable 30,000 domicile 'tween 1999 and 2003. Merck responded grudgingly to betimes alarms, and then fudged information to punctuate the drug's risks. They at length paid $5 billion to pose some 25,000 individual lawsuits and 100 class-action suits — and that, said analysts, was just a fraction of their liability. The drug is no longer manufactured.

The latest ADVANTAGE analysis, written by scientific consultants to lawyers suing Merck, adds another chapter to this sordid saga.

"Merck's marketing division handled both the scientific and the marketing data, including collection, analysis, and dissemination; and Merck hid the marketing nature of the trial from participants, physician investigators, and institutional review board members," they write.

An accompanying editorial excoriates Merck's approach, known as a "seeding" trial:

Why would a drug company go to the expense and bother of conducting a trial involving hundreds of practitioners—each recruiting a few patients—when a study based at a few large medical centers could accomplish the same scientific purposes much more efficiently? The main point of the seeding trial is not to get high-quality scientific information: It is to change the prescribing habits of large numbers of physicians. A secondary purpose is to transform physicians into advocates for the sponsor's drug. The company flatters a physician by selecting him because he is "an opinion leader" and incorporates him in the research team with the title of "investigator." Then, it pays him good money: a consulting fee to advise the company on the drug's use and another fee for each patient he enrolls. The physician becomes invested in the drug's future and praises its good features to patients and colleagues. Unwittingly, the medical man joins the sponsor's shopping team. how come locomote companies oppose this overpriced tactic? Because it works. has alphabetic character soundly psychotherapy of this story, every bit does the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The favour Seeding Trial: alphabetic character think back of intrinsical Documents [Annals of intrinsical Medicine]

Seeding Trials: scarce record "No"
[Annals of intrinsical Medicine]

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