In October 2013, cardiologist and professor of evidence-based medicine Dr. Aseem Malhotra published an editorial in the BMJ entitled “Saturated Fat Is Not the Major Issue.” There, he contradicted popular wisdom about saturated fat consumption contributing to heart disease and claimed the medical establishment’s focus on lowering cholesterol to improve heart health had led to the overprescription of statin drugs with negative side effects. Though the scientific evidence was on his side, many in the scientific and medical communities were not. Here he describes the history and inner workings of the ongoing conflict and the lessons to be gleaned from it.Read More The Great Statin Scam – Time to Clean up the Mess
CrossFit Health is an investigation into the ills of modern medicine and the wilful abuse of the public’s trust in science. The lessons learned from the legal dismantling of fake science, a crooked journal, and perjuring scientists have given us a forensic view as to how everything might have gone so wrong. We’re calling the combination of runaway medical costs and disease rates — which many profit from but none combat effectively — “The Mess.”
“Two drug companies have argued that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) should stop making public any information on clinical trials that businesses consider commercially confidential. These cases, taken by Merck and by PTC Therapeutics, are now waiting on a final judgment from the European Court of Justice. Yannis Natsis, patient representative on the EMA board, said that the EU was at the forefront of clinical trial data transparency worldwide but that this position was threatened by the pending judgment. He said, ‘This will mean that data secrecy will over-ride the public interest of disclosure which is now the default option. It will be a major blow to patient safety, scientific progress, and society at large. Pharmaceutical companies—one of the most secretive business sectors—have long fought against clinical trial transparency, harming patients. The public interest needs to prevail over narrow commercial interests.’”Read the articleEuropean drug regulator fears return to days of data secrecy
The Effect of Statins on Average Survival in Randomised Trials, An Analysis of End Point Postponement
The benefit of preventive drugs such as statins is often quantified as the “number needed to treat,” or NNT, which reflects the number of subjects who would need to be given a drug for one negative clinical event to be prevented. For example, if the NNT for a statin preventing cardiovascular death is 40, it suggests that for every 40 patients given a statin, one cardiovascular death will be prevented. This number, however, distorts the likely reality of the benefit distribution by suggesting a single subject receives the entire benefit while other subjects receive no benefit. This 2014 review aimed to quantify the clinical impact of statins differently, assessing the mean extension of life due to statin treatment. The analysis found the median benefit associated with statin use was 3.2 days in primary prevention and 4.1 days in secondary prevention. In other words, statins extended life expectancy by less than a week. Separate research suggests if the benefits of statins were explained this way, the majority of subjects would not choose to take them.Read MoreThe Effect of Statins on Average Survival in Randomised Trials, An Analysis of End Point Postponement
In September 2019, "The Chair of the British Parliament Science and Technology Committee, Sir Norman Lamb MP made calls for a full investigation into cholesterol lowering statin drugs. It was instigated after a letter was written to him signed by a number of eminent international doctors including the editor of the BMJ, the Past President of the Royal College of Physicians and the Director of the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine in Brazil wrote a letter calling for a full parliamentary inquiry into the controversial medication. Here, lead author Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra makes the case for [why] there’s an urgent need for such an investigation."Read the articleDo statins really work? Who benefits? Who has the power to cover up the side effects?
Maryanne Demasi, an investigative journalist with a Ph.D. in rheumatology, shares highlights from her interview with Danish physician Uffe Ravnskov. Ravnskov, a famed cholesterol skeptic, has gained worldwide significance for his persistent fight against the demonization of cholesterol. Though he once believed additional research would “out the absurdity of a narrative that cast saturated fats and cholesterol as dietary villains,” he has since become an active crusader against misinformation and the corruption of science, publishing more than a hundred articles in well-known scientific journals in an effort to set the record straight on cholesterol.Read MoreIn Conversation with Uffe Ravnskov
Dr. Jason Fung has grown wary of scientific research that purports to be “evidence based.” A well-known nephrologist and author, Fung often speaks about Type-2 diabetes reversal and the metabolic effects of intermittent fasting, but in this presentation from Dec. 15, 2018, he turns his focus toward the many ways the foundations of evidence-based medicine have become corrupted by financial conflicts of interest. Those corruptions include Big Pharma's habit of buying practicing physicians with gifts, influencing scientific publications by paying off their editors, and skewing the medical research through tactics such as selective publication and changing the trial endpoints — all of which may lead to the unnecessary or even dangerous overprescription of drugs.WatchDr. Jason Fung: Financial Conflicts of Interest and the End of Evidence-Based Medicine
Dr. Maryanne Demasi earned a Ph.D. in rheumatology from the University of Adelaide, but perhaps the most formative experience she had with the medical sciences occurred while she was an investigative journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). During her tenure with the ABC, she produced a two-part series called “Heart of the Matter,” which challenged the role of cholesterol in heart disease and addressed the overprescription of statin drugs. The fallout from the series was not swift, but it was decisive. In this presentation, delivered on June 8, 2019, at a CrossFit Health event at CrossFit Headquarters, Demasi shares her personal experiences and the challenges she faced while trying to relay the limitations of statin data to the public.Watch Dr. Maryanne Demasi: My Experience of Exposing the Statin Con
Dr. Maryanne Demasi lists several examples that indicate people have steadily been losing confidence in the medical sciences and professions since the 1980s. She also presents a few factors she believes have contributed to the trend. For instance, President Ronald Reagan’s defunding of the NIH and private industry's subsequent infiltration of the medical sciences have led to a litany of corrupt practices that have exacerbated the problem and put lives at risk, she explains.Read MoreIn science we trust — or do we?
Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche discusses the first of the 10 myths of psychiatry that he outlines in his article “Psychiatry Gone Astray”: the myth that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance and can be fixed with drugs. Gøtzsche argues there is no evidence to support the myth and says psychiatric disorders should be treated with psychotherapy rather than medications. “Antipsychotics have no specific effects at all on psychosis,” he explains.Read MoreThe Harmful Myth About the Chemical Imbalance Causing Psychiatric Disorders
“Most people let their doctor make the decisions for them, but the evidence tells us that we should be cautious,” Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche explains. Gøtzsche, a specialist in internal medicine, also recommends avoiding medications whenever possible. “We live in a world that is so overdiagnosed and overtreated that in high-income countries, our medications are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer,” he observes.Read More”Trust me, I’m a doctor”
Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche of the Institute of Scientific Freedom addresses the flawed research surrounding the use of depression pills, the questionable benefits and robust negative side effects associated with them, and the frequency with which they are nonetheless prescribed to patients.Read MoreThe Depression Pill Epidemic
John Ioannidis reviews the literature on the use of antidepressants and finds that it generally lacks evidentiary support except with regard to the use specifically by adults with major depression.Read MoreJohn Ioannidis on the effectiveness of antidepressants
"From 1997 through 2016, medical marketing expanded substantially, and spending increased from $17.7 to $29.9 billion, with direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs and health services accounting for the most rapid growth, and pharmaceutical marketing to health professionals accounting for most promotional spending."Read the article Medical Marketing in the United States, 1997-2016
In this 2012 review, Jack W. Scannell, Alex Blanckley, Helen Boldon, and Brian Warrington discuss “Eroom’s Law,” which focuses on the drug market instead of technology and is the opposite of Moore’s Law in name and concept: The cost of developing a new drug doubles approximately every nine years, indicating that the number of drugs approved per billion dollars spent has fallen 80-fold since 1950. The authors review four major factors for this phenomenon.Read MoreEroom's Law