Monday, September 21
Finally, a serious challenge to status quo in medical/drug research
Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of The BMJ, said this week that the reanalysis [of the Paxil study] highlights “the extent to which drug regulation is failing us” and called for new legislation that would ensure that the results of all clinical trials are made fully available and that individual patient data is released for independent review.
The dearth of peer reviewed studies on marijuana's effects and the badly flawed research on the anti-depressant drug Paxil are more evidence of systemic failings in the entire drug/medical research paradigm. Two new findings may be changing things.
September 16, Reuters: Marijuana use tied to higher blood sugar in middle age:
Marijuana use may increase the risk of high blood sugar during middle age, suggests a new study that contradicts earlier reports.
What little research exists on the topic has found that pot smokers tend to be at lower than average risk of diabetes, so the finding that they may have elevated, so-called pre-diabetic blood sugar levels comes as a surprise, the study authors say.
The fact that the new results do not fully agree with past research suggests additional studies are needed, said [Mike Bancks, of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis].
"Our results do not align with the previous research on this topic and this point strongly suggests more research is needed on the metabolic health effects of marijuana use," he said.September 17, The Washington Post: New analysis shows suicide link for teens on Paxil. ‘Mischief’ in old study claiming drug is safe:
"The original paper, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and known as Study 329, purportedly showed that the drug is safe and effective in adolescents with depression. The study has been revealed to have been largely ghostwritten by a consultant on the drug maker’s payroll ... [...]The team conducting the reanalysis ... went back to the raw data and came to starkly different conclusions than the first paper. They found that the effect of the drug was no different than a placebo and that there was an increase in harms among study participants, the most alarming of which was an increase in suicidal thoughts and behavior."[...]
This is the third time this year that Ariana Eunjung Cha's reports on important health-related issues have caught my attention and impressed me. Interestingly she doesn't have a background in health or medical issues. She previously served as the Washington Post's bureau chief in Shanghai and San Francisco, and as a correspondent in Baghdad. Well, she's doing a great job for the Post with her present journalistic specialty; her report on the Paxil scandal, which I'm featuring in its entirety below, makes a complicated topic crystal clear for the 'general' reader:
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
September 17, 2015
The Washington Post
The Washington Post