The subtitle of Dr. John Abramson's disturbing and empowering book, Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine, is, "How the pharmaceutical companies are corrupting science, misleading doctors, and endangering your health." If Dr. Abramson is correct and you want to have your best chance for great health, you must take a different approach to disease treatment and your relationship to the medical establishment. This is not a pleasant or comfortable thing. Most people won't do it unless they are convinced that it is necessary to avoid a high risk of unnecessary danger, enormous expense, suffering, disability, and perhaps premature death. Let's look at the evidence for this hypothesis so that you will have the necessary information for an informed decision about whether or not Dr. Abramson's hypothesis is correct.
As we begin this investigation that are several principles that it may be helpful to keep in mind.
Principle number one: Figures don't lie but liars figure. Years ago I was making a presentation at a medical meeting with a number of other doctors. One of them was a statistician who said, "I have now reached a level of proficiency with statistics that enables me to take any given data set and prove anything I want to prove from it." I thought that was remarkable at the time but I have never doubted his ability to do what he said. I thought about his statement recently when I read in Dr. Julian Whitaker's newsletter, Health and Healing, that a drug company was claiming that using their anti-cholesterol drug reduced the risk of heart attack by 50%. That sounds very impressive but when the same numbers are crunched a different way they show that taking this anti-cholesterol drug will reduce your risk of having a heart attack from about one chance in 93 to 1 chance in 97. If the statistics done this way are correct, then you're in a position to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to spend several thousand dollars a year and risk potentially serious side effects including muscle weakness, pain and destruction, liver damage, and impaired brain function that looks very similar to Alzheimer's, in order to achieve a slight reduction in the risk of something that is probably not going to happen to you anyway.
Principle number two: William Blake, more than 200 years ago, wrote, "The truth told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent." In my next post for we are will take a look at whether or not Big Pharma is using this one.