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Firstly, beta-blockers aren't statins.
They are two very different drugs given for very different reasons.
Secondly, Polderman wasn't employed nor sponsored by pharma.
So if anything, blame the doctors for prescribing these in error as a result of bad research rather than the drugs themselves.
Statins and beta-blockers are often prescribed together. I linked to the article assuming this was pretty common knowledge and thought it might provoke some to question whether this was known about for some time and that efforts were being made to get ahead of the problem.
Beta-Blockers, Statins: A One-Two Combination
Beta-blockers are among the most commonly used drugs for controlling high blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart. They slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease the amount of work the heart must do. By lowering the heart's oxygen needs, beta-blockers may help prevent or relieve poor blood flow.
. . .
Statins are the most frequently prescribed type of cholesterol-lowering drugs. They block a key liver enzyme involved in cholesterol production. This helps restrict the amount of cholesterol that can be deposited into the blood. It also increases the amount of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol that can be removed from the blood. Studies have shown that people who use statins have a reduced risk for heart attack, stroke, chest pain, and death from a heart-related condition.
Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients is a book by British physician and academic Ben Goldacre about the pharmaceutical industry, its relationship with the medical profession, and the extent to which it controls academic research into its own products. The book was published in September 2012 in the UK by the Fourth Estate imprint of HarperCollins, and in February 2013 in the United States by Faber and Faber.
Goldacre argues in the book that "the whole edifice of medicine is broken," because the evidence on which it is based is systematically distorted by the pharmaceutical industry. He writes that the industry finances most of the clinical trials into its own products, that it routinely withholds negative data, that trials are often conducted on small groups of unrepresentative subjects, that it funds much of doctors' continuing education, and that apparently independent academic papers may be planned and even ghostwritten by pharmaceutical companies or their contractors, without disclosure. Goldacre calls the situation a "murderous disaster," and makes suggestions for action by patients' groups, physicians, academics and the industry itself.
If you DO have a pre-existing, life-threatening condition, beta blockers appear to be helpful when you go into surgery. But if you DON'T, they appear to harm or even kill you. o, it’s important to realize that various studies address two very different scenarios:
People already taking beta blockers for serious heart conditions
People who are given beta blockers prior to surgery, even though their risk is negligible
One study9 opposing perioperative use of beta blockers showed that people who had the highest risk of dying from beta blockers were NOT the ones with the highest cardiac risk, meaning: Beta blockers may have helped those with the most serious conditions, while harming those with little or no prior heart risks.10
The first indication that beta blockers should not be routinely given prior to non-cardiac surgery due to the increased risk of death came out in 2008,11 but it appears that even though cardiology guidelines were eventually changed in both the UK and the US to reflect this concern, physicians continued to prescribe the perioperative use of beta blockers anyway.
Now, the reason for the controversy is that Poldermans has been called out for corrupt research practices; thus, now researchers are speculating that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by the mass use of beta blockers before surgery.
A brief introduction (by Goldacre) touching on subjects covered by subsequent chapters. It bemoans the widespread lack of understanding of evidence-based science.
Chapter 1: Matter
Detoxification methods (the Aqua Detox, ear candles etc.) that can easily be shown to be bogus by simple experiments. Discusses the "detox phenomenon." Touches on purification rituals.
Chapter 2: Brain Gym
The claims for Brain Gym, a programme of specific physical exercises that its commercial promoters claim can create new pathways in the brain. The uncritical adoption of this programme by sections of the British school system is derided.
Chapter 3: The Progenium XY Complex
On cosmetics, and the misleading and pseudoscientific claims by their manufacturers.
Chapter 4: Homeopathy
Homeopathy is used to prompt a discussion of the nature of scientific evidence, with reference to the placebo effect, regression to the mean, and the importance of blind testing and randomisation in the design of fair clinical trials. Having concluded that homeopathic pills have been shown to work no better than placebo pills, the author suggests homeopathy may still have psychological benefits which could be the subject of further study.
Chapter 5: The Placebo Effect
Examples of the power of the mind over pain, anxiety and depression are presented with studies showing how higher prices, fancy packaging, theatrical procedures and a confident attitude in the doctor all contribute to the relief of symptoms. In patients with no specific diagnosed condition, even a fake diagnosis and prognosis with no other treatment helps recovery, but ethical and time constraints usually prevent doctors from giving this reassurance. Exploiting the placebo effect is presented as possibly justifiable if used in conjunction with effective conventional treatments. The author links its use by alternative medicine practitioners with the diversion of patients away from effective treatments and the undermining of public health campaigns on AIDS and malaria.
Chapter 6: The Nonsense du Jour
Nutritionists are accused of misusing science and mystifying diet to bamboozle the public. Misrepresentations of the results of legitimate scientific research to lend bogus authority to nutritionist theories, while ignoring alternative explanations are cited in evidence. The use of weak circumstantial associations between diet and health found in observational studies as if they proved nutritionist claims is criticised. The unjustified over-interpretation of surrogate outcomes in animal (or tissue culture) experiments as proving human health benefits is explored. The cherry picking of published research to support a favoured view is contrasted with the systematic review designed to minimise such bias. The supposed benefits of antioxidants are questioned with studies showing they may be ineffective or even harmful in some cases. The methods used by the food supplement industry to manufacture doubt about any critical scientific reports are likened to those previously used by the tobacco and asbestos industries.
Chapter 7: Dr Gillian McKeith PhD
The Scottish TV diet guru and self-styled "doctor" Gillian McKeith and her scientific claims are dissected. Statements exemplifying her scientific knowledge include that the consumption of dark-leaved vegetables like spinach "will really oxygenate your blood" as they are high in chlorophyll, and that "each sprouting seed is packed with the nutritional energy needed to create a fully-grown, healthy plant". She is described masquerading as a genuine medical doctor on her TV reality/health shows. Her publications are compared with a Melanesian cargo cult; superficially correct but lacking any scientific substance. Her belief in the special nutritional value of plant enzymes (which are broken down in the gut like any other proteins) is ridiculed. The general problems involved in establishing any firm links between diet and health are examined.
Chapter 8: 'Pill Solves Complex Social Problem'
The claim that fish oil capsules make children smarter is examined. The book probes the methodological weaknesses of the widely publicised "Durham trial" where the pills were given to children to improve their school performance and behaviour, but without any control groups and wide open to a range of confounding factors. The failure to publish any results and backtracking on earlier claims by the education authorities is slated. The media's preference for simple science stories and role in promoting dubious health products is highlighted. Parallels are drawn between the Equazen company behind the Durham fish oil trials and the Efamol company's promotion of evening primrose oil.
Chapter 9: Professor Patrick Holford
The influence of the best-selling author, media commentator, businessman and founder of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (which has trained most of the UK's "nutrition therapists") is acknowledged. Holford's success in presenting nutritionism as a scientific discipline in the media, and forging links with some British universities is also noted. The book judges that his success is based on misinterpreting and cherry-picking favourable results from the medical literature, in order to market his vitamin pills. His promotion of vitamin C in preference to AZT as a treatment for AIDS, vitamin E to prevent heart attacks, and vitamin A to treat autism are all condemned as lacking in sound evidential support. His reliance on the work of discredited fellow nutritionist Dr. R.K. Chandra is likewise slated. The Universities of Luton and Teesside are criticised for their past associations with Holford and the ION.
Chapter 10: Is Mainstream Medicine Evil?
The book remarks on the relatively low percentage of conventional medical activity (50 to 80%) which could be called "evidence-based". The efforts of the medical profession to weed out bad treatments are seen to be hampered by the withholding or distortion of evidence by drug companies. The science and economics of drug development are outlined, with criticism of the lack of independence of industrial research and the neglect of Third World diseases. Some underhand tricks used by drug companies to engineer positive trial results for their products are explored. The publication bias produced by researchers not publishing negative results is illustrated with funnel plots. Examples are made of the SSRI antidepressants and Vioxx drugs. Reform of trials registers to prevent abuses is proposed. The ethics of drug advertising and manipulation of patient advocacy groups are questioned.
Chapter 11: How the Media Promote the Public Misunderstanding of Science
The misrepresentation of science and scientists in the media is attributed to the preponderance of humanities graduates in journalism. The dumbing-down of science to produce easily assimilated wacky, breakthrough or scare stories is criticised. Wacky "formula stories" like those for "the perfect boiled egg" or "most depressing day of the year" are revealed to be the product of PR companies using biddable academics to add weight to their marketing campaigns. Among other examples, the speculation by Dr. Oliver Curry (a political theorist at the LSE) that the human race will evolve into two separate races, presented as a science story across the British media, is exposed as a PR stunt for a men's TV channel. The relative scarcity of sensational medical breakthroughs since a golden age of discovery between 1935 and 1975, is seen as motivating the production of dumbed-down stories which trumpet unpublished research and ill-founded speculation. An inability to evaluate the soundness of scientific evidence is seen to give undeserved prominence to marginal figures with fringe views.
Chapter 12: Why Clever People Believe Stupid Things
This chapter is a brief introduction to the research on cognitive biases, which, Goldacre argues, explain some of the appeal of alternative medicine ideas. Biases mentioned include confirmation bias, the availability heuristic, illusory superiority and the clustering illusion (the misperception of random data). It also discusses Solomon Asch's classic study of social conformity.
Chapter 13: Bad Stats
This chapter covers the cases of Sally Clark and Lucia de Berk, in which the author says poor understanding and presentation of statistics played an important part in their criminal trials.
Chapter 14: Health Scares
In this chapter, the author claims that the press selectively used a "laboratory" that gave positive MRSA results where other pathology labs found none. Creating an "expert" from Chris Malyszewicz who worked from a garden shed.
Goldacre notes how the Daily Mirror once managed to combine "three all-time classic bogus science stories" into one editorial: the Arpad Pusztai affair of GM crops, Andrew Wakefield and the MMR vaccine controversy and Chris Malyszewicz and the MRSA hoax. On the other hand journalists were very poor in uncovering or reporting on the thalidomide tragedy - only covering well the ultimate political issue of compensation.
Chapter 15: The Media's MMR Hoax
Andrew Wakefield and the MMR vaccine controversy. continues to discuss the lab results in previous chapter and discusses the MRSA mix up in hospitals wrong patients get wrong results.
reply to post by GetHyped
I never cherry picked information in this case... I just pointed it out because the "ProMed" brigade like to pretend that the pharmaceutical industry isn't as powerful as the "AltMed" crowd says that it is.. If you want to get down to it really, all beliefs on either side are cherry picked. Promed, only accepts evidence that they deem is appropriate (despite testimonials to the efficacy of some Altmed practices) and goes on discrediting binges to silence the Altmed advocates; no matter what kind of treatment they may be promoting. Altmed, discredits the Promeds based on the fact that their 'science' is backed by corporate greed, and endless amounts of cherry picked trials, misinformation, and lies in order to make money off of their 'science'. It's the same situation in either direction. Promed doesn't like Altmed because they are considered on the 'fringe' and a threat to the money of Big Pharma, and Altmed doesn't like Promed because of their attitude for one, but also the fact that they are backed by corporate greed as I mentioned above; their standpoint is incredibly biased.
Altmed exists for the people. They seek to promote natural and readily available cures for ailments and disease, while additionally promoting healthy lifestyle choices such as proper dieting, exercise, and knowledge of what they actually put into their body. I would like to point out something about the crusade in the book against detoxing as well.. Detoxification of ones body is essential for any continued healthy lifestyle, because it is via these harmful toxins (food additives) in our current SAD of America, that we get these chronic diseases and illnesses in our later years after being subjected to them for 30+ years. For instance, most of these toxins are stored inside fat cells, like THC for example. When you exercise, or take supplements like Milk Thistle which promote liver function (fat burning organ of the body), you are helping to flush these toxins out of your system by breaking down the fat to release the toxins into the bloodstream. After the fat has been broken down, and the toxins released into the bloodstream, then the kidneys may filter the blood, and remove the toxins via the urine. That is science; not some pipedreams and snake oil from charlatans...
Promed exists for the financial benefit of the pharmaceutical industry.. It is antithetical to their purpose to create products which actually heal and treat patients, rather than giving treatment or relief to their symptoms.. They make billions on the suffering and illness of sick patients; no sick people = no money = no job = no nice car = no unsightly mansion, and so forth. I think you get the idea. Promed is not about making people better, but about making these companies profit; the very opposite of Altmed.. And please do not throw some charlatans at me as proof that they want money. Personally, I am Altmed, but whenever I have helped treat or cure somebody's condition I did it out of my own pocket or told them specifically what to get to alleviate the condition.. What an abomination huh? Using my own money to treat sick people instead of exchanging one pain for another or allowing them to find what they needed on their own, and creating nothing of profit for myself.. How... selfless..
Big Pharma Profits Over 700B In 10 Years
Toxins Stored In White Adipose Tissue & Cells (Citations are at the bottom as well)
How Liver Detoxifies The Body (Cornell Edu)
Why Liver Is Important
edit on 1-2-2014 by VeritasAequitas because: (no reason given)
reply to post by Pardon?
Why is it worthless, because I'm just somebody on the internet, and you have no proof that it's true? The only reason you should have to doubt me is if you believe I would purposely deceive and lie to people, which ultimately boils down to an erroneous lack of trust... I see now... Alternative medicine doesn't make 50 billion for just any single one company though; Big Pharma is multiple corporations but who are ultimately of the same family.
I would also like to point out that the entire article in the OP is nothing more than anecdotal evidence, and is NOT a scientific study. As such, it should be taken with a grain of salt.
And you need to take your conspiracy hat off if you think all pharma is owned by the same family.
reply to post by Pardon?
And you need to take your conspiracy hat off if you think all pharma is owned by the same family.
And you need to not take everything so literally. That's not what I was insinuating.. The 'family' was more like an analogy for a group of aligned pharmaceutical corporations.. Not corporations all owned by the same family..