Sunday, 13 May 2012

VIOXX and Merck & the Pharmaceutical Industry

Documentary [a short clip] on how Merck hid the fact that Vioxx was dangerous to the public

This video helps explain HOW it is that raw science does not always drive "knowledge" in the medical profession. That drug treatment knowledge is under the strong influence of large money making corporations.

The lesson is clear. Money buys influence - often targeting those in authoritative positions. Subsequently, medical professionals and the public in general, become convinced by what the authority figures tell them. This situation can be true with ANY important institution in which billions of dollars are at stake.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, May 13th, 2012.]


steven andresen said...


The health care community, at the level of the hospital and its nursing staff, are told that they should be involved in "evidence-based practice." That is, Nursing should only do things to their patients if and only if it has strong evidence to back up the claim that said practice, or drug therapy, presumably, has shown that it is safe and effective.

However, this video calls into question whether nurses can ever follow any such advice because nurses cannot verify that the claims made by doctors and the drug companies about what is safe and effective are really true.

If a doctor says, give the Vioxx, the nurse has no basis for refusing because there is no independent source that could be used to challenge the claims made by the doctors, and behind them the drug companies.

My understanding of the Libertarian position is that it is for limited government, and one thing I believe they think about eliminating, or every having government do anything about, is funding and carrying out independent scientific research that could verify the claims made by drug companies, and medical authorities about the safety and effectiveness of their products. In a Libertarian society, the drug companies would have no challenge.

I find it odd, therefore, that people who are concerned about the care of their children or the inadequacies of the health care system would support Ron Paul, or any other Libertarian. The Libertarian position, seemingly, is to never allow the government to question the claims made by drug companies or the medical community about what they are doing despite the evidence given by this video that they lie, cheat, and steal.

SpookyOne said...


It is my understanding that, at some level, big pharma is protected against litigation thanks to certain government regulations. I am pretty sure that they cannot be sued for damages from vaccinations.

Class action law suits in these areas may force proper testing.

I agree that some level of oversight is a good thing. I would prefer a libertarian Administration keep an independent scientific body to look into such things. There would be nothing against stopping people from organising for such an eventuality if they voted thusly.

I would say that the role of a libertarian government would be to protect the people- and so would require an effective DOJ and perhaps other oversight.

I don't know how things might pan out. I know Paul is not getting rid of government welfare right away (perhaps it'll never happen). Theory and practice (practical experience) are two different things.