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It also occurs to me that Merck was well aware of the dangerous nature of Vioxx years before they ultimately decided to pull it off the market, and it appears the company was engaged in a consistent, conscious effort to discredit negative information about the drug.
Telling clever stories with misleading ads
Well, first, let's explore direct-to-consumer advertising, namely the television commercial. Through a series of maneuvers including a new rating system for medical schools aimed at eliminating homeopathic colleges, the practice of homeopathy had nearly disappeared as a force in American medicine by 1930. Drug reps fill doctors' cabinets with "free" samples, knowing that if patients do well on them, they won't want to switch.
On The Take by Jerome P Kassirer M.
Drug researchers know if they don't produce positive results, they are very likely to find themselves out of work.3 in 1992 to 10.
Attaining Medical Self Efficiency An Informed Citizens Guide by Duncan Long, page 183
In contrast, most physicians are unaware of the considerable risks and limited benefits of commonly used prescription cholesterol-lowering agents. Until changes are made, both physicians and patients will be harmed by prescribing decisions based on all-too-frequently generalized and misleading information from advertisements.
" The answer is there's a pattern here -- a pattern of suppression of negative results.
The pharmaceutical industry has been its own worst enemy in all of this.
You either play the game as a drug researcher and produce the results your employer wants, or you start looking for a new job. As a result, niacin does not enjoy the intensive advertising that the HMG CoA reductase inhibitors and gemfibrozil enjoy. So with those disclaimers you know everything is okay.
John Abramson's book Overdosed America. Yet, according to a study conducted at the University of California and published in The Wall Street Journal, 60% of the pharmaceutical ads from medical journals violated FDA guidelines. But in the mid-1990s, the FDA liberalized the requirements pharmaceutical companies have to meet.
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But common sense has not prevailed: the industry pressured the FDA to legalize direct-to-consumer advertising in 1998, and since that time drug ads have polluted the airways and the world of print publications, and prescriptions for those advertised drugs have risen considerably as a direct result of the advertising.
The drug companies know this: Advertising works. Why.
Aids A Second Opinion by Gary Null PhD with James Feast, page 200
Back in the World War II era, it was the same for tobacco. The federal government's war against quackery was supported by the pharmaceutical companies and the AMA. Gary Null.
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that their (pseudo) therapeutic value borders on the criminal. Over the next 11 years, this increased more than 50-fold to over $3 billion in 2003. Natural herbs and foods as well as medications that can no longer be patented won't be "pushed" in advertising because there's no real money to be made on them."
Overdose by Jay S Cohen, page 162
The medication marketplace is a very competitive world.D.
Today this position on Big Pharma, and the corruption of the FDA, and the suppression of scientific evidence, is quite widely recognized as the way things really operate in the world of medicine.4 in 2000. Makers of the new arthritis drug Vioxx spent $160 million pushing it to consumers in 2000, more advertising dollars than were dropped on Pepsi Cola, Budweiser beer, Nike shoes, or Campbell's soups." The smoking industry is too vast and the number of smokers wishing to quit too lucrative for smoking to be overlooked as a medical problem. With approximately 600,000 physicians in active practice this amounts to more than $30,000 spent on each physician.
Prozac Backlash by Joseph Glenmullen MD, page 232
For years the pharmaceutical industry was allowed to market its drugs only to doctors.
A cute, animated ball bounces around very sadly until he takes a magic potion; suddenly, it becomes happier than ever.