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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 14874

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: news

Drug Researcher Agrees to Curb Role
The Wall Street Journal 2008 Dec 30
http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB123068708012744467-lMyQjAxMDI4MzMwMTYzODE3Wj.html


Abstract:

Joseph Biederman, a top researcher on the use of psychiatric drugs in children, agreed to stop participating in several industry-funded drug trials and curb other activities pending the outcome of a Boston hospital’s inquiry into his potential conflicts of interest and disclosure obligations.

The deal, announced Tuesday by Massachusetts General Hospital, where Dr. Biederman conducts research, followed several allegations related to his relationships with drug companies. Dr. Biederman has been a prominent backer of childhood use of Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal, a top-selling antipsychotic drug.

 

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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909