James Johnson, Chair of the BMA until 2007, is up in front of the GMC this month. He is….
alleged to have conducted operations that were not justified, shouted at a patient during a procedure and behaved like “a caricature of surgical arrogance”. A General Medical Council (GMC) fitness to practise panel was told that Johnson, who was chairman of the British Medical Association until 2007, also criticised the “incompetence” of colleagues in the operating theatre, did not warn patients about the risks of certain procedures and failed to provide proper care. Johnson is facing a series of serious disciplinary charges, relating to his conduct in regard to 14 patients on whom he operated between June 2006 and January 2008.
In this same week, Dr Geoffrey Hackett, a consultant urologist, says….
More than half the Viagra prescribed to men is not working….
So, that’s an “evidence based”, “proven” medicine, not doing what it says on the tin for more than half the people who take it (same as is the case for most of the drugs doctors prescribe)
Meanwhile, we hear that ghostwriters are writing “research” papers to promote drug companies’ products.
- Dozens of ghostwritten reviews and commentaries published in medical journals and supplements were used to promote unproven benefits and downplay harms of menopausal hormone therapy (HT), and to cast raloxifene and other competing therapies in a negative light.
- Specifically, the pharmaceutical company Wyeth used ghostwritten articles to mitigate the perceived risks of breast cancer associated with HT, to defend the unsupported cardiovascular “benefits” of HT, and to promote off-label, unproven uses of HT such as the prevention of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, vision problems, and wrinkles.
to settle civil and criminal allegations that it had illegally marketed its painkiller Bextra, which has been withdrawn.
…this, the fourth settlement they’ve reached in such cases since 2002. Does it bother them? Obviously not, after all
the $2.3 billion fine amounts to less than three weeks of Pfizer’s sales
Pfizer isn’t alone in this kind of behaviour, as the NY Times points out….
Almost every major drug maker has been accused in recent years of giving kickbacks to doctors or shortchanging federal programs. Prosecutors said that they had become so alarmed by the growing criminality in the industry that they had begun increasing fines into the billions of dollars and would more vigorously prosecute doctors as well.
So, what do you think? Who’s got the big problems to sort out here?
We’re being conned by the dominant biotechnical model of medical practice which vigorously tries to denigrate and suppress any health care, traditional, alternative or complementary, which falls outwith the bounds of their own domain.
We need a better model of health care, one which focuses on the individual, which prioritises actually caring about patients, and which doesn’t promote a pill for every ill philosophy.
The American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine principles would be a good starting point.