What are false research findings?

Leave it to the Brits to stir the pot and call out the no-gooders.

The British Journal of Medicine (BJM) in 2013 initiated a challenge. The Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trails (RAIT) initiative asked for researchers to review and reexamine past drug studies. A reason to do this was to determine if those studies truly reflected proper results or simply presented information in a way to benefit other interests. In other words, were there false research findings in sheep’s clothing?

Bold challenge for sure, and it seems that some researchers took it seriously.

This last week we saw that one of the new studies to come out of the challenge resulted in a report that shows that the practice of prescribing paroxetine (Paxil) for teenagers with depression was based on misleading information from a 2001 drug trail. It appears that despite clear side effects of suicidal ideation, and the fact the drug was not very effective for depression, the 2001 study recommended the use of the drug for 18 to 24 year olds. This of course is not what you want to hear from a drug trial.

According to Dr. Jon Jureidini of the University of Adelaide in Australia, he and the team that did the re-review found that additional clinical points were added to the original analysis so that the results could be presented more positively. These points diluted the negative results found in the core study. By doing this, then the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline can promote the product regardless of effectiveness. Apparently this is something that occurs more often than you might think, and is a reason why BJM made the challenge.

Luckily clinicians saw these negative effects in patients and now the drug is not generally prescribed to that age group for depression. One hopes that for those kids who did receive the drug, the issue was caught before anything bad occurred. If not, GlaxoSmithKline can add even more to the three billion dollar settlement they paid in 2012 for other issues connected to their products.

For the full article on this just click HERE. To see the challenge from BJM click HERE.

We are interested to see what this challenge continues to unearth and reveal about various studies. It is not uncommon for data from a research study to be taken as immovable fact. While at times it may be so, we know that data can be shaped and manipulated. We will keep an eye out on other re-evaluations from the BJM. We trust they will discover more.

Until they do, remember that some of the best choices for your wellness come from making changes in your diet and lifestyle. We see people reverse serious illness all the time by making these types of choices. It takes some work, and a willingness to be curious about things like product ingredients and such. However, the reward for this curiosity can be lifelong wellness and knowledge.

We think that’s great.

To Your Health.

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