Serious drug side effects greatly underreported in medical papers

Here’s another reason to be skeptical of life-long medications. Sixty-four per cent of drug side effects are left out from published versions of medical trials, a new study finds. This includes serious side effects, like suicide attempts.

Most of these studies are funded by pharmaceutical companies looking to sell the drug that is being studied. So it’s not very surprising that nasty side effects are underreported, or that the positive effects of drugs are inflated.

And what’s the problem with this? Medical professionals base their decisions on published data from trials when giving patients medicines. If side effects are left out, then physicians are not basing these decisions on the whole picture.

How can we stop this? By making pharmaceutical companies present full data on side effects to medical professionals. Until this is regulated, unfortunately, drugs will keep being overprescribed.


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  1. Alan
    Thank you for raising awareness of the pseudo-science or marketing-department-science of pharmaceuticals. It seems insane that the ~3rd leading cause of death is from prescription medicine, much of if taken as prescribed. Many millions of people suffer permanent damage from medications. How many millions of people suffer from obesity inducing side effects of prescription meds? Statins, SSRIs, and antibiotics, the three most prescribed classes of medications, I think, all can cause diabetes! How many diabetics were created by big pharma?

    Read this book to better understand the myriad ways that Pharma is corrupting science for blood money:

  2. gbl
    Several years ago there were several physician and academic health sites looking at pharma and unreported side effects: they are shadows now, but this is old news this PLoS study, and bad news in that it still needs to be done, with the near past already forgotten.

    A few still available.

    Healthy Skepticism in Australia
    Business Week: Do Cholesterol Drugs do any good?
    Therapeutics Initiative:
    Pharmalot (Ed Silverstein was silenced he was too powerful)
    Selling Sickness: Alan Cassels
    Overtreated: Shannon Brownlee
    Petition to sign:
    Bitter Pill
    Statin Effects Study ($5 million dollar NIH funded study into Statin harms)
    Evidence for Caution: women and statins
    No Free Lunch:

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