Monday, April 23, 2012

"Merck’s Vioxx and the American Death Rate"

"...We find the largest rise in American mortality rates occurred in 1999, the year Vioxx was introduced, while the largest drop occurred in 2004, the year it was withdrawn. Vioxx was almost entirely marketed to the elderly, and these substantial changes in national death-rate were completely concentrated within the 65-plus population. The FDA studies had proven that use of Vioxx led to deaths from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, and these were exactly the factors driving the changes in national mortality rates...."
Seth sums it up:
"...This illustrates how Merck company executives got away with mass murder on a scale that the Khmer Rouge would be proud of. It also illustrates why I find “evidence-based medicine” as currently practiced so awful. Evidence-based medicine tells doctors to be evidence snobs. As I showed in my Boing Boing article about tonsillectomies, it causes them to ignore evidence of harm — such as heart attacks and strokes caused by Vioxx — because the first evidence of harm does not come from randomized controlled studies, the only evidence they accept. It delays the detection of monumental tragedies like this one...."
Doctors don't understand the methods of science, and it's not a good thing.

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