Publication Prejudice, Fraud and Deceptive Favoritism
During the past decade, scientific prejudice, bias and outright deceit has been endemic to peer-reviewed scientific literature, especially in the medical and psychiatric fields. Medical journals have been thoroughly hijacked by the pharmaceutical industry as have departments at universities and research institutions that are principally funded by private interests. It is no longer a secret that industry-funded studies inordinately convey positive results. Positive research is published; negative research is suppressed and buried. Consequently the reality of robust and honest medical research is skewed and distorted. Physicians and medical clinics thereby only get a small peek into the actual safety, efficacy and contraindications of the drugs later peddled to them by pharmaceutical sales reps.
In 2009, Harvard’s Dr. Marcia Angell, a former editor for the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine wrote,
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor.”
Later, the editor of The Lancet, Dr. Richard Horton stated,
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.”
A large percentage of published studies and trials have either not been reproduced or failed to be reproduced. For example, in 2012, a scientist and his team at Amgen attempted to reproduce 53 published cancer studies and only succeeded in reproducing six. In another project published in Nature, only 39 of 100 psychology studies could be replicated. Although Horton is optimistic that the proverbial cat is out of the bag and the medical community has been given warning, he despairs that “the bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.”
Doctors at Children’s Hospital Boston undertook the task of reviewing 546 drug trials listed in the government’s Clinical Trials database. They found that industry funded trials showing a positive results were 70 percent more likely to be published than research funded by federal health agencies.