Last week the unholy trinity of BIG Government, BIG Pharma and BIG Media celebrated results with the drug Celebrex made by Pfizer. Pfizer is the largest pharmaceutical company in the world.
Last month the same unholy trinity as above noted that dietary ‘supplements’ were ineffective against arthritis pain while crowing about the effectiveness of the drug Celebrex against arthritis pain.
The lengthy ‘news’ story about the study by AP (Associated Press or Associated Propaganda?) noted in the headline that “supplements fail to ease arthritis pain”. This study was again only a short term study. Both the headline and the opening line addressed supplements in general though the study addressed only two specific supplements. Even those two were addressed deceptively.
Figures don’t lie but liars can figure
The lengthy AP article noted at its beginning that government (Pfederal?) researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate “were no better than dummy pills at pain relief”.
The article continued at great length against effectiveness of supplements for arthritis pain.
Finally nearing the end of the article for those who stuck with it that long it was noted that 60 per cent of those “who took the dummy medication had reduced pain”.
Reduced pain was found by “64 per cent who took glucosamine, 65 per cent who took chondroitin and 67 per cent” who took both glucosamine and chondroitin.
When I went to school 64, 65 and 67 were all numbers that exceeded 60. Yet w-a-a-a-y back at the beginning of the article it was reported that the supplements “were no better than dummy pills at pain relief” though the numbers tell a different story.
The AP article then noted of the obviously increased differences that they “were so small that they could have occurred by chance alone” in a blatant attempt to cover AP’s naked behind near the end of its story.
Yet the very next line of the article heralded that “Celebrex did reduce pain” noting this as “affirming the study’s validity”. It was noted of the Pfizer made drug celebrated by AP and Pfederal researchers that “70 per cent reported improvement”.
So 64, 65, and 67 per cent improvement with supplements is “so small that they could have occurred by chance alone” with 4, 5 and 7 points more than dummy pills but 70 per cent with the Pfizer drug Celebrex is celebrated though only an even smaller, paltry 3 points more than the 67 per cent that was rejected as ineffective?
Furthermore, the article then concluded with other figures noting that the two dietary supplements together were 79 per cent effective against pain in more severe cases while the drug Celebrex was only 69 per cent effective in more severe cases. Yet the entire focus of the study and article was that supplements don’t work and drugs do.
The lead study author and another author who wrote an editorial accompanying the study’s publication in the New England Journal of Medicine have received consultancy and grant funds from Pfizer
The study above was specifically with arthritis of the knees. Only a few months ago a much longer, 15-year study with almost 1,000 participants reported that only one-tenth of one part per million of selenium in the body significantly decreased risk of knee arthritis. It further noted that the more selenium present the greater the decreased risk of knee arthritis.
This study and story was not reported by AP or any other mainstream news agencies. Yet its results came from press releases by both the American College of Rheumatology from its annual meetings and from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Involvement with this research also came from NIH, CDC, the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Maryland.
Once again the mineral nutrient selenium is ignored while the Pfizer drug Celebrex is widely heralded though the promise of the mineral nutrient selenium is much greater than that of the Pfizer drug Celebrex.
The Pfeds and Pfizer again
Last summer a United States Supreme Court ruling determined that government can take the homes of individuals that have lived there for many years to give to a private, corporate entity in a widely criticized decision. Not so widely reported was that the specific case involved taking of many peoples’ homes to give to Pfizer for warehouse space.
Lest you think that changes at the United States Supreme Court may improve upon matters such as this then note that new Chief Justice John Roberts is a multi-millionaire with extensive pharmaceutical holdings including a plentiful portfolio of Pfizer stock.
Opening day of the new United States Supreme Court season revealed Chief Justice Roberts as critical of authority of the states in medical matters in his opening act according to an AP story. The article noted Roberts “as an aggressive defender of federal authority” regarding medicine and health care.
Perhaps AP should have written of United States Supreme Court Justice John Roberts rather “as an aggressive defender of Pfederal authority.”
By NotADoc at 04/12/2006