Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us | Wired Magazine |

Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us | Wired Magazine |

Once in awhile, the media comes up with a story that speaks to me like very few can.  Wired Magazine did it in their January 2012 issue.  This article details a number of the deadly fiascoes that medicine has recently subjected to the unsuspecting public; however, the most poignant examples are the incidents of death caused by pharmaceutical companies – at least, the most poignant to me.  I’ve long suspected drugs do more harm than good.  Granted, there are some drugs for which the benefits outweigh the risks, and some conditions where people are told by their trusted healthcare providers that if they don’t take drugs, they will die.  Fair enough.  But what I can’t wrap my head around is when pharmaceutical companies are in such a hurry to get their drugs on the market, and charge exorbitant fees for them, that they rush the research in Phase I and II trials to get to Phase III.  Phase III trials are human test subjects.

This article details the path of the cholesterol-controlling drug torcetrapib, which was “designed to tweak the cholesterol pathway,” similar to Lipitor.  The “small clinical trial” conducted by the makers of torcetrapib showed the drug could increase the good cholesterol and decrease the bad.  Then came Act Two…

The Phase III trial was “abruptly terminated” in December 2006 when it was discovered that torcetrapib was causing a 60 PERCENT increase in “overall mortality.”  And then Act Three…

While torcetrapib didn’t work out, that doesn’t mean pharmaceutical companies stop trying.  I quote: “The failure of thhis drug in particular has not ended the development of new cholesterol medications.  THE POTENTIAL MARKET FOR THEM IS SIMPLY TOO HUGE.”  By the way, the quote was shown in all caps in the magazine article, quite appropriately in my opinion.

I will stick to my current habit of not taking any pharmaceutical drugs if at all possible.  Which explains why my allergies are killing me these days.  I’d rather that than die from heart failure, respiratory arrest, or one of the other “rare but serious side effects” caused by prescription allergy medications.



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