By Wendy Burnett
Hypocrisy runs rampant in medicine. Check out this little excerpt from an article about ginger for medicinal use, and pay particular attention to the italicized sentence.
Trials exploring the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of ginger have provided mixed results, with the majority of trials showing a trend toward pain relief greater than placebo but less than traditional anti-inflammatory drugs. Several trials have methodological flaws, including sponsorship by ginger-manufacturing companies. (emphasis mine) Mechanisms of action have been proposed and include inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis. – excerpted from http://www.drugs.com/npp/ginger.html
Now think about who pays for the studies on prescription medications. The FDA? Nope, not even close. The US government? The government does sponsor some studies of prescription drugs, but not even close to all of them. You want to know who funds the vast majority of clinical trials of prescription medications? The companies that make them, that’s who!
So why is it that clinical trials and studies of prescription medications are considered trustworthy, even though they’re paid for by the very companies that have the most to gain from a positive result? If those studies are acceptable, why are studies sponsored by companies that make herbal supplements considered “questionable” simply because they’re also paid for by a company that has a vested interest in the results?
This kind of attitude causes the medical establishment to refuse to consider alternative treatments, even when those treatments have good science behind them, simply because they’re paid for by the people who make money off them. Doesn’t that mean that they should also take a second look at prescription medications when the studies supporting them are paid for by the company that makes them?