Anorexia Newvosa

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  • 10/05/2005

Is “The Day” (the daily newspaper of New London, CT) on your morning “must read” list? Well if it’s not, you missed the report that Pfizer has a new public Web site with information from hundreds of clinical trials. According to the story, Pfizer now has data posted on the site from 314 studies for its drugs that subsequently reached the market. Beyond “The Day,” not one Google hit. Why no media interest on the clinical trials database of the world’s largest pharmaceutical company? There was certainly an ocean of ink spilled excoriating Big Pharma over the black cloak of secrecy previously surrounding such data. Sadly, it’s another case of Anorexia Newvosa — a disease evidenced by a media feeding frenzy (aided and abetted by self-serving politicians and special interest groups) over perceived misdeeds, followed by a total lack of interest in how the problem is addressed. There’s a Japanese proverb that is relevant here — “Don’t fix the blame, fix the problem.” Those members of the media and Congress suffering from Anorexia Newvosa, binge on the bad news and then purge themselves of interest in the solution. But this is, fortuantely, a treatable disease and the front-line therapy is intellectual honesty. Unfortunately, this treatment is currently considered off-label for too many elected officials and members of the Fourth Estate.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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