"Dr. Doshi’s renown comes not from solving the puzzles of cancer or discovering the next blockbuster drug, but from pushing the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies to open their records to outsiders in an effort to better understand the benefits and potential harms of the drugs that billions of people take every day. Together with a band of far-flung researchers and activists, he is trying to unearth data from clinical trials — complex studies that last for years and often involve thousands of patients across many countries — and make it public."
You see, his renown comes froms digging up old data and proving that Steve Nissen and Andrew Wakefield were right all along!!
"He met Dr. Jefferson, a prominent skeptic of the flu vaccine, after researching whether the Centers for Disease Control was exaggerating the deadliness of the disease.
“We were both lone wolves in the field of influenza,” Dr. Doshi recalled.
Just great. Wakefield redux and the NYT believes that undermining the support for immunization is a important as curing cancer!
Transparency is a tool for people who hate the drug industry to make challenges based on statistical manipulation of data sets... Avandia and Paxil are great drugs for the right people and have saved lives. The second guessing has lead to both medicines being underused while treatments that have even clearer adverse events have been overprescribed. I have seen what researchers have done with the data.. Tamiflu works brilliantly for a subset of patients. The problems it now has is that the viral strains it was designed to block are mutating.
Moreover, what is submitted to the FDA and peer -reviewed publications has nothing to do with financial ties and everything to do with the exclusion criteria and the way studies are conducted. What do these guys contribute to improving or moving the ball forward towards personalized medicine...nothing. Anyone who claims that these drugs DONT work are liars and building their reputations on the bodies of people who are dead because they bought the bullshit. That goes for Ben Goldacre in particular who seems to get off on making TED speeches.
Datasharing that re-examines hypothesis or established science should be encouraged. But it has to be conducted as if people's lives are at stake. I hate to say it, but this is the kind of ass kissing 'stick it to the man' bias that allowed Wakefield to spread fear about vaccines.. Do you think the NYT would have ran the story if it was about giving a medicine a second life for dying patients? And would these 'whistleblowers' have gone after a company that pulled a drug working in a sub-group.