Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dealing With Conflicts

One cardiologist's epiphany.


h/t: The Carlat Psychiatry Blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Very refreshing to see. Contrast that with this story involving one of the more prominent doctors in heart failure today. Just sad.

Melbourne, Australia - Prominent cardiologist Dr Marvin Konstam (Tufts University Medical Center, Boston, MA) agreed to be lead author on a 2001 Circulation paper about the COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib (Vioxx, Merck) [1], which was written in-house by Merck scientists, according to claims made in a federal court in Australia last week [2]. The paper was designed to deflect safety criticisms, some experts believe, following the publication of an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) two months previously that first demonstrated an increase in cardiovascular side effects with the drug [3]. Rofecoxib was not withdrawn from worldwide sale until 2004.

Dr Marvin Konstam (Source: Tufts-New England Medical Center)

This is very significant, says Dr Steve Nissen (Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio), who was an author on the JAMA paper. "During the three years after publication of the Konstam manuscript, millions of patients around the world were prescribed rofecoxib by physicians who believed that the drug was safe. In this case, a ghostwritten article caused great harm to the public health."