Tuesday, April 13, 2010

IF YOU LIE DOWN WITH DOGS - Satuary 3rd April 2010

Big story in the Weekend Australian.

Medical researcher, Associate Professor John Eden, MB BS MD UNSW, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, CREI, is complaining that one of the drug companies who paid for some of his research has dudded him.

What does he expect?

Well for a start you can expect the piper to call the tune - at least some of the time.

Secondly, if you lie down with dogs you can expect to get fleas.

The good doctor has form. Here's the list of drug companies he's been leeching money out of: - Pfizer, Lawley Pharmaceuticals, Organon, Eurovita Ltd Denmark, Naturopathica, Eli Lily, Merck Sharp Dohme Pharmaceuticals. There's a lot of trips in there! He's a serial applicant for drug company funds. He's got his hand well and truly in the honey pot. He's not a babe in the woods. He knows exactly what the rules are. The drug companies have certainly not set a trap for a young player here.

He must either be naive of dreaming if he thinks the drug companies are running a charity. (If he's like most medical researchers, he will probably know that the NH&MRC is running a charity. They run a bottomless well for people like Dr Eden.

He's on the front cover of the paper bleating about the fact that he's the victim of drug company deviousness. I can tell you one thing, if it happened to me I'd keep my trap shut. You wouldn't want to shit in your own pocket.

The good doctor (MB BS MD UNSW, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, CREI) is a busy boy and I would have thought from the list of committees and research interests he's involved with that he knew how to look after himself. He's been riding the gravy train for years doing research into menopause. It's a big game. He's a serious player. If he doesn't know the rules, if it's too hot in the kitchen he should go back to the surgery.

When you look at the list of research projects and committees you might wonder how he has time to do any research at all.

1. Society for Endocrinology (UK).
2. International Society of Reproductive Medicine.
3. Australian Fertility Society.
4. Australasian Menopause Society.
5. International Society of Gynaecological Endocrinology
6. Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society.
7. Endocrine Society of Australia
8. International Menopause Society.
9. Australian Gynaecological Endoscopy Society.
10. North American Menopause Society
11. American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
12. Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group.
13. Australian Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology.
14. Asia Pacific Menopause Federation.Participation in professional societies

Most of these organisations are fronts for drug companies. They employ people like Eden to give talks at silver service dinners to mug GP's.

Professional societies
1. Editor of "Changes", the Australasian Menopause Society's magazine, 1991-2003
2. Committee member Australasian Menopause Society, 1992-2003
3. Committee member NSW state committee Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 1993- 1997
4. Reviewer for Maturitas, journal for the International Menopause Society, 1994 -
5. Reviewer for Clinical Endocrinology, 1994-
6. NH&MRC assessor 1994-
7. RACOG member on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee on Osteoporosis, 1995.
8. Member of the scientific committee for the organising committee of the 8th International Menopause Society Meeting, Sydney 1996.
9. Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria assessor, 1996-
10. RACOG appointee on the Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Complaints Committee, 1996 -
11. Reviewer for the Lancet, 1996-1
2. National advisor for the Breast Cancer Institute, 1996-
13. External reviewer for the Cochrane Collaboration Menstrual Disorders Group 1996-
14. Reviewer for International Journal of Cancer, 199715. Reviewer for the Medical Research Council (Britain), 1997
16. Reviewer for the Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, 1997
17. Reviewer for Diabetologia, 1997
18. Reviewer for Menopause Digest, 1998
19. Reviewer for American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1998-
20. Reviewer for the Medical Journal of Australia, 1998-
21. Reviewer for Climacteric, 1998-
22. Reviewer for Cancer Foundation of Western Australia, 1998-
23. Reviewer, Australian Medicines Handbook, 1998.
24. Member of the examination committee of the Reproductive Endocrine and Infertility subcommittee of the RANZCOG.
25. Member of the Scientific Committee of the 9th International Menopause Society, Yokohama, Japan, 1999.
26. Committee member of Working party of the North American Menopause Society examining the role of isoflavones on menopausal health.
27. Media committee, Australasian Menopause Society, 2000-
28. Executive council member of NEDA (National Estrogen Deficiency Awareness) - an international body which aims to educate women about menopause.
29. Member of the scientific committee of the Australian Osteoporosis Campaign
30. Member of the AMA committee on complimentary medicine, 2001
31. Member of the Editorial Board, Australiasian Journal Of Integrative Medicine, 2000-
32. Reviewer for The Wellcome Trust, UK. 2000-33. Reviewer for the Journal of the North American menopause Society, 2000-
34. Board member on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Australiasian Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2001-
35. Reviewer for the South African National Research Foundation, 2002
36. Reviewer for Urological research, 2004
37. Reviewer for Australian Family Physician 2004
38. Reviewer for the Journal of complimentary medicine 2004-
39. Referee for Clinical Endocrinology, 1995-
40. Anti-Cancer of Victoria assessor, 1996
41. Reviewer for the South African National Review Board, 2002.
42. Reviewer for the Wales (UK) Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care (WORD) Research Funding Scheme 2007.

There's a lot of back scratching in that lot. Did you noice he's an assessor for the NH&MRC; - you review my paper or my research application and I'll review yours. Then I'll invite you over to present a paper. You can even spend a few months with us. We can go skiing. Then you can invite me to spend a few months with you. We can go skiing. I'll give my mates a call at Fizzer, Roach and Smerk.

I'm glad it's the drug companies that are paying his salary, though I bet he's got his snout in the NH&MRC trough as well.

I bet he doesn't give many lectures, sit in on many tutorials or mark many exam papers at the University either.

From the look of the memberships and committee's you know his focus is on junk medicine, along with all the back slapping , brown nosing, head patting, silver service dining, Grange Hermitage quaffing, and trips down the pointy end of planes that come with drug company sponsored medical research.

It never ceases to amaze me how much money is poured into menopause research. If women kept themselves in exceptionally good shape and ate the right sort of food if wouldn't be all that much of an inconvenience. It doesn't seem to be too much of a problem for women living in Asia as it does in Australia.

What's happened in the Western world is that the drug companies have medicalized menopause. Eden is riding the pharmaceutical gravy train. Every now and then he has to get his ticket punched. He complains about it to the papers.

I'm not really sure what he is actually complaining about, but I wouldn't think that the gravy train has been derailed or anything like that.

There was one point in the article that I do agree with and that's the use of statistics to pervert the course of science. The drug companies and FDA are all guilty of this deviousness.

Eden pointed out that the increased risk of heart attacks when taking some sort of menopausal drug was played up to be a huge increase in risk, when in fact the chances of having a heart attack went from 26 in 10,000 38 in 10,000. I've lost the article so I'm not exactly sure of the figures and I don't know what the time frame was. I would think most women would take a punt and hope to high heaven they weren't the 12 people in 10,000 who had a heart attack. No doubt the risk is higher for those with other risk factors.

On the track
No track today. Taking it easy at the beach, reading and snoozing.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and thank Christ for the opportunity to spend a few days at the beach.

John Miller

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