Sept 21, 2012 the Los Angeles Times published the piece, Doctors found to lack trust in drug company studies.
October 1, 2012 the San Francisco Chronicle ran the story with a large close up photo of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
“Doctors are less likely to trust research studies performed with funding from corporate interests such as pharmaceutical companies, according to a new study.
“The report, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveals a long-suspected bias against such research among physicians. It also demonstrates the price companies have paid for public violations of trust, including examples of data manipulation and misrepresentation of study results.”
It’s clear that doctors themselves are skeptical about the latest “study” results when there are clear ties to the drug industry. This is a concerning topic and it would seem the public would be interested in hearing this too, however this story didn’t appear on other online news outlets. It was however on a number of health blogs after it appeared in the LA Times.
By contrast, the AP recent story by Seth Borenstein, Study: Fraud growing in scientific research papers, appeared on dozens of large city newspapers sites and probably in their street editions too.
“Prominent retractions that Casadevall cited for fraud include a notorious British study that wrongly linked childhood vaccines to autism,”
“Casadevall and Caplan pointed to the 1998 study in Lancet by Andrew Wakefield temporarily linking childhood vaccines to autism — a study later retracted because it was found to be what another scientific journal called ‘an elaborate fraud.’
‘Think about the damage society took when mothers started to question vaccines,’ Casadevall said. ‘That's damage and it's still going on.’
“Reached at home in Texas, Wakefield, who was banned from practicing medicine in his native Great Britain and whose claims are contrary to what prevailing established medical research shows about vaccine and autism, said: ‘There was no fraud and to use this and to use me as a poster child of fraud really compounds that error.’’
So while the subject of this report was scientific research fraud in general terms, the person highlighted was Dr. Wakefield. This story was published by papers across the country. San Antonio, Beaumont, and Houston were three Texas cities that ran the same Wakefield photo that the SF Chronicle did to make sure readers got the message. Dozens of papers---Kansas City, Fresno, Gainesville, Knoxville, Charlottesville, and even US News---published it. It was another opportunity for those intent on countering the growing concern that the ever-expanding vaccine schedule is behind the exponential increase in autism. The public continues to get the message that the word “fraud” is connected with Wakefield and vaccines and autism.
There were comments criticizing the attack on Wakefield in Borenstein’s story where it appeared and one interesting one was on the BusinessWeek story.
“To use Wakefield as an example of Fraud is indeed quite accurate. But the fraud was commit against him, not by him. And no reasonable person can deny it when the American Government and their Vaccine Injury Court settles around 130 of the medically reported 30,000 vaccine injuries per year and 5500 claims against the court. The court publishes this information themselves so how can one still refer to Wakefield as a fraud today and continue to deny Vaccine Injuries and their link to Autism and Brain Injuries? Any study can be manipulated to provide any result that they want and we all know this.
“Every single one of the top Pharmaceutical Companies in North America have been found guilty of fraud in the past three years. How many drugs are taken off the market after large clinical studies proved the frauds? And they will continue this trend until they are actually held accountable. About $35 Billion in fines were administered, no individual criminal responsibility and it is a Trillion dollar industry.
“$35 Billion in fines for $1 Trillion in revenue? Until the individuals who really perpetrate the frauds are held criminally responsible, this growth trend will continue.”
The media loves to pretend that this controversy is just about the science and that the medical community and health officials are honest and forthcoming about everything. Nothing is ever said about liability and indemnity. Most of all, autism is never the real issue. The disorder that now claims a million U.S. children and has no official known cause, is of no real concern to anyone in mainstream medicine or the media.
The real purpose of news like this is to try and maintain the status quo. Imagine what would happen if the media honestly started asking questions about all the denials and all the official studies. What if they began talking about autism as the epidemic it really is and about what all these disabled children and young adults are going to cost this country? That’s why reporters like Seth Borenstein are so predictable. No matter how many parents claim vaccines damaged their children, no matter how many autistic children received compensation from the federal government, and no matter how bad the autism rate gets, OFFICIALLY two things never change: NO ONE CARES WHAT’S REALLY BEHIND THE AUTISM INCREASE and STUDIES WILL ALWAYS SHOW NO LINK. Therefore if someone in medicine does point to a link, it’s got to be a fraud.