Unethical practices - drug industry

John DeFiore john_de at ix.netcom.com
Sun Aug 27 20:36:49 EST 1995

In <41qf4j$b14 at newsbf02.news.aol.com> jffiii at aol.com (JFFIII) writes: 
>The accusation of drug companies deliberately withholding information
>after a drug has been approved and marketed is one of those very rare
>uncalled for events I alluded to in my previous letter.  Sy Fisher
>that drug companies deliberately withhold vital information gleaned
>clincal experience.  Again, this has happened but is so rare as to be
>newsworthy.  Monitoring side effects is something all major innovators
>drugs do and voluntary withdrawals are fairly common--even when it
>There are some reported incidences that are also blown way out of
>proportion by the news media which gives a distorted picture of what
>actually occured.  Naturally, the pharmaceutical company is the
>Another comment alluding to Tagamet was brought out.  What the author
>the letter failed to mention is that Tagamet worked!  It resutled in
>healing of many ulcers, including my father-in-law's, and was much
>to take than antacids.  Glaxo-Wellcome's Zantac also works well and is
>even easier to take due to less frequent dosing.  The research that
>shown that bacteria can cause ulcers did not state excess acid does
>It simply points out the fact that in medicine, there are few simple
>anwers.  The immutable fact is, however, if Tagamet had not cured
>gastroenterologists would have stopped recommending it long ago.
> Hope everyone is healthy.      John

Yes, Tagamet worked, but the study I saw showed that ulcers recurred in
a large percentage of patients after stopping Tagamet.  If the
underlying H. Pylori bacteria infection was treated (without Tagamet)
the ulcers also healed and the relapse rate was very low-  I am going
by memory here but the relapse rate with Tagamet was something like
85%, while the relapse rate with the right kind of antibiotics was
something like 15%.  So Tagamet had to be taken repeatedly over a long
period of time to keep the ulcers away.  As stated before it was the
most profitable drug in history.  Also prior research showing a
bacterial link was ridiculed.  Also as stated before I was not drawing
any conclusions or accusing any drug companies, but merely throwing out
a topic for discussion. All opinions welcome......... 


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