With 75% of research now funded by industry one does have to question whether the so-called “gold standard of evidence-based medicine” is really what should be guiding our healthcare/disease-manangement system.
It is interesting to think about why experts charged with the responsibility of defining health conditions and treatments have financial ties to different companies that sell drug treatments for health.
Look at the following health fields:
- cholesterol – the FDA panels which have over the last 10 years consistently recommended the lowering of the level considered healthy had close ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Stains are now a $30B/year industry
- obesity & BMI – the NIH panel which set the standards that make almost all of us now obese has close ties to the diet, weight-loss and pharmaceutical industry. The diet industry is a $60B/year industry.
- low-fat diet dogma – just look at who the corporate sponsors are for the “not-for-profit” ) professional organisations advising the community on what constitutes healthy eating. Diabetes is epidemic, Heart disease still the number one killer.
I believe that the Conflict of Interest is the greatest challenge to public health & wellness.