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Medicine Science

The Problems With Drug Testing 166

Posted by Soulskill
from the inject-directly-into-eyeball-six-times-daily dept.
gallifreyan99 writes: Every drug you take will have been tested on people before it—but that testing process is meant to be tightly controlled, for the safety of everyone involved. Two investigations document the questionable methods used in many studies, and the lack of oversight the FDA seems to have over the process. First, drugs are increasingly being tested on homeless, destitute and mentally ill people. Second, it turns out many human trials are being run by doctors who have had their licenses revoked for drug addiction, malpractice and worse.
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The Problems With Drug Testing

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  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @05:46PM (#47570143)

    Unlicensed doc: "The police called about a murderous drug-fueled rampage. Who did you say that test subject #37 was?"

    Assistant: "Abby someone."

    Doc: "Abby who?"

    Assistant: "Abby... Normal."

  • An outrage! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by mi (197448)

    drugs are increasingly being tested on homeless, destitute and mentally ill people

    This is an outrage and a waste. We must switch to testing on the successful and the smart, who have nothing else to contribute anyway!

    Second, it turns out many human trials are being run by doctors who have had their licenses revoked for drug addiction, malpractice and worse

    Sure, malpractice, drug addiction and, especially, the unspecified "worse" are known to cause people to quickly forget all the training they've ever receiv

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      I had a problem with worse once.

      It was worse than expected.

    • by jsepeta (412566)

      Instead, I recommend that drugs be tested on Pharmaceutical company CEOs. I liked it so much, I bought the company. Or the farm.

      • by mi (197448)

        Instead, I recommend that drugs be tested on Pharmaceutical company CEOs.

        Exactly! Because — unlike the homeless — the CEOs aren't good for anything else, are they?

  • Nonsense (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Look, none of this is common place. It's very rare. Why? Because if this happens, then the multi-million dollar trial you paid for is worthless and would have to be redone. I'm working on setup of the data handling for a phase 1 clinical trial right now and there is no way in hell we would let a doctor with issues (ethical or otherwise) anywhere near the trial. Any data they collect would be suspect and could not be used. Homeless person that is taking a lot of meds already? I don't think so. I don

    • Look, none of this is common place. It's very rare. Why? Because if this happens, then the multi-million dollar trial you paid for is worthless and would have to be redone.

      That's why they'll tell you that they aren't doing any drugs and this is the only clinical trial they're participating in, and maybe throw in a fake name for good measure.

  • by psergiu (67614) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @06:17PM (#47570423)

    My dad almost lost both of his legs because his doctor insisted that his condition is so severe that he needs experimental medication. The 1st round of medication did nothing to make him better. After he started the 2nd round of medications i got hold of the paperwork that he fscking doctor had my dad to sign. She was doing experiments on him on behalf of a US company and had my dad fooled that it's the only way. So after years of my dad lining in excruciating pain i dragged him to another doctor, at another hospital, who applied a standard medical procedure and he was fixed in 2 months.

    The murderous doctor (while my dad was in the hospital, there were at least 2 other patients on experimental medication who died) was sporting a nice new BMW high-end car when i got my dad out of there. Way more expensive that she could have afforded from her salary + standard bribes extorted from the patients.

  • True (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jodka (520060) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @06:32PM (#47570535)

    So my mother has a Ph.D in experimental psychology and knows a thing or two about how to design experiments, how to avoid systematic bias, how to distinguish that from random error, and in the admittedly non-objective opinion of her son, is quite sharp about identifying sources of those in methodologies. After raising three children she tries to restart her career. At first the only work she could find was a lowly temp job entering survey responses from a drug trial into a database. Turns out that the forms completed by the doctors and patients surveyed left answers to many questions blank. So how is she instructed by those managing the data entry to handle those cases? She is told to systematically select particular answers to particular questions. And which answers? The answers consistent with the drug being effective and harmless.

    Now you do not have to be a Ph.D. to spot a problem with that. Hell, my German Shepherd could probably do that. But maybe as a scientist herself the violation of scientific integrity stung too strongly and my mother insistently raised complaints within the company. And how far did those go to correct the "mistaken" guidelines for data entry? Absolutely nowhere.

       

  • Ten Million (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @07:25PM (#47570857) Homepage Journal

    That's how many people (mostly children) have died of malaria since the investigators knew they had a working vaccine in the mid-90's.

    That vaccine might actually see the light of day this year, but the regulators are hinting that they might deny approval because it's not tremendously effective in infants.

    Because, you know, IN FUCKING THEORY, somebody might get injured from the vaccine.

    I'm sorry, the blood of ten million mostly-children on the hands of regulators gets me a bit worked up. And now they're staring at their naval because an investigator might also have a drinking problem? Oh, man, I better hit submit before I say something I might regret.

    • Sometimes things that are "known to be safe and effective" end up killing people or having nasty side-effects, or preventing people from receiving proper treatment. Didn't cigarettes used to be a safe and effective way to lose weight?

  • The easy way for a doctor to have his license revoked it going outside of mainstream medicine. Reading too much medicine research papers can lead to such situation, and it seems a perfect fit to run human drug trials.
  • Where's all the pro-science crowd who keeps telling us to blindly trust medical science when the stories of people (mistakenly) avoiding certain well-tested drugs come up?

    The rhetoric does nothing but defeat their actual viewpoint and this is why -- bad science is being done, and it needs to be accounted for to the sceptics, no matter who insane they may seem. Bad science is the enemy of good science because it undermines trust in the system.

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