In the article, “Statins (Crestor) for Everyone?”, I wrote about how the AstraZeneca-funded JUPITER study (JUPITER stands for “Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin”) made a case for putting many more people on statins, especially on AstraZeneca's own Crestor. In the article, I pointed out several troubling facts, including that studies funded by pharmaceutical companies are much more likely to have positive results than those that are not industry-funded, and that many of the “news stories” about the JUPITER study reported “the facts” of this study, almost word for word, as they appeared in AstraZeneca’s press release.
In her November 14, 2008 Columbia Journalism Review article, "Science Reporting by Press Release,” Cristine Russell calls this kind of “reporting” the “dirty little secret of journalism.”
The subject came up recently in a conversation I had with Burt Berkson, MD, PhD, pioneer in the use of alpha lipoic acid, and more recently, of low dose naltrexone (LDN), as well, for treating some very serious diseases and conditions -- without the side effects of more toxic pharmaceuticals. Dr. Berkson was telling me that, at one of the conferences he spoke at, LDN researcher Dr. Maira Gironi told about the wonderful results she was having in Italy, reversing multiple sclerosis with LDN. (You may read about Dr. Gironi's work with LDN here, here and here.)
Dr. Berkson noted: “But you hear nothing about it because there are no very wealthy corporations promoting it.”