Cherry Picking and Bad Pharma: how Patients and Doctors are fooled by incomplete information on prescription drugs.


Bad Science is really not doing science right at all. If you cut corners or do not repeat an experiment to make sure it is reproducible, you can end up with egg on your face as a scientist. At best the target for teasing by your colleagues, or at worst, a person that is never trusted again in the science world. 


Bad science may also occur when money is part of the motivation equation in the form of "for profit". Unfortunately, that is the context where commercial Pharma research occurs, including their clinical trials. With shareholders to pay, there is a strong executive pressure to get the product developed and flying out of the pharmacy on Doctor's prescription pads.

For all of us as Patients, this can have bad consequences. For our Doctors, they may be making prescription decisions based on information that is skewed or incomplete. They can be in a position where they cannot even get the full story on many of the drugs they must choose from. The Pharmacist will be in the same position as your Doctor. The problem that is keeping all three of us in the dark is reporting bias on the part of the drug developer. That is, under reporting of negative trial results, and basic cherry picking of trial results.