Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Oklahoma Prolotherapy | Podcast 5 – Part 4
Brian: They’re based in Switzerland?
Marshall: Based in Switzerland.
Brian: Interesting. It’s a whole different dynamic, folks, of how things are regulated with the Swiss. I think we all have a general understanding of that. I’ll say this. My background is politics, but also packaging. The two P’s, packaging and politics. The third one is PR. They all go together. One of the things I learned in packaging with some high-end pharmaceutical companies is there was a decision made a couple of decades ago that people were sick of drug companies … Were sick of trying to prove to doctors that their drug worked. They were sick of it.
Chad: Interesting. I don’t want to market to you anymore.
Brian: We’re done with you doctors who want to know science and stuff. Trust me, a billion dollar company does not start with the public health factor. That’s not where they start. They start with profit, and they have to. Hopefully the consumer is educated enough to either send them back a profit or not based on their results. That’s how it works.
Brian: The problem, though, with that theory is a couple of decades ago, they were going through doctors, or otherwise known as scientists like yourself, Chad. Now they have bypass with the mediums that are available the scientists and gone direct to the consumer. It’s a big push. The reason they do that is one, they can educate the consumer who they generally think is not as smart as the doctor … Which they would be right, because people don’t make buying decisions on facts. They make buying decisions on feelings. I think we all know that. The second factor is that it’s much cheaper. Your distribution channel is much, much cheaper if you can align it correctly.
We have the internet that’s involved. We have television, which has gotten broader in scope and it’s easier to get to the consumer. What they did was … You see these commercials where me as the average person, I have no idea if Viagra is good for me. I have no idea if Tamiflu is good for me, but I see the commercials. I see the information on the internet, on Web MD if you will, and I say … To your point about you working in a clinic. The effect has been very positive for these drug companies, for these billion dollar Swiss-owned drug companies. Now you have people making buying decisions, Chad, on what drug they’re going to use before they even come into your office.
They say, “I want Tamiflu.” What the heck do they know about Tamiflu?
Chad: Exactly. That’s much to my point. Now, what we’ve done so far is stuck to what Roche wanted you to hear, what Roche wanted you to know. That’s that you get better one to one and a half days faster.
Brian: They didn’t hear that via a scientist. They heard that via a commercial, a PR campaign or whatever the case is, direct to the consumer.
Chad: I actually saw this commercial last night, which I hadn’t paid attention to it until my office staff was telling me about it. They said there is no small flu. You’ve got these gigantic characters, big kid, big adult, walking around and everything else is small. They’re talking about how big the flu is and Tamiflu fixes all of that. In the commercial, and this was yesterday … In the commercial, it said you get better one and a half days faster. I’m paraphrasing, but it was one and a half days. I remember that specifically, because I had just done all the research for this podcast and talking about where does this data come from. That’s what the manufacturer of Tamiflu wants you to know.
Brian: Yeah, and try suing a Swiss-owned billion dollar company because of misinformation. Try that. See how that works for you.
Chad: Here’s the interesting thing. We’ve talked about the British Medical Journal before. This is a very prestigious, major medical journal. I want to read this. You can go to bmj.com/Tamiflu. That’s the British Medical Journal. This is where I’m getting this data. They have what’s called the open campaign, which aims to achieve appropriate and necessary independent scrutiny of data from clinical trials. Working with others, we seek to highlight the problems caused by lack of access to data and we welcome any suggestion on how to take things further.
Then they say the Tamiflu story. Our first open data campaign initiative relates to a public promise Roche made in 2009 … Now this drug was released in 1999. We’re talking about a 10-year difference … In 2009, to release full clinical trial reports in response to an investigation by the British Medical Journal and Cochran Collaborators, Peter and Tom Jefferson. Now if you look at the Cochran database, Tom Jefferson is on virtually every one of those as a Cochran Collaborator reviewing all of the data. He is in the middle of the flu stuff. Period.
They were looking through all of this and they said, “There’s some problems here, and we need the data.”
Brian: In other words, there’s some science problems here. Right?
Chad: Correct. We don’t have all the data. We don’t have all the information.
Brian: Certainly not profit problems.
Brian: I got 99, and profit ain’t one.
Chad: Exactly. Under that pressure, Roche in 2009 made a promise to release their full data. Here is their bottom line: the World Health Organization recommends Tamiflu but has not vetted the Tamiflu data. This is from the British Medical Journal, a prestigious journal. This is not my opinion.
Brian: The British Medical Journal is a pretty important …
Chad: It’s a major peer-reviewed medical journal. The EMA, which is European Medicines Agency, I believe, approved Tamiflu but did not review the full Tamiflu data sheet. The CDC and the European EDC encouraged the use and stockpiling of Tamiflu, but did not vet the Tamiflu data. The majority of Roche’s phase II treatment trials remained unpublished over a decade after completion.