"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." George Orwell.
© Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Org
Many of you may be aware of an article published in the Lancet
on the eighth of September. 'Interpretation of the evidence for the efficacy and safety of statin therapy
It caused a media stir, and I was asked to appear on a few BBC programmes to argue against it - tricky in two minutes. At one stage I was cut off when I attempted to bring up the issue of financial conflicts of interest amongst the authors. The lead author of this paper was Professor Sir Rory Collins.
In truth, I have been awaiting this article for some time. In fact, I am going to reproduce here a blog I wrote on February 16th
2015, predicting exactly what was going to happen, who was going to be involved, and (in broad terms) exactly what they were going to say:
Read the article here - A humiliating climb down - or a Machiavellian move?
I do not claim to be Nostradamus here. What was going to happen was obvious. The script had been written a long time ago. It was only a question of when, not if, it happened.
However, whilst the article itself is nothing new... and believe me, there is
nothing new here. Just the same data stretched into three hundred references, and mind-blowing statistical obfuscation.
It does, however, contain a few new Alice in Wonderland statements, such as the following:
'If information on a particular outcome is not available from a randomised trial because it was not recorded, that would not bias assessment of the effects of the treatment based on trials that did record that outcome.'
How can this statement be made? For the first twenty years of trials on statins, no-one had noted that statins increase the risk of type II diabetes. It was not, as far as could be seen at the time, a problem.
Then, in a later study, JUPITER, all of a sudden it was found that there was a significant increase in type II diabetes. Now, it turns out that all statins increase the risk of type II diabetes. Had JUPITER not recorded the incidence of type II diabetes, this would never have been noticed. The cynics among you might say that they recorded this in the hope that the incidence would actually go down.
Here we have a perfect example of an outcome not recorded in the vast majority of statin studies. Had it been, it would have significantly biased the assessment of treatment. We also find that after two trials, 4S and HPS, found an increase in non melanoma skin cancer2, this outcome was not recorded, ever again, in statin trials.
Outcomes certainly cannot make a difference if you do not record them. But if you did bother record them - who knows what might have happened.
This type of logic litters this Lancet
paper, along with straw man argument after straw man argument. However, the purpose of this blog was not to discuss the evidence, such as it is, such as we are allowed to see, but to highlight why this paper was written and published. For this I shall turn to the editorial, accompanying the paper, written by Richard Horton, who is the editor of The Lancet.
Read this, and be afraid, for it is the most frightening thing you will read this year. Possibly this decade and maybe the entire century as is a direct attack on human freedoms.
Whilst couched in the usual life destroying scientific prose, what he is saying is that any who questions current accepted medical dogma should be very tightly controlled, and probably should not be allowed to publish anything at all.