Another extract from the No Free Lunch website:
“Astroturfing” This is term describe how Pharma Companies use and support patient groups. Get your message across by using a charity- great credibility.
“Neo drug” A drug pretending to be different from its preceding version. Faster acting, less sedating that sort of thing. This claims are generally complete cobblers.
“Evergreening” Your highly profitable drug is coming off patent and cheaper generic versions can made. Oh no, we stand to lose millions. Never fear, shortly before patent expiry the company produces the “neo” drug. This is faster acting and 5% cheaper. The company therefore suggests switching all current patients on to the “neo” drug. When the original drugs loses the patent protection, all patients are now on the “neo” drug. Hurrah, another decade of inflated costs to the NHS.
“Me Too” This is a product that we already have effective versions of in the market eg new Statin or a new antihistamine. The motivation is to get a cut of the big money action.
“Switching” This activity involves offering to switch all patients onto the company’s medication. This “switching” is paid for by the industry and patients consent is not sought. This happens all the time with the “neo” products and is part of evergreening activity.
“Publication Bias” Consider 10 studies of which 5 show a positive result and 5 a negative result for a drug. Supress negative results and publish 5 positive studies. A wonder drug is born. We have no trial obligatry registration ,therefore, companies potentially publish the studies that they want.
“Trial Registration” We campaign for trial registration so that we can limit positive publication bias.
“Regulatory Capture” The concept that the regulators are so close to the industry that they are unable to regulate the industry.