Can Medicine Be Cured?‘Big Pharma’ is driving a lot of poor research for commercial ends.’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Medicine is not making us better. Or so goes the controversial claim by Dr Séamus O’Mahony, who has penned the book, Can Medicine Be Cured? which claims that the medical profession, as a whole, has been corrupted.  Dr O’Mahony joined Sean O’Rourke to make his case.

The “golden age” of medicine is over, says Dr O’Mahony, noting that the period from the 1930s to 1980s saw the introduction of organ transplants, successful treatment for tuberculosis, the eradication of smallpox and dwindling numbers of polio cases, as well as a number of advancements in equipment used in diagnostics and DNA-testing. There are many problems in modern practice, Dr O’Mahony told Sean, including the influence of ‘Big Pharma’.

“’Big Pharma’ is driving a lot of poor research for commercial ends. But within the culture of medical research itself, the researchers are incentivised by things like publication metrics…Promotion within academic medicine is dependent on you producing a lot of publications or papers…People are incentivised to produce quantity over quality.”

Then there’s the “huge explosion in medical journals” that has occurred in recent years, particularly publications which Dr O’Mahony deems “predatory”.

We now have this phenomenon of journals that will publish anything, essentially, as long as you pay them upfront.”

Pointing to conditions like Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, Dr O’Mahony told Sean that this is a clear example of where things have gone awry.

“A bunch of medical researchers essentially created this condition called Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity…this was very much driven by the food industry. So, you had this bizarre alliance of the food industry and medical researchers working to invent, essentially, a pseudo-disease for commercial purposes.”

Listen back to the full segment on Today With Sean O’Rourke here.

© The Listener 2019

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