A Perfect Example of Published Medical Misinformation
On June 2019, the American Medical Association (AMA) published an article in their journal, JAMA. The article was titled “Fear-Based Medical Misinformation and Disease Prevention: From Vaccines to Statins” and written by Ann Marie Navar, MD, Ph.D. .
We have briefly examined the systemic corruption of the AMA and their journal   , and there is much more literature that examines how the AMA is a puppet for the pharmaceutical industry  .
However, this recently published piece of documentation is a clear example of the AMA’s purposeful propensity to publish medical misinformation. In this article, the author claims fake news is the primary reason individuals are expressing hesitancy about utilizing statins and vaccines.
Navar begins her article by stating in 1963, which is before the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine was released, there were approximately 3-to-4 million Americans who contracted measles annually, and the rate precipitously declined after the measles vaccine was introduced.
However, it is essential to note the measles death rate had declined 98% by 1963, also before the introduction of the measles vaccine   , and it is extremely sporadic for someone to die from measles in the United States.
In 2015, CNN reported of the first United States measles death in twelve years, but the measles virus was not discovered until after the patient died during an autopsy, and she had a history of medical and immune complications . During further research, I could only find two additional fatal measles cases in both 2009 and 2010, making the total five  .
Navar holds vaccine refusers liable for fueling the outbreaks of measles, and yes; the recent outbreak in measles has been primarily in unvaccinated populations. Yet, researchers seem to ignore that the MMR vaccine is a live virus and can be transmitted from a recently vaccinated individual, and the massive vaccination effort of individuals in these break-out areas may have also fueled these occurrences  .
Although measles rates declined after the vaccine was introduced, mandating that every child receives the MMR vaccine does not guarantee a measles-free population. For example, China continues to have measles outbreaks even though China is the most vaccinated population in the world, with over 99% of Chinese fully vaccinated for measles .
Further, there have been many mumps outbreaks throughout the United States since 2006, which have occurred in fully-vaccinated individuals .
For instance, when the CDC investigated the 2015-2016 mumps outbreak at the University of Iowa, of the 301 cases studied, 7% had severe complications from orchitis, swelling of the testes which can result in sterilization, to three students suffering from transient hearing loss, two from mastitis, and one case of meningitis, but all were fully immunized against mumps with two doses of the MMR vaccine .
Navar claims that “… pediatricians and public health officials have been battling fake news about vaccine safety.”
If parents follow the Center for Disease Control’s vaccine schedule, their child will receive 50 doses of 14 vaccines by the time he or she is six-years-old and 69 doses of 16 vaccines by the time he or she is 18-years-old , which makes US children the most vaccinated in the world.
Moreover, nearly half of US children have a chronic disease, as noted by a 2001 report , which is much higher than other Western countries, and there is research to suggest vaccinated children are at a higher risk of developing these chronic diseases  . However, a concrete conclusion cannot be drawn from these two studies because they are pilot studies, but they do provide through-provoking information.
Navar claims that “… the same fake medical news and fearmongering also plague the cardiovascular world through relentless attacks on statins.”
Navar further stated that a popular health website, “… incorrectly indicated that statins cause memory loss, cataracts, pancreatic dysfunction, Lou Gehrig disease, and cancer. Many of these sites criticize statin researchers for links to ‘big pharma’…”
Again, this is another example of a researcher who has not done their research.
- According to the Physicians Desk Reference, adverse reactions associated with the statin Lipitor include memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, and confusion .
- Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that makes Lipitor, released a publication noting adverse reactions discovered during post-marketing studies, which included pancreatitis among other effects .
- Studies have found a relationship between statin use and Lou Gehrig’s disease   .
- Studies have found an association between statin use and age-related cataracts     .
- Studies have found an association between statin use and cancer risk and incidences      .
Moreover, why is it a bad thing to criticize researchers because of their ties to big pharma?
In a 2017 publication, The British Medical Journal (BMJ), one of the most respected journals, conducted a study investigating the association between the presence of individual principal investigators’ financial ties to the manufacturer of the study drug and the trial’s outcomes after accounting for the source of research funding .
The study concluded, “Financial ties of principal investigators were independently associated with positive clinical trial results. These findings may be suggestive of bias in the evidence base” .
Therefore, why is it a preposterous notion that individuals scrutinize a study that is examining a drug when the company that produced the drug is funding the research? How is this thought fake news?
Navar continued, “With the exception of a small, vocal minority, most physicians believe that statins, as with vaccines, are safe and effective.”
Just because a majority believes something does not make it accurate.
For example, a majority of physicians used to believe a drug called Vioxx was safer than older NSAIDs like aspirin. However, after Vioxx killed 60,000 patients and caused 140,000 heart attacks, it was pulled from the market .
Navar also stated fake news is why patients are concerned about statin safety.
However, according to a 2013 study that investigated patient’s reasons for discontinuing statin use found that negative, statin-related events were the most reported reason why people ceased statin use , not fake news.
Navar further noted that transparency and clear communication to patients is essential to maintain trust. Who would disagree with this? It is an inherent truth that no one wants someone to lie to them.
If transparency is what JAMA is after, then perhaps the AMA can persuade the CDC to allow William Thompson, a senior CDC scientist who has claimed whistleblower protection, to Congressionally testify about his claims that the CDC lied, hid, and altered data that showed the MMR vaccine, when given before 36 months of age, is associated with autism. However, the CDC has not allowed Thompson to testify about his claims.
Navar also stated that the medical community needs to stay vigilant. Again, who would not agree?
Perhaps a level of vigilance may have saved thousands of lives with Vioxx.
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 Vital Statistics of the United States 1937, 1938, 1943, 1944, 1949, 1960, 1967, 1976, 1987, 1992; Historical Statistics of the United States-- Colonial Times to 1970 Part 1; Health, United States, 2004, US Department of Health and Human Services; Vital Records & Health Data Development Section, Michigan Department of Community Health; US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2003; Reported Cases and Deaths from Vaccine Preventable Diseases, United States, 1950-2008