ER Editor: Forces in some quarter have decided to resurrect criticism of hydroxychloroquine and Prof. Didier Raoult. Which is bizarre in view of the evidence FOR the stellar performance of these drugs during the fake pandemic, including ivermectin.
This is the column that appeared in Le Monde dated May 28 2023, criticizing the use of HCQ by Raoult and other doctors. Browsers will translate but it is behind a paywall — Clinical research at the Marseille IHU: “In the absence of a reaction from the institutions, the serious shortcomings observed could become the norm”
Individual doctors listed below, as well as French health organizations such as the French Society for Cardiology, are shown to receive handsome sums of money from Big Pharma.
This all feels like a set-up to wake people up.
The anti-Raoult signatories of the Le Monde column have received more than 18.5M euros from the pharma labs
Medical learned societies play a crucial role in promoting medical knowledge, developing clinical guidelines and training healthcare professionals. However, these institutions are being increasingly criticized for their close ties to the pharmaceutical industry, which raises questions about the objectivity of their recommendations.
Indeed, learned medical societies are responsible for developing clinical guidelines that influence medical practice globally. The influence of the pharmaceutical industry on these recommendations is concerning, as it can lead to the over-prescription of expensive and potentially unnecessary drugs, downplay alternative non-pharmacological approaches, and overlook the adverse effects of treatments.
Therefore, it was not surprising to see them rise up, massively, against the retrospective study pre-published by Professors Lagier, Brouqui, Million and Raoult of the IHU Méditerranée Infection, which showed on more than 30,000 patients the net favorable impact on mortality linked to Covid-19, of a prescription (made off-label) of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.
The slingshot took the form of a forum in Le Monde, coordinated by Professor Molimard of the Bordeaux University Hospital. For 3 years, the latter has distinguished himself in the media as a destroyer of all forms of treatment for Covid-19. His harsh criticisms (“nothing works”, “we do not reach the concentrations”) are not supported by scientific evidence. He would confine himself behind publications, which he had the possibility of criticizing objectively, and of interpreting them at will with many biases which lead to misinformation for readers or listeners. He is also a big fan of vaccines (“we no longer transmit covid once vaccinated”), the benefit for the industry, the risk for the patient . In addition, Professor Molimard is a pharmacologist and a doctor, so he has a double degree. Free and informed consent, the Helsinki and Oviedo conventions should hold no secrets for him. Moreover, in respect of his Hippocratic oath, he was asked to respect the patient.
The https://transparence.sante.gouv.fr database, consulted via the eurosfordocs.fr website, records the amount of benefits received from the pharmaceutical industry. The sums accounted for are for the learned societies that have signed the said forum, but also for their individual representatives over the past 4 years. The amounts reported do not include agreements where the amounts are not declared.
The results are edifying:
- Individual representatives have earned an average of a whopping €152,000 over the past four years. At the “top” of the ranking, Pr Leclerc and Pr Laharie received more than 600,000 euros each.
- For their part, learned societies are granted on average more than 1,400,000 euros. The most spoiled, the French Society of Cardiology and the French National Society of Gastroenterology received respectively 6.4 and 1.9 million euros!
With such close ties of interest, how can we expect these organizations to be independent of industrial interests? How can we hope that their dependence and the influence of industrial interests will not be conveyed in the political and media spheres, when these learned societies are the privileged interlocutors of the health authorities and the media?
Why didn’t the media, which picked up on this tribune in unison, declare these sums before talking to their readers and listeners?
As far as the hydroxychloroquine study and the slanderous accusation of “wild therapeutic trials” are concerned, time will tell, and will probably vindicate, one way or another, Prof. Lagier, Prof. Brouqui and Prof. Raoult and their teams, who have treated tens of thousands of patients to the best of their ability. There is no law prohibiting the off-label prescribing of hydroxychloroquine, and no law transforming a retrospective study into a therapeutic trial (research involving the human person, or RIPH within the meaning of the Jardé law). The same accusations have already been made against the IHU Méditerranée Infection teams, in the pseudo-affair of the tuberculosis “trials”, and have already flopped.
On the other hand, the damage has been done by the media and politicians, who are once again trying to discredit solutions and practices that run counter to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. All too often, this is at the expense of public health considerations and budgetary efficiency.
If we continue to allow such practices, doctors’ freedom to prescribe – a fundamental freedom – is threatened. The freedom and independence of academic scientists is threatened. Public health and societal progress are under threat.
Measures must therefore be taken to guarantee the independence of medical academic societies from the pharmaceutical industry. Doctors’ freedom to prescribe, the independence of researchers and public health are at stake. Politicians, journalists, the general public and, above all, doctors themselves must play an active role in implementing rigorous measures to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure transparency in the activities of learned medical societies.
It’s high time to erect healthy barriers between the pharmaceutical industry on the one hand, and doctors and learned societies on the other. This will ensure scientific integrity, public trust and evidence-based medical practices, while preserving doctors’ freedom to prescribe and promoting affordable, effective healthcare solutions.
Featured image, Molimard: BFMTV (screenshot)
Featured image, Dider Raoult: Speich Frédéreic/La Provence/Maxpp
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