MEDIMMUNE PLUNGE REVEALS
WEAKNESS OF ORTHODOX TESTING
From The Cancer Chronicles #19
© 1994 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
"Why, then, do you look at the mote in your brother's eye
but pay no attention to the beam that is in your own?" --Matthew 7
The medical establishment loves to lecture alternative investigators on how to conduct research. Even the OAM leaders [under the first director, Joe Jacobs--ed.] have gotten into the act, pointing fingers at the alleged "serious scientific deficiencies" in unconventional research (AM newsletter, 11/93).
Consider then the case of RespiGam, a drug developed by a Mass. laboratory and licensed to MedImmune, Inc. as well as to the NIH itself. This drug is supposed to be useful in preventing syncytial viral infection in infants, a disease said to strike half of all infants and produce 91,000 hospitalizations a year. Since RespiGam was projected to cost $3,000 or more per year, it could be fabulously profitable. MedImmune stock has been flying high since 1991.
On 11/18/93, the New England Journal of Medicine published positive test results with this product. It even issued a laudatory editorial: "Respiratory Syncytial Virus--Successful Immunoprophylaxis at Last."
The product works," the prestigious NEJM enthused. There were "fewer lower respiratory tract infections, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer days in the hospital." RespiGam, it said, is an "exciting solution."
Upon reviewing the data, however, an FDA advisory panel found the following deficiencies, according to an article in Barron¹s (12/6/93):
Scientists at the main Denver test site knew in advance whether infants would get a high, low, or no dose. In other words, the "blindness" of the trial was simply nonexistent, introducing "bias in the test," according to Barron's.
Patients who dropped out of the study were no longer followed. But if only a few of these infants got sick, this fact would have reversed the supposedly positive results of the study.
A mere 249 patients out of a patient population of tens of thousands were recruited. This size study was too small to produce very meaningful results.
Finally, six of the 249 infants who received the drug died, but none of those
who didn¹t receive it died.
After these revelations, Medimmune's stock plunged in price, losing
$200 million (half its value) in just days.
We often endure tedious lectures from establishment types on how greedy
and incompetent alternative doctors are. Look who's talking.
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