July 21, 2008

Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest in AAP/Pediatrics Statins for Children Recommendation

Earlier this month the AAP got their hinder handed to them by... well everyone... for recommending that children as young as eight years old be put on cholesterol lowering meds. From Pharmalot:

Quote Of The Day: ‘I’m Embarrassed For The AAP’

"The American Academy of Pediatric guidelines released this week recommend that some children as young as 8 years old be given cholesterol meds is, predictably, causing controversy. Why? A lack of evidence, for one thing. Nicolas Stettler, an assistant professor of pediatric epidemiology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the AAP panel defends the decision by saying extrapolating data from adults using cholesterol meds makes sense. Not everyone agrees.

“To be frank, I’m embarrassed for the AAP today,” Lawrence Rosen of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, and vice chairman of an academy panel on traditional and alternative medicine (see photo), tells The New York Times. “Treatment with medications in the absence of any clear data? I hope they’re ready for the public backlash."

Today we have learned that the Pediatrics article in which the recommendation was made did not include the conflicts of interest of the writers. Shocker.

From the Center for Science in the Public Interest:
Pediatrics Fails to Disclose Industry Ties in Lipid Guide for Kids . . .

The American Academy of Pediatric’s new cholesterol guidelines for children did not reveal the industry ties of three of the six authors despite its policy requiring conflict of interest disclosure in its flagship journal. The recommendations, which appeared in the current issue of Pediatrics, caused a national uproar by recommending statin drugs for children as young as eight if suggested dietary interventions, including the use of foods fortified with fiber, stanols, and sterols, proved ineffective in lowering lipid levels in overweight children.

The lead author, Stephen R. Daniels, a professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, has served as a consultant to Abbott Labs and Merck. Abbott makes baby food, while Merck markets Mevacor, a statin. Co-author Nicolas Stettler, an assistant professor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , consults for numerous firms including Wyeth Nutritional and the Dannon Institute, a non-profit wholly funded by Dannon Yogurt.

Co-author Jatinder Bhatia, a professor at the Medical College of Georgia, has commercial ties to Mead Johnson, Ross Labs, Forest Laboratories, Dey Labs, and Inhibitex. Mead Johnson, a unit of Bristol-Myers Squibb, produces fortified foods for infants and young children.
So parents if your elementary school child has high cholesterol and is overweight, don't bother changing him to a diet of whole, unprocessed foods like organic fruits, veggies and naturally raised meat bought straight from farms that use healthy farming practices or taking him off the processed foods made for you by the good people at Dannon. Just put them statins made by Merck, who is totally sure that their Gardasil is not killing your daughters.

I can't believe that anyone (Amanda Peet) is questioning whether or not the medical industry is capable of "conspiracies". They are in the press practically every day!  All they have to do to is just not give you important information like, 'Oh yeah.. we are all getting paid by companies that will profit from our recommendations', or '...and when we say there is no proof that chelation will improve autism, by that we mean that we have never looked into it' and of course it would be helpful for parents decision making if they actually said, "What I mean by 'there is no convincing evidence that vaccines are a cause of autism, what I am really saying is that there is lots of evidence that vaccines cause autism, but we won't read it and therefore we don't allow ourselves to be 'convinced' by it'.

HT: Mary Webster

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