In Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research 1 Thomas McGarity and Wendy Wagner describe how special interest groups scheme to advance their own economic or ideological goals by using distorted or “bent” science to influence legal, regulatory and public health policy.The authors describe a “separatist view” of science and policy that assumes scientific research is sufficiently reliable for public policy deliberations and legal proceedings when it reaches them. This is illustrated as a pipeline in which it is presumed the scientific community has properly vetted the information flow through rigorous peer-review and professional oversight. The final product that exits the pipeline is understood to be unbiased and produced in accordance with the professional norms and procedures of science. The reliability, integrity and validity of the final product is indubitably accepted.The separatist view does not consider the possibility that the scientific work exiting the pipeline could be intentionally shaped and contaminated by biasing influences as it flows through the pipeline. When this occurs the final product exiting the pipeline is distorted or “bent” and bent science can result in bad decision making and bad policy.Bent science starts with a pre-determined outcome and works backward from a desired result. It is not true science. Those orchestrating the deception (“benders”) use a variety of tactics and strategies to shape, package and spin science to support their own hidden agenda and suppress opposing science.Benders attempt to hide, dismiss and debunk contrarian research and unsupportive science. Benders will attack and harass the science and scientists that pose a threat to their interests. Using carefully crafted studies designed to confirm a desired outcome, the pre-determined conclusions are subsequently promoted and publicized to the relevant stakeholders who are often unable ( or sometimes unwilling) to discern real science from junk-science.
Source: Policy and Regulatory Decision Making in the Medical Profession: A Framework to Identify the influence of Special Interest Groups and “Bent” Science
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2 thoughts on “Policy and Regulatory Decision Making in the Medical Profession: A Framework to Identify the influence of Special Interest Groups and “Bent” Science”
CDC GUIDELINES are a prime example of this. Based on weak scientific studies, a board of anti-opioid zealots with biased views and no representation by pain patients or practicing doctors from pain management.
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Yes and the same groups here (ASAM/FSPHP) played a large role in lobbying for these guidelines and other harmful policy. They are primarily responsible for misinformation and propaganda that led to the higher DEA rescheduling of hydrocodone products (i.e. vicodin, lortab) at the same level as morphine and oxycodone making it more difficult to prescribe while also making doctors more fearful of prescribing these medications. Over the past 4 years there has been a precipitous drop in the number of prescriptions for hydrocodone and tens of thousands of patients were suddenly told by their doctors that they would no longer be writing their prescriptions and were suddenly cut off of medication that they were taking as prescribed and enabled them to lead productive lives. Do some people get addicted to hydrocodone? Of course. Were some of these prescriptions diverted and abused? Yes. But dying from hydrocodone overdose or abuse is not a common occurrence and the narrative that abuse of these medications is a gateway to heroin and that doctors caused the opioid epidemic is utter bullshit. It is the lack of access to these medications that created the rising death toll not the oversupply of them. It defies basic mathematical models and all common sense but they continue to push this false narrative to the public. It is truly shameful