Last October, the ABC showed two consecutive episodes of their science program called Catalyst.
The program sparked controversy, because the two-part special described the link between saturated fats, cholesterol and heart disease as a “medical myth”, and downplayed the benefits of anti-cholesterol drugs we know as statins.
Health groups like the Heart Foundation were outraged. Pharmaceutical drug companies were outraged. Medical academics were outraged
BUT, the public was actually CONFOUNDED! ABC succeeded in generating interest in these opinions but caused further confusion amongst the viewing public.
After all, the percentage of ABC’s audience, who are taking statin, have not been offered a reasonable and adequate explanation of the risk-versus-benefit ratio of the particular statin drug they have been prescribed.
Now, there’s been a belated admission by the ABC: Catalyst demonstrated bias against mainstream medicine. (Underscore mine.)
Bias against mainstream medicine? Parts of which are responsible for adverse events, life-changing side-effects, poor long-term studies on safety and efficacy?
What an interesting comment in an environment, where many media outlets have maintained an ongoing bias against complementary medicines for as long as I can remember, especially since more and more informed consumers are asking questions about their medicines.
In an open and honest society, can’t an opinion be offered on the ABC any longer?
Has big Pharma infiltrated the ranks of the ABC? Or, has medical academia, long time beneficiaries of research grants, interfered here?
There were concerns about statin drugs. Patients have started questioning their doctors more about statin use:
- “Why am I actually taking this drug?”
- “What benefits might I see?”
- “If I haven’t had a heart attack or stroke, is this drug an appropriate option?”
- “What food choice and lifestyle interventions can you suggest as an option to statin therapy?”
- “If I stop this statin drug, what will happen?”
- “I’ve been feeling strange since I started on this statin drug, and now I understand why. How come you didn’t take any notice of my feedback?”
Health practitioners aren’t comfortable with questions like this. Patients are not supposed to question their prescriber.
Or are they?
Well done to the ABC for highlighting some of the challenges we face in the delicate balance between medical evidence and medical marketing.
What a pity that medical censorship has intervened.
I’m looking forward to the next instalment of “bias against complementary medicine” and the deafening silence from all areas of vested interests in keeping meaningful information in the media.
That couldn’t happen here is Australia.
Or could it?