More Selective Science from Pharmaceutical Front Group

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is criticizing the Providence Journal for publishing an op-ed article by Robert Goldberg while failing to disclose that Goldberg and his organization, the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, receive financial support from the pharmaceutical industry. Goldberg's article attacked the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for limiting reimbursement for erythropoetins, a class of anti-anemia drugs. (The government's decision to limit use of these drugs is prompted by concern that they may increase risk of earlier death when given to cancer patients.) The co-founder of CMPI is Peter Pitts of Manning, Selvage & Lee, a public relations firm with numerous pharmaceutical industry clients. Physician Roy M. Poses of the Foundation for Integrity and Responsibility in Medicine has examined Goldberg's op-ed piece and found numerous deceptive statements, most notably his claim that "America’s Medicare program is willing to let seniors suffer and die sooner from cancer." To make this argument, Poses writes, Goldberg "ignored the most relevant evidence while criticizing less relevant studies." He points out that Goldberg ignored six studies which "raise the concern that erythropoetins, rather than preventing early death, may hasten early death."