[Foundation-l] Paid editing, was Re: Ban and moderate

Fred Bauder fredbaud at fairpoint.net
Sun Oct 24 01:43:31 UTC 2010

> --- On Sat, 23/10/10, SlimVirgin <slimvirgin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Someone working for the company that makes Lipitor would try to stop
>> mainstream media sources being used in the article, because it's the
>> media that has been pointing out problems with these drugs. And that's
>> exactly what happens on these articles, but it's unfortunately
>> Wikipedians who are doing it. Their motives are good -- to keep out
>> nonsense -- but the effect is to turn those articles into something
>> the manufacturers and their PR people would be very happy with.
>> Look at our article -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atorvastatin There
>> is criticism, no mention of how much money the drug is making for the
>> company, no mention of how widespread and unquestioned the prescription
>> of these drugs is. And I know from experience at another
>> statin article that it would be very difficult to add this material.
>> Some examples of the criticism available in the media, which you
>> almost certainly won't find on Wikipedia:
>> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/4974840/Wonder-drug-that-stole-my-memory.html
>> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/5257744/Statins-life-saving-wonder-drugs-or-just-life-damaging.html
>> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/expathealth/4204363/The-worrying-wonder-drug.html
>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2498489.stm
>> Sarah
> To be sure, information on side effects can be found in the scholarly
> literature. This is usually where the press gets it from.
> Enter simvastatin + "memory loss" in google scholar, and you get 1,950
> (!) hits, including this study from 2001:
> http://www.atypon-link.com/PPI/doi/abs/10.1592/phco.21.7.767.34577
> "Statin-associated memory loss: analysis of 60 case reports and review of
> the literature" (2003) has 130 scholarly citations, providing ample
> justification to include the study's findings in the relevant article(s).
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12885101
> As far as reporting of such scientific results is concerned, scholarly
> sources are preferable.
> What the media add, as in the BBC article you linked, is the
> socio-economic, current-affairs angle -- pointing out the economies
> involved, the millions and billions that pharmaceutical companies make
> off these drugs, and the promotional and propaganda efforts that this
> necessarily entails.
> That is something clinical studies will not address. Articles on such
> products need something like a "reception" section. Media articles are
> indispensable for that.
> WP:MEDRS specifically allows the use of media sources for such purposes.
> If editors edit-war this information out, it needs to go to a
> noticeboard, or to arbitration.
> Andreas

I added a section on memory loss to that article, and used the source you
cited as well as a Wall Street Journal article. I don't much care for the
Telegraph myself, and didn't use it. In fact it was an anecdotal account
of a single person.

Now, let's see if anyone shows up to remove this black mark... And
observe how they go about it.


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