Sunday, January 20, 2008

Diane Rehm Show Does Hour on Fibromyalgia

The Diane Rehm show did a whole hour on Fibromyalgia on Tuesday, the day after the New York Times article appeared.

One of the guests included Alex Berenson, the reporter who wrote the piece who admitted is beat is covering the drug industry. He is not a doctor or even a health reporter. He covers the pharmaceutical market. And he admitted that the medical establishment agrees fibromyalgia exists.

And he revealed what a jerk he really is. Among the amazing things he uttered were -
  • "a lot of doctors are skeptical' but won't talk about their skepticism (this has no basis in fact; see this post.)
  • "skepticism is natural because it affects a specific population - middle age women."
  • "They are difficult to deal with and lots of doctors don't like them."
He was asked if he was surprised about the reaction before he wrote the story as he investigated and instead he characterized the reaction after - that the "issue" provokes a lot of vehemence" from the patients "whereas doctors have been saying great job for saying what we all know is true."

Then he added, "by the way I quoted people on the other side." Yeah right - two and then he implied that they weren't impartial or believable.

And then he said the driver of the diagnosis is disability!

But - if you listen - be sure to get to minute 34 - at that point a Dr. Charles Argoff called in from Albany College where he is a professor and neurologist as well as director of the pain program. He said he was dismayed by the article. There should be no doubt. There have been "4,500 scientific articles" and that fibromyalgia is not to be doubted as there is a "great deal of rooting in basic science." He granted its difficult to treat, but indicated that's because of what the doctors and scientific community do not yet understand. He was asked how he accounted for the skepticism of some doctors, and he responded that he'd never spoken to any of them and that frankly, "I don't understand it."

His tone of outrage was comforting.

You can listen to the 46 minute discussion and see who else was on, by clicking here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of writing a letter to Mr. Berenson, his editor, and to the producers of the Diane Rehm show. Berenson confused skepticism for credibility. Your post confirmed just what I was hearing from the show - some strange bias against a disorder that is very real.