HOME PAGE OF SEMMEL-WEIS.ORG Semmel Weis in Landeck, Austria with Die Silberspitze (SilverPeak) in the background Ignaz Semmelweis on Hungarian postage stamp Frodo Ring introduces RED BOX WARNING AGAINST KAPLAN-MEIER Grim Reaper introduces the SAN MIGUEL (2008) TRILOGY IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO INFOMERCIALS? THESE FOUR RATS GAVE THEIR LIVES DEMONSTRATING THAT THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE. Chinese woman holding giant, bamboo-eating rat Bright future for Johnson&Johnson DARZALEX
FDA Agent Badge gets you into THE JOHNSON & JOHNSON RAP SHEEP Dr ROBERT Z ORLOWSKI, one of the MAGNIFICENT EIGHT represented here as a SUPERMAN in the area of multiple myeloma 83% survival at Months=30 is the inflated survival indicated in a misleading Kaplan-Meier graph Dr Paul Richardson wearing the recommended badge which reflects that Big Pharma's power over him has the strength of $19.6 million Best Hospitals ranking by USNews HOW MANY SUBJECTS PER GROUP? Dr SAGAR LONIAL debates Dr Paul Richardson Meletios Dimopoulos
A VERY SPECIAL INTEREST HERE TO SEE YOU William James Mayo Dr Matt Kalaycio unable to dispute payment Incongruity arrow ODOMZO may exhibit a Kalaycio-Boom in a Mayo Clinic Rochester clinical trial having Dr Francis Buadi as Principal Investigator      


THE MAGNIFICENT EIGHT
Multiple Myeloma Experts
by Semmel Weis
First published 13Dec2017  Last edited 13Sep2018  05:16pm



PREDISPOSED TO IDOLIZE THE MAGNIFICENT EIGHT

When a Multiple Myeloma diagnosis first struck close to home, we looked around for leading experts who could be trusted to point the way to the best therapies, and found articles like the following, which made us wish we had access to such experts occupying high positions within prestigious institutions:


Pharmaceutical salesmen can be imagined as SuperMen, as DR ROBERT Z ORLOWSKI is here
 

Who are the GREAT EIGHT of Multiple Myeloma Specialists?

By Gary Petersen  28 Mar 2014   MyelomaSurvival.com
[small-font information within square brackets added]

In my work at www.myelomasurvival.com, I have had the opportunity to interact with many myeloma specialists, review their survival and life expectancy data, observe their leadership in myeloma research and treatment, and their work with international organizations like the IMF and MMRF.  It is my belief, a select few myeloma specialists stand above the rest.  These myeloma specialists are innovators, leaders, teachers, patient centric, dedicated, extremely skilled in myeloma treatment, driven, have well above average life expectancies and survival rates, and are just exceptionally caring and kind individuals.  It is not that all of the myeloma specialists do not have these characteristics, but there is a cream that rises to the surface.  So who are the top picks?

THE GREAT EIGHT In alphabetical order, our SUPER myeloma specialists.

Dr. Barlogie  [Director Myeloma Institute for Research & Therapy]
      – UAMS [University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences], Little Rock AR

Dr. Berenson
  [Chief Executive Officer]
      – IMBCR [Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research] – Los Angeles,CA

Dr. Hari
  [Director Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program]
      – Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Dr. San Miguel
  [Head Haematology Unit]
      – University Hospital, Salamanca, Spain

Dr. Orlowski
  [Department Chair of Lymphoma/Myeloma]
      – M.D Anderson, Houston, TX

Dr. Palumbo
  [Chief Myeloma Unit]
      – University of Torino, Italy

Dr. Rajkumar
  [Fellow Hematology & Medical Oncology]
      – Mayo, Rochester, MN

Dr. Richardson
  [Clinical Director Jerome Lipper Center for Multiple Myeloma]
      – Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA



Everyone will have an opinion, however, I think few can deny the quality of myeloma specialists represented on this list.  [...]


BUT DO THE MAGNIFICENT EIGHT KNOW SCIENTIFIC METHOD?

Glancing at this same list of EIGHT about a year later, though, two of the names leaped out as being lead-authors of two of the FIRST FIVE PAPERS that I had begun reading — the names that leaped out being Jesus San Miguel and Antonio Palumbo.  This was disturbing because my conclusion had been that all five of these FIRST FIVE PAPERS were so riddled with methodological errors as to necessitate their being regarded not as scientific research but as infomercials from which no conclusions as to the tested drug's safety or efficacy were justified.

Delving deeper into the authorship participation of the EIGHT, I consulted not just the lead-author of each of the FIRST FIVE PAPERS, but the entire author list, available at the blue links in the right-hand column below.  (The red links in the left-hand column are to the chief locations where are presented reasons for considering the FIRST FIVE PAPERS to be invalid.)

FIRST FIVE PAPERS    
CRITIQUE in semmel-weis.org        AUTHOR LIST in original publication
San Miguel (2008)   VISTA New England Journal of Medicine
Mateos (2010) Journal of Clinical Oncology
San Miguel (2013) New England Journal of Medicine
Palumbo (2016)   CASTOR New England Journal of Medicine
Dimopoulos (2016)   POLLUX    New England Journal of Medicine

What this deeper delving discovered was that half of the above EIGHT myeloma specialists were either lead-authors or co-authors of one or more of the FIRST FIVE defective and invalid publications, as is detailed in red font under their portraits below.  The other four of the EIGHT can be credited with having avoided any authoring of any of the FIRST FIVE invalid papers, but nevertheless may or may not have lead-authored or co-authored any number of the hundreds of other invalid multiple myeloma papers that clutter the medical literature.

A question that may be asked is whether any of the Magnificent Eight have published objections to the quality of research in their areas?  If they have not, then would it be excessively harsh to describe them as research ignoramuses whose voicing of any opinion on drug therapies endangers the public?

AND ARE THE MAGNIFICENT EIGHT FREE OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

With my trust in the MAGNIFICENT EIGHT shaken, I next looked up what drug-company payments they had been involved in (as anyone is able to look up for any practicing US doctor), which process can be started here by clicking the CMS logo below.

LOGO Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Then click on ADVANCED SEARCH, enter the doctor's surname (since that's all we have been told above), for example ORLOWSKI (capitalization doesn't matter), hit ENTER, and of the several Orlowskis that appear, click on the name of the one in Texas (which we have been told above), and so on.  Trial and error is the best teacher of how to navigate this web site.

In the table below, the large-font dollars at the bottom of each column is the sum of all the small-font dollars above it.  At the very bottom of each column is a link to the CMS page from which all small-font dollar amounts in the same column were copied.  In CMS tables on the instant web page, the cents shown on the original CMS site have been truncated.

THE MAGNIFICENT EIGHT UNMASKED
Dr BARTHEL BARLOGIE is one of the MAGNIFICENT EIGHT
Dr BARTHEL BARLOGIE
UAMS, Little Rock AR
Dr JAMES BERENSON is one of the MAGNIFICENT EIGHT
Dr JAMES BERENSON
IMBCR-Los Angeles CA
Dr PARAMESWARAN N HARI is one of the MAGNIFICENT EIGHT
Dr PARAMESWARAN N HARI
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee WI
Dr JESUS F SAN MIGUEL is one of the MAGNIFICENT EIGHT
Dr JESUS F SAN MIGUEL
University Hospital of Salamanca, Spain
NO AUTHORSHIP OF
FIRST FIVE PAPERS
NO AUTHORSHIP OF
FIRST FIVE PAPERS
NO AUTHORSHIP OF
FIRST FIVE PAPERS
Is lead-author or co-author of red:
San Miguel (2008) VISTA
Mateos (2010)
San Miguel (2013)

Palumbo (2016) CASTOR
Dimopoulos (2016) POLLUX
2016
General Payments   $2,466
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $198,280
2016
General Payments   $388,572
Research Payments   $117,488
Associated Research  $1,051,608
2016
General Payments   $129,764
Research Payments   $753
Associated Research  $264,302
NO CMS DATA BECAUSE
DOCTOR IS NOT U.S. BASED
2015
General Payments   $1,907
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $135,178
2015
General Payments   $372,914
Research Payments   $4,980
Associated Research  $2,198,257
2015
General Payments   $178,120
Research Payments   $1,400
Associated Research  $188,811
2014
General Payments   $320
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $783,167
2014
General Payments   $444,088
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $2,906,688
2014
General Payments   $130,755
Research Payments   $50
Associated Research  $119,446
2013 (Aug - Dec)
General Payments   $3,409
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $531,795
2013 (Aug - Dec)
General Payments   $138,345
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $294,442
2013 (Aug - Dec)
General Payments   $11,501
Research Payments   $59
Associated Research  $164,313
$1,656,522
OpenPayments Total
as dowloaded Dec2017
openpaymentsdata.cms.gov
$7,917,382
OpenPayments Total
as dowloaded Dec2017
openpaymentsdata.cms.gov
$1,189,274
OpenPayments Total
as dowloaded Dec2017
openpaymentsdata.cms.gov
 
Dr ROBERT Z ORLOWSKI is one of the MAGNIFICENT EIGHT
Dr ROBERT Z ORLOWSKI
MD Anderson, Houston TX
Dr ANTONIO PALUMBO is one of the MAGNIFICENT EIGHT
Dr ANTONIO PALUMBO
University of Torino, Italy
Dr SUNDARARAJAN V RAJKUMAR is one of THE MAGNIFICENT EIGHT
Dr SUNDARARAJAN V RAJKUMAR
Mayo, Rochester MN
Dr PAUL G RICHARDSON is the most magnificent of THE MAGNIFICENT EIGHT because he accepted Big Pharma payments totalling $19.6 million during 2013-2016
Dr PAUL G RICHARDSON
Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston MA
Is co-author of red:
San Miguel (2008) VISTA
Mateos (2010)
San Miguel (2013)
Palumbo (2016) CASTOR
Dimopoulos (2016) POLLUX
Is lead-author or co-author of red:
San Miguel (2008) VISTA
Mateos (2010)
San Miguel (2013)
Palumbo (2016) CASTOR
Dimopoulos (2016) POLLUX
NO AUTHORSHIP OF
FIRST FIVE PAPERS
Is co-author of red:
San Miguel (2008) VISTA
Mateos (2010)
San Miguel (2013)
Palumbo (2016) CASTOR
Dimopoulos (2016) POLLUX
2016
General Payments   $23,343
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $618,806
NO CMS DATA BECAUSE
DOCTOR IS NOT U.S. BASED
2016
General Payments   N/A
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research   $15
2016
General Payments   $86,361
Research Payments   $16,383
Associated Research  $4,718,058
2015
General Payments   $32,027
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $868,390
2015
General Payments   N/A
Research Payments   $1,932
Associated Research  $5,063
2015
General Payments   $59,331
Research Payments   $16,478
Associated Research $4,434,189
2014
General Payments   $19,522
Research Payments   $2,290
Associated Research  $483,302
2014
General Payments   $770
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $545
2014
General Payments   $98,483
Research Payments   $7,057
Associated Research $6,612,461
2013 (Aug - Dec)
General Payments   $9,014
Research Payments   $466
Associated Research  $5,889
2013 (Aug - Dec)
General Payments   $256
Research Payments   N/A
Associated Research  $570
2013 (Aug - Dec)
General Payments   $13,235
Research Payments   $7,538
Associated Research $3,578,222
$2,063,049
OpenPayments Total
as dowloaded Dec2017
openpaymentsdata.cms.gov
$9,151
OpenPayments Total
as dowloaded Dec2017
openpaymentsdata.cms.gov
$19,647,796
OpenPayments Total
as dowloaded Dec2017
openpaymentsdata.cms.gov
CAUTION!

"The transparency display of transactions from applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations to physicians and teaching hospitals does not necessarily mean any of the reported financial relationships are improper."  openpaymentsdata.cms.gov

"Sharing information about financial relationships alone is not enough to decide whether they’re beneficial or improper.  Just because there are financial ties doesn’t mean that anyone is doing anything wrong."  cms.gov/OpenPayments

"If you are a physician who served as a principal investigator on a research study, you may see the payments associated with that research study listed under your name.  This does not necessarily mean the payments are attributed to you."  FAQ #12224  cms.gov/OpenPayments

The broad conclusion invited by the above information is that of the six MAGNIFICENT EIGHT for whom CMS data are available, all six involve themselves in drug-industry payments, and five of the six in payments soaring between $1.2 million to $19.6 million, which may be so high as to render implausible that these five in particular can have been left with much freedom of independent judgement.  And a cancer patient understandably dedicated to the goal of survival may be excused for granting zero credibility to doctors able to altogether escape disclosure of their drug-company involvement, such as Drs Jesus San Miguel and Antonio Palumbo.  CMS omitting to cover them does not prevent them from keeping their integrity on a level with their American friends by working to make CMS coverage international, and until that happens, publishing their own income tax returns, say in some corner of the CMS web site.

THREE STEPS TO EMPOWERING THE PATIENT

(1)  Many of our MAGNIFICENT EIGHT either demonstrate, or in the absence of data may be suspected of, an inability to distinguish scientific research from advertising.  As patients themselves learn how to critique research, they will be able to see when their own doctor is unable to, and their doctor's embarrassment will provide the motivation for him/her learning to do the same.

Dr Paul RICHARDSON of the DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE was the happy recipient of $19.6 million Big Pharma money over the years 2013-2016  

(2)  If Dr Richardson really was an advocate of Patient Power, he could take a step in the right direction by editing his poster on the left to the version below, and by advocating that all doctors and researchers wear a badge indicating the depth of their involvement with drug companies, a badge bearing an inscription like the one on the lower-right below.

Dr Paul RICHARDSON of the DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE handled $19.6 million Big Pharma money over the years 2013-2016

That badge of Paul Richardson should be read as follows: "Big Pharma's influence over me is proportional to the $19.6 million in payments it has involved me in."

(3)  Treasure and disseminate cartoons.  They capture truths in indelible images:

Mike Keefe cartoon: NINE OUT OF TEN DOCTORS ON OUR PAYROLL RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT

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