In tracing the history of evidence-based medicine tonight (for a lecture I have to give on Friday), a found the story of thalidomide on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide ).
(While I recognize that the information provided on this site is uncorroborated, I also recognize that it has been referenced by Federal Distric Courts in various decisions - see http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/29/technology/29wikipedia.html?ex=1186545600&en=4e6683fb4fac3044&ei=5070 - so I consider it possibility generating rather than evidence corroborating.)
This story is a tragic one of a company with a product to sell (a "treatment looking for an indication" - hmmm...) and its unscrupulous marketing of this product in the absence of evidence of both safety and efficacy.
The story of Thalidomide should serve as a stark and poignant reminder of the potential harmful effects of a marketing campaign, impelled by profiteering, gone awry.
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