For more than 40 years, patients have paid far too much for a brand name thyroid hormone called Synthroid because the company that sells it has actively promoted the illusion that Synthroid was a dependable thyroid pill to treat people with low thyroid function. The Food and Drug Administration recently announced Synthroid is not dependable and the dose in the pill varies from batch to batch, so that patients may be overdosed one month and then be under dosed on the next, even though the dose on the pill reads the same. This is of particular concern, because overdosages of thyroid hormone cause severe osteoporosis, irregular heart beats, strokes and chest pain.

Not only is the company guilty of creating an illusion that Synthroid is better than generic pills, it also is guilty of heinous behavior in trying to destroy a respected researcher's reputation. In 1987, the manufacturer of Synthroid, a thyroid hormone pill used to treat people with low thyroid function, asked Betty Dong, a highly respected researcher at the University of California in San Francisco, to test their expensive brand name drug against other far cheaper generic equivalents. She found no difference between the expensive brand, Synthroid and the inexpensive generic, Levothroid. The manufacturer then tried to prevent publication of her results. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 15, 1997), they sent letters to the chancellor, all five vice-chancellors and several department heads at the University of California, San Francisco, trying to discredit Dr Dong's studies. It is despicable for a company officer writing a letter to the president of a medical school, in effect, asking the school to fire a researcher because she wrote the truth. The University found her work beyond criticism. Dr Dong submitted her findings to the Journal of the American Medical Association and it was scheduled to be published, but was later withdrawn because of the threat of a lawsuit.

Checked 8/9/05

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