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Brain Inflammation Blog #2: The Drug Company Hijacking of Fibromyalgia
PDF of articles with additional information

Dr Alex Vasquez, 16 May 2016 

Note: Dr Vasquez's expertise on the topics of fibromyalgia, dysbiosis, nutrition, functional medicine, clinical medicine, and microbiome/dysbiosis is demonstrated by the following publications (and more) plus numerous international post-graduate presentations since 2001: 

  1. Neuroinflammation in fibromyalgia and CRPS is multifactorial. Nature Reviews Rheumatology 2016 Mar PDF

  2. The Microbiome Arrives to Prime Time in Primary Care, Implications for the Anti-Dysbiotic Treatment of Fibromyalgia. Nutritional Perspectives 2015 Oct PDF

  3. Translating Microbiome (Microbiota) and Dysbiosis Research into Clinical Practice: The 20-Year Development of a Structured Approach that Gives Actionable Form to Intellectual Concepts. International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine  2015 Jun PDF

  4. Inflammation Mastery, 4th Edition (and thereafter). 2016 PDF of samples

  5. Mitochondrial Medicine Arrives to Prime Time in Clinical Care: Nutritional Biochemistry and Mitochondrial Hyperpermeability (“Leaky Mitochondria”) Meet Disease Pathogenesis and Clinical Interventions. Integr Med 2014 Aug


I was right in 2008 and 2011: In 2008, I published the first (to my knowledge) integrated model of fibromyalgia in a CME monograph commissioned by the Institute for Functional Medicine. In 2011 I created the video immediately below based on the book I had just published titled Migraine Headaches, Hypothyroidism, and Fibromyalgia which has now been replaced by the full-color Pain Revolution in Migraine and Fibromyalgia(digital ebook available) and the cheaper grayscale excerpt Brain Inflammation in Chronic Pain (same digital ebook); that information is excerpted from the much larger Inflammation Mastery 4th Edition (complete work, Chapters 1-5) and Textbook of Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine (Chapter 5 only, because many people told me they wanted the work available in two volumes).

1) Drug company-sponsored authors have rewritten the diagnostic criteria to make the criteria broader (more drug sales) and more durable (more difficult to excape the diagnosis) to result in more patients being diagnosed with fibromyalgia = more patients = more drug sales: What I proposed then was that the re-writing of the diagnostic criteria was funded by the drug companies who wanted to make the diagnosis 1) available to more people, 2) for longer periods of time, and 3) without the need for a doctor's exam so that patients could diagnose themselves over the internet and then demand drugs. I am still quite sure that is what happened. 

2) Drug-company funding of review articles pushes more drugs on more patients: Selling drugs requires convincing doctors that drugs are the best treatment. That is exactly what has happened. Look at most review articles on fibromyalgia and you will find that either/both 1) the authors are funded directly (payment) or indirectly (medical school research grants), and/or 2) the citation of work published by such drug company employees. 

3) Drug companies continue to manipulate the science on fibromyalgia: See Brain Inflammation Blog #1 and be sure to see the video from 2016 recorded in Paris (introduction, provided above).

4) Some medical authors fail to disclose that they are sponsored by drug companies, and the journals let them get away with the lie so that the research will appear more objective and will therefore sell more reprints: Yes, for example, in August 2015 the same author claimed "no financial disclosures" for an article on fibromyalgia wherein he supported the idiopathic drug-dependency model while in another article in the exact same month he disclosed payment from 6 different drug companies, not to mention that his medical school had just received USD$1million from a drug company that makes one of the approved drugs for chronic pain.