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Skyrocketing medical fraud

If you’re a fan of fiction, pick up some of the medical journals — these things contain more fantasy than “Harry Potter.”

Fraud, incompetence, poor math, and drug advice so bad it may as well be a magical spell — you name it, you’ll find it in a “leading” medical journal right now… disguised as scientific research.

It’s so bad that the number of retractions in supposedly peer-reviewed journals has risen 15-fold over the past decade, from 22 in 2001 — 22 too many in my book — to a whopping 339 last year, according to a new study.

The researchers say that 73.5 percent of the retractions were due to run-of-the-mill sloppiness. But the rest — more than 26 percent — were pulled for a much more diabolical reason: scientific fraud.

These phony studies were up 700 percent over the course of the decade, making fraud the fastest growing piece of the retraction pie.

Regardless of the reason, fraud or incompetence, every single bad study has the power to ruin lives — because real doctors make decisions every day based on what they read in those journals.

One study on blood pressure meds led to some 100,000 people taking extra drugs they didn’t need and risking side effects for a benefit that turned out to be 100 percent fictional.

Yet it took The Lancet SIX YEARS to retract that study!

Think that’s bad? Nearly a third of the retracted studies are never marked as such — so future researchers going through the archives won’t know they’re reading a medical “Harry Potter.”

If you want a daily up-close look at all this madness, check this out . It’s like a “Who’s Who” of scientific stupidity.

And in case you’re wondering, the retractions aren’t slowing down: We’re on pace for 360 this year. And yes, that would be a record.

Happy reading.

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