Dr Angell reported receiving royalties from her book The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It.
In fact, Angell seems to have devoted a great deal of her career over the past decade to criticizing the pharmaceutical industry.
In the first several paragraphs she goes through the usual litany of concerns: conflicts of interest, publication bias, rigged designs and spinning of results. These are valid concerns, but Angell, simplistically putting almost all the blame on industry, wants a government solution:
I have proposed that an Institute for Prescription Drug Trials be established within the NIH to administer clinical trials of prescription drugs, including the premarketing trials that will be submitted to the FDA as a part of new drug applications.
The implied premise, that taking clinical trials out of the hands of the pharmaceutical industry would solve the problems, is faulty. The problems Angell cites permeate non-industry supported research and the government is no exception. Examples abound. I have noted just a few in previous posts:              
But this is over the top:
Physicians can no longer rely on the medical literature for valid and reliable information. This is the conclusion I reluctantly reached toward the end of my 2 decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, and it has been reinforced in subsequent years.
Does Angell think simplistic readers’ acceptance of this alarmist statement will rally support for more government control? Complete government control of the performance of clinical trials and their publication is not likely to happen soon and, for the reasons I stated, would not solve the problem.
What then are practicing doctors to do? Angell’s statement above suggests that in the current environment the practice of evidence based medicine and science based medicine are impossible. Nonsense. EBM is premised on the fact that all research reports have weaknesses and are to be viewed with skepticism. SBM, recognizing that EBM lacks the tools to examine all claims, goes a step further by evaluating reports in light of prior research and scientific plausibility. In short, doctors have the tools to critically appraise the medical literature. It’s hard to believe Dr. Angell wants to abandon EBM altogether. More likely she would revise EBM’s evidence pyramid to look something like this: (Click image to zoom).