From the Blog


Doctor Munchausen: Dying for a Cure

Editorial Note:  This is the second in a Doctor Munchausen series of posts - meditations on the fact that medicine is likely the place where the greatest amount of abuse on earth happens - but no-one notices and no-one intervenes. The post below comes from the foreword to Dying for a Cure, Rebekah Beddoe's book on what happened her when she fell into the clutches of a doctor.  The book came out … [Read More...]


Doctor Munchausen I Presume!

Editorial note:  As Britain descends into an orgy of handwringing about the abuse of vulnerable people, this is the first of several posts to tackle the issue In 2000 when I gave a lecture on Psychopharmacology and the Government of the Self at the invitation of the University of Toronto, I ran into a problem. In the public domain our shared difficulties were because of this lecture. In fact, … [Read More...]

Please Don’t Empower me Anymore

Editorial Note:  This is the second part of a Motivational Interviewing series crafted by Johanna Ryan and Ken Spriggs.  Do you know the locations of all the best bathrooms? Do you often take a seat near the exit, just in case? Do you excuse yourself often to use the bathroom? Do you ever skip meals, or avoid certain foods, to avoid multiple bathroom trips? Those are questions from … [Read More...]

We are the Ninety Nine Percent

Editorial Note:  This is a Coda to the four posts about Sense about Science and AllTrials - Follow the Rhetoric, First Admit no Harm, Follow the Lawsuit & Follow the Patient. The last post ended on this note: Over 18 months ago, RxISK attempted to open up a debate on the ambiguities and conflicts at its heart. Doing what it does, could it operate as a business in the marketplace or … [Read More...]

Sense about Science: Follow the Patient

Editorial Note:  This is the fourth of four posts about the links between Sense about Science and AllTrials.  The first was Follow the Rhetoric.  The Second was First Admit no Harm. The third was Follow the Lawsuit. The simple act of defining doctors or patients concerned about adverse events as “critics” is a rhetorical stroke that marginalizes concerns - makes you  a one percenter rather than … [Read More...]

Sense about Science: Follow the Lawsuit

Editorial Note:  This is a third in a series of posts about Sense about Science and Access to Clinical Trial Data that began with Follow the Rhetoric and followed up with First Admit no Harm. There are some facts in the last few posts. There are also some extrapolations that may not be right. Tracey Brown has gone on the Parliamentary Record to make clear what AllTrials are asking for - its … [Read More...]

Sense about Science: First Admit no Harm

Editorial Note: This is a second post exploring Sense about Science.  The first post Follow the Rhetoric is here. Anyone interested in Pharma will know about its ability to Astroturf – to create patient organizations whose role is to promote an illness or subvert an existing one.  Creating awareness of conditions sells drugs. On a Higher Astral Plane Less well known is what happens at a … [Read More...]

Sense about Science: Follow the Rhetoric

Editorial Note: This is the first of four posts about the link between Sense about Science and AllTrials triggered by the post Fucked and comments afterward by Ben Goldacre, Tracey Brown and others which raised these links. My first contact with Sense about Science was linked to the Simon Singh affair.  Singh had made some relatively innocuous statements about chiropractic and been sued for … [Read More...]

Trudo Lemmens of the University of Toronto critiques the recently distributed draft EMA Clinical Trials Data Release Policy.

[First published in the PLOS Blog.  Click here for the original post.] Things were looking good recently in Europe for data transparency, a necessary, albeit not sufficient, tool to promote integrity of pharmaceutical data. The European Court’s Vice-President overturned in November 2013 two lower court interim suspensions of EMA’s data access decision in relation to Abbvie’s drug Humira and … [Read More...]

Motivational Interviewing

Editorial Note:  Motivational interviewing began as a technique to help opiate or nicotine addicts or alcoholics.  The idea was to move them through contemplation of the possibility of change, to having an action plan and then acting.  It recognized that there was no point just arguing that addiction was wrong - you had to understand a person as well as the understood themselves to be able to get … [Read More...]

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