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Healthy Skepticism International News

May 2003

Portal to BMJ Special issue on Doctors and the Drug industry

We invite subscribers to read and write rapid responses to one or more of the articles below.

The links below will open BMJ articles in a new window.

Editor’s choice

  Food, flattery, and friendship
      Jane Smith [Full text] [PDF] 

This week in the BMJ

  This week in the BMJ [Full text] [PDF]
  Research sponsored by drug companies is biased [Full text]
  Drug representatives may increase unnecessary GP prescribing [Full text]
  Reporting of clinical trials of drugs shows bias [Full text]

Editorials

No more free lunches
Kamran Abbasi and Richard Smith
BMJ 2003; 326: 1155-1156. [Full text] [PDF] 
Information from drug companies and opinion leaders
Alessandro Liberati and Nicola Magrini
BMJ 2003; 326: 1156-1157. [Full text] [PDF] 

News

  Drug company secretly briefed medical societies on HRT [Full text] [PDF] 
  Schering uses German medical association to promote HRT [Full text] [PDF] 
  Drug company sponsorship of education could be replaced at a fraction of its cost [Full text] [PDF] 
  Drug companies advised to publish unfavourable trial results [Full text] [PDF] 

News roundup

  World body reviews doctors’ links to drug industry [Abridged text] [Abridged PDF] [Full text] 

Papers

Pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and research outcome and quality: systematic review
Joel Lexchin, Lisa A Bero, Benjamin Djulbegovic, and Otavio Clark
BMJ 2003; 326: 1167-1170. [Abstract] [Abridged text] [Abridged PDF] [Full text] [PDF] 
Evidence b(i)ased medicine-selective reporting from studies sponsored by pharmaceutical industry: review of studies in new drug applications
Hans Melander, Jane Ahlqvist-Rastad, Gertie Meijer, and Björn Beermann
BMJ 2003; 326: 1171-1173. [Abstract] [Abridged text] [Abridged PDF] [Full text] [PDF] 

Primary care
Characteristics of general practitioners who frequently see drug industry representatives: national cross sectional study
Chris Watkins, Laurence Moore, Ian Harvey, Patricia Carthy, Elizabeth Robinson, and Richard Brawn
BMJ 2003; 326: 1178-1179. [Full text] [PDF] 

Education and debate

Who pays for the pizza? Redefining the relationships between doctors and drug companies. 1: Entanglement
Ray Moynihan
BMJ 2003; 326: 1189-1192. [Full text] [PDF] 
Who pays for the pizza? Redefining the relationships between doctors and drug companies. 2: Disentanglement
Ray Moynihan
BMJ 2003; 326: 1193-1196. [Full text] [PDF] 
How to dance with porcupines: rules and guidelines on doctors’ relations with drug companies
Elizabeth Wager
BMJ 2003; 326: 1196-1198. [Full text] [PDF] 
Medical journals and pharmaceutical companies: uneasy bedfellows
Richard Smith
BMJ 2003; 326: 1202-1205. [Full text] [PDF] 
Unhealthy spin
Bob Burton and Andy Rowell
BMJ 2003; 326: 1205-1207. [Full text] [PDF] 
Relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and patients’ organisations
Andrew Herxheimer
BMJ 2003; 326: 1208-1210. [Full text] [PDF] 
Letters

Journals should select drug advertisements more carefully
James J Oliver and Simon R Maxwell
BMJ 2003; 326: 1211. [Full text] 
Charities and patient groups should declare interests
Jenny Hirst
BMJ 2003; 326: 1211. [Full text] 
reviews

  Multimedia

  Book: The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers
      Ray Moynihan [Full text] [PDF] 

  Ad: Regulator spells out rules on disease awareness campaigns
      Trevor Jackson [Full text] 

  Website Of The Week: Doctors and the drug industry
      Marcus Müllner [Full text] 

  Personal views

  In praise of the “devil”
      Silvia Bonaccorso and Richard Smith [Full text] 

  How not to do medical research
      Philip Belcher [Full text] 

 

 

HS Int News index

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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909