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Healthy Skepticism Updates

Update 2010-04-16

Updates return

This is the first Healthy Skepticism Update since September 2009. We apologise for the delay. We have been busy moving to our new website. Now that the move is almost complete we will be producing Updates about once a month.

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Recent Announcements

Registration open for the Selling Sickness conference, Amsterdam Oct 7-8
Registration NOW OPEN!!
The topics - confirmed speakers - the rates - how to register - call for posters - hotel booking
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T Shirts now available for sale
Healthy Skepticism T Shirts are now available for sale from Remo General Store

25 June 2010 - Prescription for Conflict: Should Industry Fund Continuing Medical Education?
A conference hosted by PharmedOut
Friday, June 25, 2010
Georgetown University Intercultural Center, Washington DC

New AdWatch issues

2010 April, USA: Wyeth’s Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine) for major depressive disorder

2009 October, USA: Amylin and Eli Lilly’s Byetta® (exenatide injection) for type 2 diabetes

Recent HS International News

March: Whose bread I eat, his song I sing
by Julian Burnside QC
Julian Burnside is a prominent Australian barrister. In 2009 he represented the lead plaintiff in a class action against Merck concerning the effects of Vioxx. This is an excerpted version of the keynote address he gave at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Congress in Adelaide on 28 May 2009.

February: Paxil Study 329: Paroxetine vs Imipramine vs Placebo in Adolescents
by Jon Jureidini
Jon has collected a set of internal pharmaceutical company documents about study 329 that at now in the public domain following litigation.

December: Internal company documents regarding 3 atypical antipsychotic drugs
by Peter Parry and Glen Spielmans
Peter and Glen have created a set of PowerPoint files of the so called “Zyprexa documents”. These are examples of internal pharmaceutical company (in this case Eli-Lilly) documents that have been subpoenaed to court cases.

November: Big Pharma Beaten
by Steindór J. Erlingsson
GSK in Iceland forced to withdraw a drug-promoting depression booklet


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Next Update: Update 2010-05-18

Previous Update: Update 2009-09-20

Updates homepage

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