Lancet editors discuss the case of a science writer, Simon Singh, and what happened when he wrote an opinion piece in the Guardian (UK) about claims by chiropractors, who promptly sued him.
The original article can be found on an external site after being pulled from the Guardian’s website after the original complaint from the BCA.
More on the BCA dropping their pursuit of Simon Singh has just been published in BMJ
Be careful who you criticise
Amy Wang and colleagues from Mayo Clinic write about the tendancy for authors with financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline to write favourably about the drug Rosiglitazone, which has been linked to increased risk of myocardial function and is arguably less useful than another drug on the market, Pioglitazone. Both drugs are used in diabetes care.
Fiona Godlee yesterday likened the problem to that of a similar case featuring calcium channel blockers back in 1998. The situation has improved slightly since then, but I personally believe that you can’t stop people from NOT publishing negative results if they have vested interests, you can only encourage and support researchers without vested interests to do objective reviews. If people are unwilling to shoot themselves in the foot, then what place is there for research that comes from those who are essentially attempting to market their work in a scientific manner. Policing comes from review and journal acceptance rates, not from forcing people to reveal data.
Vested interests in healthcare, as usual