How long does it take for new prescription drugs to become mainstream?

You probably don’t want to hear your doctor proclaiming “I’m so indie, I was prescribing that *way* before it was cool.” Or maybe you do? If you’re a hipster and you really need to know when a particular band stops being underground and teeters on the edge of being mainstream so you can only like … Continue reading How long does it take for new prescription drugs to become mainstream?

Learning from “Learning from Hackers”

Alongside colleagues (Enrico Coiera and Richard Day) from here in Sydney and (Kenneth Mandl) from near Boston in the US, I wrote an article for Science Translational Medicine in which we related the current system of “clinical trial evidence translation” to the very successful open source software movement. We highlighted the factors in that success - … Continue reading Learning from “Learning from Hackers”

Do pharmaceutical companies have too much influence over the evidence base?

Imagine you are a doctor and you have a patient sitting with you in your office. You have already diagnosed your patient with a condition. Treatment for this condition will definitely include prescribing the patient with one or more drugs. And, because the condition is quite common, there are several government-subsidised drugs from which you … Continue reading Do pharmaceutical companies have too much influence over the evidence base?

A Ghostwriter’s insight into the industry

From PLoS Medicine, a nice article on ghost-writing by a former writer, with interesting information about why she did it, and why she stopped doing it. It is also very interesting to get an insight into exactly how the pharmaceutical industry is able to manipulate the publication of articles and the direct education of clinicians. A … Continue reading A Ghostwriter’s insight into the industry

Wapner on Avastin

Always interesting and engaging, Jessica Wapner has discussed the bevacizumab (Avastin) saga and a recent recommendation made to the FDA that the drug is not appropriate for the treatment of breast cancer. It is a difficult example because the drug is prohibitively expensive, will evoke a positive response in a relatively small proportion of patients, … Continue reading Wapner on Avastin

French guidelines are withdrawn after court finds potential bias among authors

[Lenzer 342 — bmj.com] Formindep “promotes independent medical education and information” found that the working groups involved with the guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease had major financial conflicts of interest and some members failed to disclose their financial interests. It’s fine to demand disclosure of financial interests, but what would they do with the guidelines if … Continue reading French guidelines are withdrawn after court finds potential bias among authors