Post Tagged with: "evidence based medicine"

Tackling Alzheimer’s: who benefits from current spending?

11 by / on 7 Jul 2014, / in dementia

Is putting all our eggs in the drug basket really the best way to beat Alzheimer’s? Just as we can’t rely on drug companies alone to beat antibiotic resistance, so we can’t rely on a pharmaceutical silver bullet for Alzheimer’s. Tackling antibiotic resistance needs heavy investment in drugs that will be used sparingly for a short time. The pharma model prefers drugs for as many people as possible for as long as possible. (Read More…)

The statins wars: Another round and maybe some clarity

7 by / on 11 Jun 2014, / in statins

Don’t prescribe statins to any more people. That’s the clear message from a strongly worded open letter to the head of NICE and to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt published today. If you groan at the prospect of yet more confusion over statins, this post might bring a bit of clarity. Please read on.

It’s the latest volley in long running battle about whether cholesterol lowering statins are a good way of cutting the risk of heart attack and death in virtually the entire population with vanishingly small number of effects or whether they don’t actually benefit most people and are quite likely to cause side effects that range from the unpleasant to the deadly.(Read more…)

Eminence based medicine defends the status quo on statins

28 by / on 22 May 2014, / in statins

Last week I was called by a friend who opened the conversation by saying: “So you were wrong about statins.” He was referring to the correction that the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has had to make in two papers that claimed statins have a high level of side effects. But I certainly haven’t recanted and started popping those pills.
Given the huge amount of attention this has attracted, the actual point being “corrected” is remarkably small. It is the kind of thing that would normally be dealt with by publishing a response to the article in the journal. I’ll come to the specifics in a moment but first a bit of context…. (Read more…)

How the TV bout Sugar vs. Fat was rigged

41 by / on 30 Jan 2014, / in low carb diet

Just how accurate and informative was BBC2’s Horizon program on Wednesday that aimed at scientifically answering the question: which is more deadly: Eating lots of sugar or lots of fat? The format was to feed two doctors who were also identical twins – Alex and Chris – unlimited amounts of one or the other. Alex got a low carb/high fat diet while Chris followed the traditional low fat/high carb diet with added the sugar. (Read more…)

Science and the great biomedical lottery

6 by / on 22 Jan 2014, / in evidence based medicine

Unfortunately for the rest of us today’s medical research is not driven by an abstract search for objective truth but by the need to produce a product. Unless there is a drug at the end of promising new line of research it’s unlikely to attract funding from the biggest payers – the drug companies. Instead it will be parked with the comment that it needs more research, the funding for which will be virtually impossible to obtain, however effective it is. (Read more…)

Companies claim drugs’ side effects are commercial secrets

1 by / on 7 Jan 2014, / in evidence based medicine

One of the comforting myths about the powerful drugs used in modern medicine is that they are prescribed on the basis of good scientific evidence. Proper randomised clinical trials, we are regularly assured, compare them with a placebo and the results can tell us which are safe and effective.
However this is an illusion. For nearly thirty years drug experts have known that there was a major flaw in this assumption, which doctors and the agencies set up to regulate drugs have chosen largely to ignore. (Read more…)

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