Current Posts – 12 March 2015

Medical opinion that the Saatchi Bill was a quacks’ charter and should be thrown out won the day last week to the deep disappointment of many patients. It would have granted doctors greater freedom to deliver new or unlicensed treatments to terminal cancer patients. The doctors argued that the bill would have created “false hope”. In a powerful and moving post, Sophie Sabbage explains how logically flawed and patronising that rationale is.

Fighting in the high-fat low-carb corner against the low fat dietary establishment can be a lonely business. Funding is sparse and colleagues don’t just dispute your data, they take it personally and attack your competence, motives and scientific judgment. So when over five hundred of them came together for a conference in South Africa last month it was a happy, inspiring event and the science was cutting edge. They went home promising a revolution.

Welcome to a new episode in the statin saga. Even though virtually everyone over 60 is eligible for a statin prescription to prevent heart disease, argument still rages about just how safe and effective they are. Latest twist is that the analysis needed to decide the risk of side effects are has never been done. What’s more the way benefits are calculated could be very misleading.

Developing a safe and effective drug to melt away excess pounds is the dream of every drug company executive. It’s also fantastically hard trick to pull off because the control of energy intake and expenditure is fearsomely complicated. So drugs inevitably come with nasty side-effects. The latest offering comes trailing the usual wide-eyes PR optimism. Zoe Harcombe peers under the hood and doesn’t buy it.



Editor: Jerome Burne |

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