DC's Improbable Science

Truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science

DC's Improbable Science header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'Big Pharma'

Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: a review

April 16th, 2014 · 5 Comments

This is a web version of a review of Peter Gotzsche’s book. It appeared in the April 2014 Healthwatch Newsletter. Read the whole newsletter. It has lots of good stuff. Their newsletters are here. Healthwatch has been exposing quackery since 1989. Their very first newsletter is still relevant.

Most new drugs and vaccines […]

[

Tags: Academia · badscience · Big Pharma · blogosphere

Science is harmed by hype. How to live for 969 years.

December 31st, 2013 · 7 Comments

Jump to follow-up
[This an update of a 2006 post on my old blog]
The New York Times (17 January 2006) published a beautiful spoof that illustrates only too clearly some of the bad practices that have developed in real science (as well as in quackery). It shows that competition, when taken to excess, leads to dishonesty.
More […]

[

Tags: Alzheimer's · Anti-science · Bad journalism · Big Pharma · Universities · Vitamin

The British Pharmacological Society and the MHRA don’t help the cause of honest science. They hinder it.

February 27th, 2013 · 9 Comments

Jump to follow-up
The bulletin of the British Pharmacological Society, Pharmacology Matters, declined to publish the following article. Sadly the Society seems to be more interested in "reputation management" than in truth. Luckily, it is not easy to suppress criticism these days. A version of the article has appeared in Research Fortnight where it will […]

[

Tags: Academia · Adrian Eddleston · Big Pharma · British Pharmacological Society · CAM · MHRA

Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma. Buy it now. Then do something.

September 25th, 2012 · 16 Comments

Jump to follow-up

This is a very important book.
Buy it now (that link is to Waterstone’s Amazon don’t pay tax in the UK, so don’t use them).
When you’ve read it, do something about it. The book has lots of suggestions about what to do.

Stolen from badscience.net

Peter Medawar, the eminent biologist, in his classic book Advice to […]

[

Tags: Academia · badscience · Big Pharma · BMJ · CAM · Clinical trials · Continuing med education · corruption · Freedom of Information Act · randomisation · RCT · Universities

Mea Culpa

September 13th, 2009 · 29 Comments

Jump to follow-up
In July 2008 I wrote an editorial in the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ), at the request of its editor.
The title was  Dr Who? deception by chiropractors.  It was not very flattering and it resulted in a letter from lawyers representing the New Zealand Chiropractic Association.  Luckily the editor of the […]

[

Tags: Back pain · badscience · Big Pharma · British Chiropractic Association · chiropractic · chiropractor · conflict of interest · David Owen · defamation · George Lewith · homeopathy · Lionel Milgram · N.Z. Chiropractors’ Association · N.Z. College of Chiropractic · New Zealand · New Zealand Medical Journal · NZMJ · UCL

Patent medicines in 1938 and now: A.J.Clark’s book.

September 29th, 2008 · 14 Comments

Jump to follow-up
Alfred Joseph Clark FRS held the established chair of Pharmacology at UCL from 1919 to 1926, when he left for Edinburgh.  In the 1920s and 30s, Clark was a great pioneer in the application of quantitative physical ideas to pharmacology.   As well as his classic scientific works, like The Mode of Action […]

[

Tags: Academia · advertisements · antiscience · ASA · Bad journalism · badscience · Big Pharma · blogosphere · Boots · business · CAM · chiropractor · conflict of interest · coQ10 · corruption · Dangerous advice · Department of Health · herbalism · MHRA · N.Z. Chiropractors’ Association · New Zealand Medical Journal · nutribollocks · nutritional therapy · Politicians · regulation · Universities

Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science. “Let me tell you how bad things have become”

September 11th, 2008 · 14 Comments

There have been some really excellent books about quackery this year.  This isn’t one of them, because

Nice dedication uh?

it is about a lot more than quackery  It is about the scientific method in general. and in particular about how often it is misunderstood by journalists.  Abuse of evidence by the pharmaceutical industry is treated just […]

[

Tags: Academia · anti-oxidant · Anti-science · antiscience · antoxidant · badscience · Big Pharma · CAM · corporate · corruption · Department of Health · Geoffrey Petts · herbalism · homeopathy · honey · Human resources · nutribollocks · nutrition · Pittilo · supplements · Universities · vice-chancellors

Integrative baloney @ Yale

May 16th, 2008 · 28 Comments

Jump to follow up
The extent to which irrationality has become established in US Medicine is truly alarming I wrote about Quackademics in the USA and Canada on my last trip to the USA, and on my May trip I visited Yale, where I decided to […]

[

Tags: Academia · acupuncture · advertisements · anti-oxidant · Anti-science · antioxidant · antiscience · antoxidant · badscience · Big Pharma · CAM · herbalism · homeopathy · management bollocks · nutribollocks · nutrition · supplements · Universities

Are you reconceptualising?

December 8th, 2007 · 10 Comments

The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) last week had a headline “Staff loyalty key to Hefce report”.
Staff loyalty is something I’m interested in, so I read on eagerly.
The article was about report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It came from their Leadership, Governance and Management Strategic Advisory Committee (dated 2-3 July […]

[

Tags: Academia · Anti-science · Big Pharma · business · corporate · corruption · Politicians · PR · science · spin · trust · Universities

The Vitamin B scam. Don’t trust Boots

November 21st, 2007 · 16 Comments

Jump straight to the stings.
This advertisement has to be one of the sneakiest bits of spin that I’ve seen in a while. It appeared in today’s Guardian. And a lot more people will see it than will look at the homeopathic nonsense on the Boots ‘education’ site.
What on earth does it mean? One […]

[

Tags: advertisements · Anti-science · Bad journalism · Big Pharma · Boots · business · corporate · nutribollocks · PR · spin

A conversation with a ghost writer

November 7th, 2007 · 15 Comments

This may seem very odd to people outside the biosciences area, but in recent years a business has grown up that will write a paper for you, on the basis of data supplied by a pharmaceutical company. The person who actually did the writing will usually not appear as an author at all […]

[

Tags: Big Pharma · conflict of interest · corporate · corruption · trust · Universities

Universities Inc. in the UK

November 6th, 2007 · 15 Comments

The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education: part 2.

Scientists are no longer perceived exclusively as guardians of objective truth, but also as smart promoters of their own interests in a media-driven marketplace. Haerlin & Parr, Nature, 1999, 400, 499.

This is a continuation of the previous post on Universities Inc, but with two examples from the UK. […]

[

Tags: Anti-science · Big Pharma · conflict of interest · corporate · corruption · management bollocks · science · Universities

Universities Inc. in the USA

November 6th, 2007 · 9 Comments

The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education: part 1
The next post is about examples from the UK.

Academic biologists and corporate researchers have become indistinguishable, and special awards are now given for collaborations between these two sectors for behavior that used to be cited as a conflict of interest.
Richard Strohman, 1999.

Every academic, and especially every university administrator, […]

[

Tags: Anti-science · Big Pharma · blogosphere · conflict of interest · corporate · corruption · management bollocks · Universities


October 3rd, 2007 · 7 Comments

The British Medical Journal ran an article on “doctor bloggers” last week.

Photo ©Mark Thomas

The BMJ put the article behind a paywall, but you can download a reprint here.
Oops, no you can’t. The BMJ have dictated that their piece on bloggers should not be available to bloggers. If you want a copy, email me. […]

[

Tags: Anti-science · Bad journalism · Big Pharma · blogosphere · CAM · Politicians · Universities

Science in an Age of Endarkenment

August 15th, 2007 · 22 Comments

How irrational thinking in government and universities has led to the rise of new-age nonsense in the name of science.
This article appeared on 15th August 2007, on the Guardian Science web site.
The Guardian made very few cuts to the original version, but removed a lot of the links. If you want to have references […]

[

Tags: Anti-science · Big Pharma · CAM · conflict of interest · corporate · corruption · management bollocks · Politicians · science · Universities