We are living longer and want to stay as healthy as possible right up till the end. But can we be certain the drugs we get for prevention or for treatment when illness strikes are safe and effective?

Conflicts of interests swirling round statins

Another five or six million people will be  offered a prescription for statins after NICE confirmed its decision last week to halve the risk of heart disease that makes you eligible for these cholesterol lowering drugs. This is a bad decision if you think that the only consideration was the welfare of patients. If you […]

Just relying on drugs won’t beat Alzheimer’s

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 […]

The great statin debate: the ultimate two minute guide

Following a second article in the Guardian yesterday devoted to statin supremo Sir Rory Collins, his anger at his critics and impatience with the way the British Medical Journal is shilly-shallying around over getting their incorrect and damaging articles withdrawn, it seemed appropriate to issue a primer to bring non-statin specialists up to speed on […]

Statin wars: an outbreak of medical transparency

Something remarkable happened earlier this week. Open warfare broke out between senior doctors over the benefits of a major government health policy. To prescribe or not to prescribe yet more statins to healthy people? That was the question. Details of the open letter to the head of NICE (the health value-for-money body) challenging its proposal […]

Drug problems: what plays in America stays in America

Over the years I have found the ability of the Atlantic to have dulling effect on the sensibilities of doctors and the media remarkable. It’s a  phenomenon that only affects prescription drugs.While we in the UK eagerly follow every twist and turn in American cultural life, illegal pharmaceutical activities that may have serious implications for […]

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