Tick box medicine that fails hypothyroid patients

There’s a story of mine in the Daily Mail today) about an illogical and arbitrary corner of medicine. It involves over 300,000 women who are unable to get an effective treatment for a nasty range of symptoms, linked to having low thyroid hormone, unless they can persuade a doctor to ignore the official guidelines drawn […]

Do doctors treat pensioners with snake oil?

A cheering and optimistic story about dementia at HealthInsightUK.org.When Obhi Chatterjee’s dad was diagnosed, Obhi set about researching the most plausible supplements and diets to help him. The piece tells you what they are and why they might work and also has useful advice for anyone wanting to follow his example. Two of the biggest […]

Confessions of the great statinator: how Sir Rory Collins told all about his commercial funding

The post I put up last week – “Statin critics cleared: top statin advocate knuckles’ rapped” – got over 5000 views (huge for this site) which suggests there is considerable in interest in the backstage activity behind the remarkable drive to get the entire nation on statins. (If you are new to this site do […]

Statin critics cleared. Top statin advocate knuckles’ rapped

The long running spat between senior statin advocate Professor Sir Rory Collins and the British Medical Journal has come to a very satisfactory conclusion. His demand – that two papers challenging his claims about the safety and effectiveness of statins – be withdrawn, has been rejected by a committee specially set up to consider it. […]

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 […]

Homeopathy and the threat of endarkenment

Recently a post of mine describing attacks on homeopathy as “batty and arrogant” that I wrote last year was retweeted. This meant that again homeopathy’s hard-core detractors rushed out with lectures about the scientific method and the need for randomised trials (obvious) but yet again no attempt to actually deal with the issues I raised […]

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