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with the way the British Medical Journal is shilly-shallying around over getting their incorrect and damaging articles withdrawn, it seemed appropriate to issue a primer to bring non-statin specialists up to speed on […]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 […]

Should I take statins? The wizard of Oz won’t help you decide

If you are not confused about statins you haven’t been paying attention. Are they life saving drugs that should be given to millions more or are they pills that are largely unnecessary, if you don’t actually have heart disease, that come with a nasty range of side effects? Recently experts who are highly critical of […]

Diet wars: what is the best way to reverse diabetes?

Arguments over diet all  boil down to single question: what’s the best way to eat if you want to stay a healthy weight and lower your risk of various chronic disorders? That’s what is fueling the long running diet war between an embattled low-fat establishment – see latest attack on low fat dogma by top […]

Statins: the secret data that decides if you get treated

You’ve probably heard that there’s a proposal to make even more people eligible for the cholesterol lowering drugs statins. I’ve just published post on the website HealthInsightUK that  puts a big question mark over the over the reliablility of the evidence that suggestion is based on. It comes from the highly respected  but rather secretive […]

Statins: why saying no makes sense

If you are a 50-something or older, the next time you go to the doctor for a check up you could find yourself being told you should start taking cholesterol-lowering statins even if your weight is good, you don’t have raised blood pressure, you exercise and you have no history of heart disease. That’s because […]

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