“Evidence based medicine” should, surely, mean all drugs have been rigorously tested. But after 20 years as a health journalist I’m still shocked at how evidence for harm can be hidden and evidence for benefit boosted.
We are all being encouraged to take more responsibility for our own health and many of us would like to use non-drug treatments and life-style changes as well. But gathering evidence that it works is more complicated. Even when it is there it can be ignored.
This is the place to check for cases where the evidence is lacking or has been fudged and to discuss what needs to be done to make it better.
April 28, 2015
Yet another round of media stories last week picking up on an “expert’s” claim that vitamins are ineffective and dangerous. Such stories are the medical equivalent of blaming immigrants or single mothers for various social ills; scare stories that spin the data and draw totally unjustified conclusions. The Guardian version opened with this claim: ‘… over-the-counter […]
February 20, 2015
There has been a new twist in the statin saga – the heated debate about whether these drugs are as safe and effective as the official view claims. Now it turns out that the senior academic who believes they have virtually no side effects has told a newspaper that he hasn’t actually done the analysis […]
January 22, 2015
There is a major flaw in our current theory about cancer: This says it’s caused by random genetic changes in a cell that allow it to grow uncontrollably and the only solution is drugs and surgery. This ignores, says a University of California professor, the many ways our bodies can encourage a tumour or block […]
January 6, 2015
Do you think it basically makes more sense to keep your carbohydrates pretty low, rather than going the familiar low fat route, to lose weight and stay healthy? If so you are in good company and the evidence is building up that it’s a better way to go. But there is one source of supposedly […]
December 2, 2014
New and more powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs are on the way. But are they the life-saving breakthrough enthusiastic news stories have been suggesting? The latest post on HealthInsightUK.org tells how there is no evidence yet that they do anything other than lower cholesterol. But is that enough to keep you safe from heart disease? According to seasoned […]