Put patients on drug company boards

Your risk of developing Alzheimer’s could be increased by having high levels of glucose and insulin in your blood – one of the results of a diet high in sugar and refined carbs that’s linked with insulin – see my feature in the Daily Mail on Tuesday.  But how likely is that to be the subject of […]

The dream that has become a nightmare

Millions of us have a problem sleeping; it’s one of the top reasons for GP visits. Unfortunately for insomniacs the way it is generally treated provides a vivid case history of why our current system of evidence based medicine needs a radical overhaul.   The dream of improving medicine with system that would separate good […]

Ben Goldacre’s new book. Too late, too little

Drug companies exaggerate their successes, hide their failures and generally fail to abide by the rules of evidence based medicine. This ongoing fraud is the subject of the latest book from Guardian columnist Ben Goldacre, better known as merciless scourge of “woo” merchants cynically flogging worthless complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments. An extract from […]

Fantasy accounting boosts drug company profits

What do you want from the drugs you’re prescribed by your GP? A reasonable, top-of-the-head list might include: that they’d been properly tested to show they were safe and effective, that new ones were better than what was already available and maybe, in austerity UK, that you the tax-payer weren’t paying a wildly inflated price. […]

Antibiotics make you fat

The eye-catching title of my article for the Daily Mail today on why frequent courses of antibiotics may not be such a good idea, highlights a new and emerging set of problem with these drugs. It’s not just weight gain that becomes more likely. There’s an increase in the risk of auto-immune disorders as well […]

You can’t even trust Lucozade and that matters

Did you register the huge 3 billion dollar fine recently slapped on GlaxoSmithKline, Britain’s biggest drug company and manufacturer of Lucozade ? And if so, did you briefly wonder whether it was enough? After all, hiding data that your product can kill people and making unsupported claims about safety would normally be enough to put […]

Diabetes and how the dieticians failed

Prison is a dysfunctional system for dealing with mostly young men, many of whom have learning or emotional difficulties along with drug problems. The official system we have for dealing with diabetes seems much the same. The problem with prisons is that they do very little to address the problems that have put offenders in […]

Can diabetes societies prevent diabetes?

As you enter the vast conference centre – half a mile or more end to end – hosting the 79th Scientific Session of the American Diabetes Association in Philadelphia, your first sight on the left is a Dunkin’ Donuts store. Up the escalator brings you to the ADA’s mission statement which reads in part: “to […]

Who made us fat? Brilliant documentary

The Men Who Made Us Fat , a brilliant BBC 2 documentary that went out last night, should be forcibly played to dieticians and other experts who for decades have urged the low fat diet as the solution to weight loss and heart protection, not to mention being comfortable with a hefty intake of sugar as […]

Do anecdotes of side-effects count as evidence?

I can sympathise with the frustration felt by Professor Edzard Ernst, dedicated promoter of the  principles of evidence based medicine, when faced with under-reporting of side-effects. But I’m surprised at his readiness to abandon them when going into print. His latest attack on Chiropractic just doesn’t follow the rules of evidence based medicine, at least […]