Prescribing drugs with no evidence just got a bit easier

Recently I had a revealing “discussion” with a very senior and respected academic about whether illegal marketing by drug companies was putting patients at risk. By the end he was claiming my view – it clearly is dangerous and even heavy fines were not enough – merely enriches lawyers and pushes up prices paid by […]

Silver Bullet Award for dangerous drug promotion

When I saw recently that Simon Singh,  energetic “quack buster “ and scourge of  homoeopaths, chiropractors and their ilk, had established an award called the Golden Duck to be presented to the person who had “supported or practised pseudoscience in the most dangerous or irresponsible manner” , my first thought was: How unfair!     What […]

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 […]

Drug companies and off label

News item from Pulse that following legal challenge by Novartis about off label prescribing of cheaper Lucentis that there is now talk of doctors not being allowed to prescribe off label if there is a licenced alternative. This has nothing to do with protecting patients and everything to do with protecting profits. Off label prescribing has […]

Drug company sues over off label prescribing

Yesterday the drug company Novartis announced it was taking the NHS to court to protest about  off-label prescribing, that’s when a drug is given to patients even though it doesn’t have a license to treat that particular condition. “It’s unacceptable to put the safety of patients at risk,” said a spokesperson for the company “though widespread use […]

Prescribing off label – common and unscientific

Two recent reports have just peered into a murky corner of evidence based medicine and found illegal doings and a distinct lack of evidence Over 11% of the prescriptions handed out in Canada were done off-label, according to a study published yesterday What this means that there weren’t clinical trials backing up their use for that condition. […]