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    Archived pages: 1279 . Archive date: 2013-11.

  • Title: Bad Science
    Descriptive info: .. Bad Science.. Search.. TED Talk.. This New Book.. This Great Book.. T-shirts.. Categories.. ABPI.. (2).. academic pr.. (4).. academic publishing.. (6).. adverts.. (45).. africa.. (28).. aids.. alltrials campaign.. (11).. alternative medicine.. (190).. acupuncture.. (5).. herbal remedies.. (20).. homeopathy.. (52).. nutritionists.. (88).. anecdotes.. annual roundup.. (1).. aric sigman.. authority.. bad science.. (653).. badpharma.. badscience.. (14).. BANT.. big pharma.. (36).. blue monday.. (3).. book.. (7).. book reviews.. brain gym.. brainiac.. bullying.. cash-for- stories.. celebs.. (13).. childishness.. chocolate.. churnalism.. (8).. climate change.. competing interests.. conflict of interest.. cosmetics.. craig sams.. crime.. dangers.. (27).. danie krugel.. data.. death.. denialism.. detox.. dna.. dodgy academic press releases.. doing nothing.. dore.. drurrrgs.. (12).. duplicate publication.. economics.. electrosensitivity.. equazen.. evidence.. (19).. evidence based policy.. evolutionary psychology.. fish oil.. fraud.. fuel pr.. geek.. genetic nonsense.. ghostwriters.. gillian mckeith.. (25).. Global Radio.. gm.. government reports.. great popularisers of science.. guest writers.. hate mail.. (9).. heroes.. heroes of bad science.. Hi-Fi.. hiding data.. history of quackery.. ID.. ions.. irrationality research.. jeni barnett.. jonathan leake.. journal club.. just a blog.. laws.. LBC.. legal chill.. (15).. letters.. (18).. libel.. magnets.. manufacturing doubt.. matthias rath.. media.. (162).. bbc.. (35).. channel 4.. channel five.. evening standard.. express.. guardian.. independent.. (21).. ITV.. mail.. mirror.. news of the world.. sun.. telegraph.. (30).. times.. media research.. medicalisation.. methods.. MiniBlog.. miracles.. MMR.. (44).. models.. mondo academico.. MRSA.. nanniebots.. neuro nonsense.. neurostuff.. new scientist.. not bad science.. numerical context.. onanism.. (58).. open methods.. organic.. oxygen.. patents.. patrick holford.. penises.. perpetual motion.. PhDs, doctors, and qualifications.. (34).. phone stalking.. placebo.. podcast.. politics.. postmodernist bollocks.. powerwatch alasdair philips.. pr guff.. predictions.. presenting numbers.. procrastination.. pseudodiagnoses.. psychic nonsense.. psychology of woo.. publication bias.. (17).. qlink.. quantum physics.. rape.. references.. (59).. regulating media.. regulating nonsense.. regulating research.. (32).. religion.. (26).. retractions.. revenge.. roger coghill.. roland kapferer.. roundup.. scare stories.. schools.. science comms.. scienciness.. screening.. secret data.. show your working.. small blogs.. smears.. space.. spin.. statistics.. (81).. Stephen Whitehead.. stifling criticism.. (10).. structured data.. subgroup analysis.. suicide.. surveillance.. survey data.. susan greenfield.. systematic reviews.. tamiflu.. teaching resources.. tobacco.. toys.. trial registers.. uncertainty.. utter nonsense.. vaccines.. very basic science.. water.. weight loss.. whistleblowers.. Why and how I wrote Bad Pharma.. October 8th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. |.. 11 Comments.. This is my piece for Waterstones Book Club, where I was asked to write about why and how I wrote.. Bad Pharma.. The full book club caboodle is.. here.. , and you can buy the book.. Here it is.. Read the rest of this entry.. I totally just walked past a tube advert for my book.. October 3rd, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. 3 Comments.. You might not find this as weird as I do, but I totally just walked past a tube advert for my book.. SO: there s a lovely.. new edition of Bad Pharma.. out this month, with a spanking extra chapter about all the bad things that naughty people like the ABPI and EFPIA have done in campaigning against trials transparency, and all the good things that lovely people like the BMA and EMA have done to advance the cause of patient safety.. More to come on all this, but until then: here s an unnecessary animated gif of me tooling around, via a baffled tourist on the platform.. New super cheap edition of Bad Pharma, with extra chapter, and: Waterstones Book Club!.. ,.. 5 Comments.. RIGHT.. Sorry to be absent, I m back from outer space.. NOW.. There s a new cheap edition of.. out this month, with a new and very long extra chapter on everything that s happened since the first edition came out.. There are goodies and baddies galore, I ll be writing about it all over the next few weeks, but if you re impatient, there s lots on the.. AllTrials.. website already.. Before that, Bad Pharma is Waterstones Book Club.. Book of the Week.. This means it s discounted, and out on the tables in Waterstones.. More importantly, there s a podcast discussion, and a book club.. reading guide.. These are often great fun, and it s worth checking out some of the others: they give suggested discussion points, this one has a piece by me on why I wrote the book, and how medical leaders have failed to address the problem of missing trials.. They also asked me to write about how I write, so there s a splurge at the end about the huge synchronising data monster I ve built to hoover up and organise knowledge.. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.. The reading guide is here:.. www.. waterstones.. com/wat/images/special/pdf/9780007498086_reading_guide.. pdf.. You can buy the new super cheap edition of Bad Pharma here:.. com/waterstonesweb/products/ben+goldacre/bad+pharma/9640023/.. There s a Waterstones book club podcast on Bad Pharma here:.. blog.. com/2013/09/book-club-bad-pharma/.. And as always:  ...   on the subject.. Here s me and Fiona Godlee (BMJ) giving evidence to Public Accounts Committee on withheld Tamiflu trials.. June 18th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. In December last year a group of MPs including Sarah Wollaston, David Davis, Julian Huppert and Adam Afriyie.. wrote to Margaret Hodge.. , chair of the Public Accounts Committee, asking for an inquiry into Tamiflu.. Specifically, they asked about the way that vitally important information on clinical trials around Tamiflu have been withheld from doctors and researchers.. That signatory list I m thinking of Afriyie, Huppert, and Wollaston in particular is an important reminder that we benefit from having people in parliament with professional experience of medicine and science.. Badger badger badger badger CULL badger badger badger TRIAL.. June 1st, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. 13 Comments.. Reading about the badger cull today, I noticed this column on the evidence for badger culls never got posted.. Here it is!.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 23 July 2011.. Squabbles between farmers and animal rights protesters bore me senseless.. This week, environment secretary Caroline Spelman.. announced.. that the scientific evidence supports her new policy of farmers killing.. badgers.. to prevent bovine TB.. It s an overstatement, but more importantly, this story walks through several important issues in science.. Why is Imperial College permitting Westminster public school to sell an internship?.. May 14th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. This is very odd indeed.. Westminster, one of the most expensive public schools in the UK, is holding a fund-raising auction.. In this auction, you can buy an internship at Imperial College s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, on the promise that this will look great on your CV.. Shame on you, Sylvia Browne, for telling Amanda Berry s mother her daughter was dead.. May 7th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. The story of Amanda Berry s rescue in Cleveland after ten years in captivity - is extraordinary.. In 2004, popular psychic Sylvia Brown told Amanda s mother that her little girl was dead.. Here is a contemporaneous account of that show.. My evidence to the Science and Tech Select Committee inquiry on missing trial data.. April 26th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee are currently looking at the problem of clinical trial results being withheld from doctors and patients (partly,.. the committee says.. , in response to.. , which is heartening).. A clear, thoughtful report and policy recommendations from this committee could be an important step towards fixing these problems.. I gave oral evidence this week on a panel with Roche, GSK, and the ABPI (who have previously.. tried to pretend.. that all the issues in Bad Pharma were historic and long addressed ).. I ve posted the video below, and I ve posted my written evidence underneath that.. First is my submission addressing the specific questions posed by the Committee, and then my appendix, giving background on the problem of withheld trial results.. Older Entries.. Stuff.. About Dr Ben Goldacre.. - Upcoming public talks.. - Speaking engagements.. Books.. - Bad Pharma.. - Bad Science.. What You Can Find Here.. - Audio and Video.. - Bad Science Shop.. I love them.. Archives.. October 2013.. July 2013.. June 2013.. May 2013.. April 2013.. March 2013.. February 2013.. January 2013.. December 2012.. October 2012.. September 2012.. June 2012.. April 2012.. March 2012.. December 2011.. November 2011.. October 2011.. September 2011.. August 2011.. July 2011.. June 2011.. May 2011.. April 2011.. March 2011.. 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  • Title: ABPI – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: MPs write to Public Accounts Committee to request action on hidden trials and Tamiflu.. December 14th, 2012 by Ben Goldacre in.. 8 Comments.. The letter below has been sent to Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, asking her to take action on the ongoing problem of hidden trials, and specifically Tamiflu.. The very notion that we spent £500 million on Tamiflu with information about over half of the clinical trials still being withheld is nothing short of absurd.. For context, £500 million is 5% of the total NHS drugs budget (£10 billion) for one year.. This ongoing issue of secrecy around clinical trials wastes money and harms patients, and it  ...   about posting the details from leaked and external ABPI documents at some stage.. I m posting some correspondence today because the CEO and President of the ABPI have both falsely claimed to MPs and journalists that I ve refused to meet them over many years.. This is silly and untrue, especially when the ABPI have also specifically stated in public that they are refusing to engage with my concerns.. Both Stephen Whitehead (CEO) and Deepak Khanna (President) have failed to provide any explanation of why they ve made these false claims, or give a full list of the people they ve misled, so regrettably I m posting my letter to them here..

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  • Title: academic pr – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: Why won t Professor Susan Greenfield publish this theory in a scientific journal?.. November 3rd, 2011 by Ben Goldacre in.. 27 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 22 October 2011.. This week Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor of pharmacology at Oxford, apparently announced that.. computer games.. are.. causing dementia in children.. This would be very concerning scientific information: but it comes to us from the opening of a new wing at an expensive boarding school, not an academic conference.. Then a spokesperson told a gaming site.. that’s not really what she meant.. But they couldn’t say what she does mean.. Cherry picking is bad.. At least warn us when you do it.. September 29th, 2011 by Ben Goldacre in.. 9 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 24 September 2011.. Last week the Daily Mail and the Today programme took some bait from.. Aric Sigman.. , an author of popular sciencey books about the merits of traditional values.. Sending babies and toddlers to daycare could do untold damage to the development of their brains and their future health, explained the Mail.. These news  ...   on his own website.. Existential angst about the bigger picture.. May 23rd, 2011 by Ben Goldacre in.. 20 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 21 May 2011.. Here’s no surprise: beliefs which we imagine to be rational are bound up in all kinds of other stuff.. Political stances, for example, correlate with various personality features.. One major review.. in 2003 looked at 38 different studies, containing data on 20,000 participants, and found that overall, political conservatism was associated with things like death anxiety, fear of threat and loss, intolerance of uncertainty, a lack of openness to experience, and a need for order, structure, and closure.. Dodgy academic PR.. May 30th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in.. 25 Comments.. Ben Goldacre.. The Guardian.. Saturday 30 May 2009.. Obviously we distrust the media on science: they rewrite commercial press releases from dodgy organisations as if they were health news, they lionise mavericks with poor evidence, and worse.. But journalists will often say: what about those scientists with their press releases? Surely we should do something about them, running about, confusing us with their wild ideas?..

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  • Title: academic publishing – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: Academic papers are hidden from the public.. Here s some direct action.. September 16th, 2011 by Ben Goldacre in.. 49 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 3 September 2011.. This week George Monbiot won the internet with a.. long Guardian piece on academic publishers.. For those who didn’t know: academics, funded mostly by the public purse, pay for the production and dissemination of academic papers; but for historical reasons, these are published by private organisations who charge around $30 per academic paper, keeping out any reader who doesn’t have access through their institution.. Brain imaging studies report more positive findings than their numbers can support.. This is fishy.. August 26th, 2011 by Ben Goldacre in.. 22 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 13 August 2011.. While the authorities are distracted by mass disorder, we can do some statistics.. You’ll have seen plenty of news stories telling you that one part of the brain is bigger, or smaller, in people with a particular mental health problem, or even a specific job.. These are generally based on real, published scientific research.. But how reliable are the studies?.. One way of critiquing a piece of research  ...   after taking the Merck drug.. Vioxx.. This medication turned out to increase the risk of heart attacks in people taking it, although that finding was.. arguably buried in their research.. , and Merck have paid out more than.. £2bn to 44,000 people in America.. , although they deny any fault.. British users of the drug have had their application for legal aid rejected, incidentally: health minister Ivan Lewis promised to help them, but FOI documents obtained by The Guardian last week showed that within hours, Merck launched an expensive lobbying effort that convinced him to back off.. Listen carefully, I shall say this only once.. October 26th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in.. 17 Comments.. The Guardian,.. Saturday October 25 2008.. Welcome to nerds corner, and yet another small print criticism of a trivial act of borderline dubiousness which will ultimately lead to distorted evidence, irrational decisions, and bad outcomes in what I like to call the real world.. So the ClinPsyc blog (.. clinpsyc.. blogspot.. com.. ) has.. spotted.. that the drug company Lilly have published identical data on duloxetine a new-ish antidepressant drug – twice over, in two entirely separate scientific papers..

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  • Title: adverts – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: Caroline Pidgeon (lib dem) falls for bogus Rentokil story, in the London Assembly UPDATED for un-fail.. March 18th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in.. 33 Comments.. Briefly.. Obvious quacks: the tip of a scary medical iceberg.. February 26th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in.. 121 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 27 February, 2010.. After the Science and Technology committee report this week, and the jaw dropping stupidity of “we bring you both sides” in the media coverage afterwards, you are bored of homeopathy.. So am I, but it gives a very simple window into the wider disasters in all of medicine.. Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist.. May 15th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in.. 74 Comments.. Edit.. midday Saturday: I ve just read the Guardian version and it s been cut a bit, whole chunks missing, and bits rewritten.. This is the best reason to have a blog.. Anyway, if Baroness Greenfield responds and naturally I hope she will, as there is a great deal more to say on this topic I hope she will respond to what I actually wrote, below.. Saturday 16 May 2009.. You will be familiar with the work of Professor Baroness.. Susan Greenfield.. She is head of the.. Royal.. Institute.. Institution of Great Britain.. , where she has charged herself with promoting the public’s understanding of science, of what it means for there to be evidence for a given proposition.. This is important work.. You will also doubtless be aware of her more prominent activity on the many terrifying risks of computers, exemplified in the Daily Mail headline “.. Social websites harm children’s brains.. : Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist”, “.. Computers could be fuelling obesity crisis.. , says Baroness Susan Greenfield” in the Telegraph, “.. Do you have Facebook flab?.. Computer use could make you eat too much, warns professor” in the Mail again,.. You are 80% less likely to die from a meteor landing on your head if you wear a bicycle helmet all day.. November 15th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in.. We re all suckers for a big number, and you ll be delighted to hear that the Journal of Consumer Research has huge teams of scientists all eagerly writing up their sinister research on how to exploit us.. One excellent study this month.. looked at how people choose a digital camera.. This will become relevant in three paragraphs time.. The researchers took a single image, then processed it in Photoshop to make two copies: one where the colours were more vivid, and one where the image was sharper.. They told participants that each image came from a different camera, and asked which they wanted to buy.. About a quarter chose the one with the.. more colourful.. sharper image.. The Medicalisation of Everyday  ...   it unconsciously.. You might have noticed the Dore miracle cure for dyslexia, invented by millionaire paint entrepreneur Wynford Dore.. It s hard to ignore.. In fact just recently you may have seen Strictly Come Dancing star Kenny Logan a rugby superhero, with 70 caps in 13 years promoting the Dore Dyslexia Program with his own personal testimonials on the.. Jeremy Vine Show.. , Channel Five News,.. Radio Five Live.. BBC London.. ITV Central.. ITV Yorkshire.. , in the Daily Mail,.. the Daily Record.. Scotland on Sunday.. , and many, many more.. Pep, zing, oomph, ker-ching.. CoQ10.. March 15th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in.. 35 Comments.. Saturday March 15 2008.. Doctors love pills: so do the public, and the media, and of course so do pill companies.. When.. one pill dies.. , another must take its place.. Are you feeling tired? Demotivated? I bet you are.. But there is a solution a pill pushed by no less than.. Dr Thomas Stuttaford of the Times.. Just two days ago in an article about office tiredness he cheerfully rehashed a.. press release.. on Boots exciting new pep pills.. He opines at length on how tired we all feel in the office.. So tired.. Why not try Coenzyme Q10,.. Washing the numbers, selling the model.. January 26th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in.. 57 Comments.. Saturday January 26 2008.. If there s one thing I love, it s academics who take on the work of investigative journalism, because they are.. dogged.. This has been a bad week for the.. SSRI.. antidepressants.. Epistemological Indulgences.. December 22nd, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in.. 14 Comments.. Saturday December 22 2007.. Christmas is a time for harmless lies, the chocolatey indulgences of the thought world.. We know when to stop, because if we all acted on our belief in Santa there would be no presents: and then Christmas would be meaningless.. My favourite Christmas traditions are the red wine is good for you and chocolate is good for you stories, which have.. The fishy reckoning.. September 22nd, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in.. cash-for-"stories".. 29 Comments.. Saturday September 22 2007.. So you will remember the.. fish oil pill.. stories of last year.. For the new kids: pill company.. Equazen.. and Durham Council said they were doing a trial on them with their GCSE year, but it wasn t really a proper trial,.. for example there was no control group,.. and they had lots of similarly dodgy trials dotted about, which.. were being pimped.. successfully to the media as positive.. When asked.. Durham.. refused to release the detailed information you would expect from a.. proper piece of research.. Even now, for all this pretending, there still has never been a single.. controlled.. trial,.. even a cheap one,.. of omega-3 fish oil supplements in normal children.. Ridiculously..

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  • Title: africa – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: How vaccine scares respect local cultural boundaries.. April 24th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. I was on Newsnight this evening, discussing the measles outbreak in Swansea, and how we can get people vaccinated with MMR when they ve previously refused.. In my view: prevention is better than cure, it s hard to reverse a scare story once the toothpaste is out of the tube, and we must innoculate ourselves against future vaccine scares, because they will come.. That s why services like.. Behind The Headlines.. are important.. Here s the video:.. bbc.. co.. uk/iplayer/episode/b01s5bn7/Newsnight_24_04_2013/.. At the end, Jeremy Paxman seemed (endearingly) amazed to hear that vaccine scares respect local cultural boundaries.. Here s what I was discussing, in an extract from my first book.. (this bit s from pages 292-4 of the.. red paperback.. ):.. We should so blatantly do more randomised trials on policy.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 14 May 2011.. Politicians are.. ignorant about trials.. , and they’re.. weird about evidence.. It doesn’t need to be this way.. In international development work, resources are tight, and people know that good intentions aren’t enough: in fact, good intentions can sometimes do harm.. We need to know what works.. In two new books published this month “.. More Than Good Intentions.. ” and “.. Poor Economics.. ” four academics describe amazing work testing interventions around the world with proper randomised trials.. This is something we’ve bizarrely failed to do at home.. The pope and Aids.. September 11th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in.. 159 Comments.. This week the pope is in London.. You will have your own views on the discrimination against women, the homophobia, and the international criminal conspiracy to cover up for mass child rape.. My special interest is his role in the 2 million people who die of Aids each year.. Diarrhoea and Aids for Christmas.. December 16th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in.. 47 Comments.. Last year I ran into Ariane Sherine.. She had found that no charity would publicly take money from.. a book written by atheists at Christmas.. , since Christians give so much money for good work, and they didn’t want to annoy them.. Luckily the Terence Higgins Trust stepped up to this bizarre challenge, which is excellent, because Aids is important, and THT do good stuff (especially on education), and they hold the line on evidence and common sense, as witnessed by their immediate response of “yes please” when offered cash.. So, support THT,.. buy it now.. There are chapters by Simon le Bon, Charlie Brooker, Richard Dawkins, David Baddiel, AC Grayling, and many many more.. My chapter is below, it is about  ...   This week, listening to the.. Guardian Science podcast.. , I had a treat.. Caspar Melville, editor of New Humanist magazine, leader of something called the Rationalist Association, had been to see two films at the Cambridge Film Festival.. One was a dreary creationist movie that famously misrepresented the biologists interviewed for it.. This was obvious bad science, he explained.. But the other was different: House of Numbers, a new film about Aids, really had something in it.. Medical Hypotheses fails the Aids test.. September 12th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in.. 61 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, 12 September 2009,.. This week the.. peer review system has been in the newspapers.. , after a survey of scientists suggested it had some problems.. This is barely news.. Peer review.. – where articles submitted to an academic journal are reviewed by other scientists from the same field for an opinion on their quality – has always been recognised as problematic.. It is timeconsuming, it could be open to corruption, and it cannot prevent fraud, plagiarism, or duplicate publication, although in a more obvious case it might.. The problem with peer review is, it’s hard to find anything better.. Please give us all your money.. September 5th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in.. 90 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, 5 September 2009, The Guardian.. How do patents affect science? This week in India, US drug company Gilead.. lost their appeal.. to stop local companies making cheap copies of their Aids drug Tenofovir.. They are not alone: in 2007.. Novartis lost.. a lengthy case trying to force the Indian government into strengthening their weak patent laws.. India remains the free pharmacy of the world.. What would you say to people from the developing world who use science to make decisions, but don t necessarily always have a lot of time, or know a lot about it?.. May 16th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in.. 98 Comments.. I’ve been asked to facilitate a couple of sessions with some civil servant types from various countries in the developing world who advise their governments on science, and particularly on the science informing policy and purchasing decisions.. The idea is to focus on how people might try and mislead you with science, and the range of scientific background and understanding in this group will be pretty wide, as it always is with civil servants.. Since I ve noticed a recurring theme for readers of this blog to be a bit cleverer than me (albeit less dogged and obsessive) I was hoping you might have some ideas about the kinds of areas to cover, the themes that are relevant, and the kind of structure to use..

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  • Title: aids – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: What if everything you thought you knew about Aids was wrong?.. January 3rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in.. 28 Comments.. Sorry, up against it on time, I ll post a longer version of this article with links later on x.. Saturday 3 January 2009.. Happy New Year and  ...   have stupid ideas, newspapers continue to laud them, and lives will be lost.. Here is just one: What if everything you thought you knew about Aids was wrong? That was the title of a book by Christine Maggiore, an HIV/Aids-denialist lauded in the American media.. She is now dead..

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  • Title: alltrials campaign – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: I m on the One Show talking about missing trials tonight.. March 18th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. I made a film for The One Show on BBC1, which goes out tonight.. It s about.. : the problem of clinical trial results being withheld from doctors and patients.. (I also get to go into an awesome underground bunker where documents are stored ).. You can watch it here:.. uk/i/b01rfr0r/?t=1m42s.. 80 patient groups (eighty!) sign up to alltrials.. net in one go! Then Cancer Research UK!.. February 15th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. No Comments.. We rely on clinical trials in medicine, but companies and researchers are able to withhold results wherever it suits them: this breaks evidence based medicine.. The best available systematic review evidence estimates that around half of all trials for the treatments we use today have not been published: you can read the details on this problem, and the flawed efforts to remedy it,.. We decided that something needed to be done, and so we set up.. , with Sense About Science, the BMJ, Sir Iain Chalmers (co-founder of Cochrane) and the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in Oxford.. Since then the campaign has snowballed.. We have been joined by groups as diverse as MRC, the Wellcome Trust, IQWiG (the German NICE), NPA (the US doctors body) and many more.. This is excellent, and amazing.. GSK have just signed up to alltrials.. February 5th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. GSK have just this minute announced that they are signing up to the.. campaign.. This will be written in a hurry.. Briefly: the results of clinical trials have been routinely withheld from doctors and patients throughout  ...   currently passing through parliament in Brussels.. It is currently in draft form, and riddled with holes: essentially it allows companies and researchers to withhold trial results, and play fast and loose with analyses.. These problems are best documented in the BMJ by one of the co-founders of Cochrane:.. com/content/345/bmj.. e8522.. The EU lead legislator (or rapporteur ) on this bill is Glenis Willmott.. She is a Labour MEP from the UK, and well-known to those in public health for her battles with the tobacco industry in Europe.. Patients around the world are very fortunate that she has been chosen for this positon on clinical trials, and I am very pleased to say that her office have just this afternoon issued a press release on trials transparency.. It is very clear that she will be working hard to fix this broken legislation, and her initial report on the draft Regulation demonstrates a clear recognition of problems that have been neglected for too long.. AllTrials campaign launches, please sign and spread!.. January 16th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in.. I am very pleased to announce the launch of a prominent campaign for access to all trial results, which we have launched this week at.. , with myself, Sense About Science, Sir Iain Chalmers from the James Lind Initiative (previously co-founder of Cochrane), Dr Fiona Godlee (Editor in Chief of the BMJ), and Dr Carl Heneghan (Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford).. The response so far, in a very short period of time, has been phenomenal.. We have collected over 7,000 signatures already, simply from tweeting, and several.. extremely high profile organisations have signed up already.. , including:..

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  • Title: alternative medicine – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: The golden arse beam method.. July 9th, 2011 by Ben Goldacre in.. 15 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 9 July 2011.. Since I was a teenager, whenever I have a pivotal life event coming – an exam, or an interview – I perform a ritual.. I sit cross-legged on the floor, and I imagine an enormous golden beam of energy coming out of my arse.. Podcast on government response to SciTech NHS homeopathy report.. July 28th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in.. I zipped off this.. quick podcast.. from my phone on Monday and put it on my.. secondary blog.. , which I run for scrappy stuff.. People seemed to like it a bit so I m reposting here.. There s more audio stuff coming, a bit of video too, and I ll work out good feeds and iTunes stuff over the next couple of weeks.. Cheery pip.. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip.. Download the latest version.. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.. http://badscience.. net/files/homeop.. mp3.. The bullshit box.. July 10th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 10 July 2010.. This week the food and nutrition pills industries are.. complaining.. They like to make health claims about their products, which often turn out to be unsupported by the evidence.. Regulating that mess would be tedious and long-winded, the kind of project enjoyed by the EU, and so the.. Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation.. was brought in during 2006.. Since then, member states have submitted tens of thousands of health claims on behalf of manufacturers about cranberries, fish oil, and every magical ingredient you can think of.. This week it turned out that 900 have been examined so far, of which 80% have unsurprisingly been rejected.. Libel claimants get what they deserve.. So do you.. April 15th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in.. 23 Comments.. Ben Goldacre,.. , Friday 15 April 2010.. [.. Full text at guardian.. uk.. , abbreviated in the paper]..  ...   say what really frightens me about all this is the MHRA: if regulation is so political that they can fall into holes over sugar pills, it tells a frightening story about their wider activities.. How do you regulate Wu?.. February 20th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in.. 80 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 20 February 2010.. You might have read the.. case of Ying Wu.. this week: a fully qualified traditional chinese medicine doctor operating out of a shop in Chelmsford who for several years prescribed high doses of a dangerous banned substance to treat the acne of senior civil servant Patricia Booth, 58, reassuring her that the pills were as safe as Coca-Cola.. Following this her patient has lost both kidneys, developed urinary tract cancer, had a heart attack, and is now on dialysis three times a week.. Judge Jeremy Roberts gave Wu a two-year conditional discharge, saying she did not know the pills were dangerous and could not be blamed, because the practise of traditional Chinese medicine is totally unregulated in Britain, a situation which he suggests should be remedied.. Oh, I found you a new job.. January 30th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in.. 76 Comments.. I thought you might be interested in this job advert from the Independent.. All bow before the mighty power of the nocebo effect.. November 28th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in.. 70 Comments.. Ben Goldacre, Saturday 28 November 2009,.. This week the parliamentary science and technology select committee.. looked into the evidence.. behind the MHRA’s decision to allow homeopathy sugar pill labels to make medical claims without evidence of efficacy, and the funding of homeopathy on the NHS.. There were some comedy highlights, as you might expect from any serious enquiry into an industry where sugar pills have healing powers conferred upon them by being shaken with one drop of the ingredient which has been diluted, so extremely, that it equates to one molecule of the substance in a sphere of water whose diameter is roughly the distance from the earth to the sun..

    Original link path: /category/complementary-medicine/
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  • Title: acupuncture – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: BMJ Column Beware of mentioning psychosocial factors.. November 8th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in.. 34 Comments.. How doctors describe the many interactions between a person, their illness, and society has little purchase in the crudely dualistic world of popular culture.. Medicalisation don t take it lying down.. September 29th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in.. 69 Comments.. Saturday September 29 2007.. One thing that always fascinates me, as I tug on my pipe in this armchair, is how reductionist, how mechanical, how sciencey and medical we like our stories about the body to be.. This week a major new study was published on acupuncture.. Many newspapers said it showed acupuncture performing better than medical treatment: in fact it was 8 million times more interesting than that.. Acupuncture and back pain: some interesting background references.. September 25th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in.. 95 Comments.. I was just on Radio 4 s PM program talking about the acupuncture study that s in the.. news today.. , you can listen to it here (37 minutes in to the programme):.. uk/radio4/news/pm/.. Here are some references and background bits and bobs.. The paper itself was very interesting.. It took 1200 people, with an average of 8 years back pain each: we can assume not been helped by biomedical treatments.. They were split into three groups: one group had medical treatment; one group had proper, real, bells and whistles, needles in the meridiens acupuncture; and one group were treated with pretend acupuncture.. False advertising is not the remedy.. March 11th, 2004 by Ben Goldacre in.. Thursday March 11, 2004.. Talk bad science.. · I wouldn t want you to feel powerless in the face of the new dark ages irrationality: there s so much more to being a bad science activist than just feeling smug after winning an argument at a party, as Dr Danny O Hare demonstrates this week.. The Children s Clinic in Brighton s pernicious advertising managed to find its way into my (primary age) children s book bags in the local school, thanks to over-zealous promotion by a satisfied, if deluded, customer.. Anyway, I read the ad and they were claiming to cure asthma, a life-threatening, distressing condition for which real scientific medicine cannot even provide complete symptomatic relief, much less cure.. The claim was obviously false.. Needless to say, the clinic was planning on using only complementary therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy and osteopathy.. O Hare complained, rather heroically, to the Advertising Standards Authority.. After much bleating on the part of the Children s Clinic, the ASA agreed that sentences like after the remedy she was completely back to normal no asthma did rather imply that the clinic thought it could cure asthma, and noted that the advertiser  ...   pills.. Chocolates and homeopathy.. April 24th, 2003 by Ben Goldacre in.. 1 Comment.. Thursday April 24, 2003.. New: Talk about Bad science.. · I was delighted to see that the government has given £1.. 3m to the pseudo-scientists marketing alternative therapies such as homeopathy and acupuncture.. This money will go towards research projects to determine whether their money-making scams really help people, and whether they should be available on the NHS.. I can think of nothing better, though why an industry reported this week to make £130m a year out of the British public can t be bothered to spend 1% of that on sorting out its own research is another question.. And how they plan to help an underfunded NHS, in which GPs can offer only six-minute appointments, get round the fact that people prefer alternative therapists because they are privately employed to spend an hour listening to people talk about themselves without calling it counselling, is another matter.. · What you might not know, because it s so much less newsworthy, is that the government has given an equal and opposite gift to the noble bad science hunters of the world, having arranged for everyone to have free access to the Cochrane Library online.. This is the best single source of reliable evidence about the effects of health care in the world.. It is built up from statistical reviews of the available experimental evidence, combining the results from lots of different trials to make one big one, and offers the best chance of getting at the reality of what works and what doesn t.. Being a trouble maker, the first thing I did was go to their site (link below) and look up acupuncture.. Oh look, there are 22 studies already on smoking and acupuncture.. Hang on: There is no clear evidence that acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy or electrostimulation are effective for smoking cessation.. The Cochrane Library.. · Lastly, it was good to see that in these godless times, with church attendance dropping yearly, we have at least managed to maintain the traditional Easter ritual of stories in the news about chocolate being good for you.. Speculative laboratory studies about antioxidant flavonoids, and their possible effect on the immune system and bone metabolism, were gaily reported in more places than I could count as if the patient population studies on osteoporosis and coronary heart disease were already in the bag.. But if you really think you need more of vitamins A1, B1, B2, C, D, and E, why not skip the chocolates and get your fat arse down to the market to buy some fruit for a change?.. Dr Goldacre will be back next week.. Please send your favourite Bad Science to:.. bad.. science@guardian..

    Original link path: /category/complementary-medicine/acupuncture/
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  • Title: herbal remedies – Bad Science
    Descriptive info: Roger Coghill and the Aids test.. June 28th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in.. 72 Comments.. Saturday June 28, 2008.. It s the big stories I enjoy the most.. Suicides linked to phone masts.. roared the Sunday Express front-page headline this week.. The spate of deaths among young people in Britain s suicide capital could be linked to radio waves from dozens of mobile phone transmitter masts near the victims homes.. Aids Quackery International Tour.. December 1st, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in.. 97 Comments.. Saturday December 1 2007.. If you were going to be actuarial about media coverage an eighth of a column inch for each premature death perhaps then this paper would be filled with diarrhoea and Aids.. Today is.. World Aids Day.. : so come with me on a world tour of Aids quackery.. South Africa is traditionally where we would start such a voyage, headed as it is by President Thabo Mbeki, a man who remains an HIV denialist and.. recently.. told a biographer that he regrets withdrawing from publicly discussing his beliefs.. He has compared Aids scientists to Nazi concentration camp doctors and portrayed black people who accepted orthodox Aids science as self-repressed victims of a slave mentality.. The trouble with herbals.. October 6th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in.. 101 Comments.. Saturday October 6 2007.. news.. this week that herbal remedies can be ineffective or dangerous is boring: but come with me on a journey through time (time… time…) to the origins of medicine.. Now Look What You ve Made Me Do.. June 12th, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in.. Poor old.. Susan Clark.. , previously a regular Bad Science target when she was writing What s The Alternative in the Sunday Times, she is now in a position of total safety at The Observer.. Apparently in the past the poor thing has had such a hammering for her advice on malaria medication, that now her readers have to suffer.. Actually it s.. all my fault.. No hang on.. It s your fault for encouraging.. Resistance is worse than useless.. February 11th, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in.. 63 Comments.. Saturday February 11, 2006.. Let me take you back to 2005, and one of several Bad Science stories about.. and her What s The Alternative column in the Sunday Times.. She s no longer in that post if you re lucky we ll have room to talk about her successor soon but she stood out on account of her.. Supplementary benefits.. August 11th, 2005 by Ben Goldacre in.. 16 Comments.. Thursday August 11, 2005.. · OK, it s me and Susan Clarke from the Sunday Times, on the floor, mano a mano.. This week someone is asking for.. Funnel vision.. July 7th, 2005  ...   media, this was bound to be a hotly contested category.. Were there any.. Mixing medicines.. November 11th, 2004 by Ben Goldacre in.. Thursday November 11, 2004.. · Ah, Susan Clark of the Sunday Times (What s the Alternative?), how I love her.. This time she s giving advice about which natural substances are safe to take with warfarin.. First, she bemoans the dearth of research on the subject.. Then she ignores the useful stuff in what we do know.. As a simple guideline, patients who are taking warfarin should avoid any natural remedies that have an action on the cardiovascular system.. I have no idea where that idea came from: but warfarin is famous for being interfered with by other drugs.. St John s Wort, for example, is a very popular drug herb, collection of drugs in a plant, whatever that reduces the plasma concentration of warfarin, along with phenytoin and rifampicin: that s not because they re active on the cardiovascular system, that s probably because they interfere with liver enzymes, which means it makes them work harder.. Those enzymes also break down warfarin, so if they re working harder, they break down the warfarin more too, so there s less of it around in your blood, and you re more likely to have another nasty clot and die.. Likewise, ginseng reduces the plasma levels of warfarin, so they shouldn t be mixed either.. And lots of others.. · So: stand by for the kind of nerdy, and usefully boring science story you ll see in a paper when I am prime minister of the world government.. In a recent study, 2,600 patients on warfarin were sent a questionnaire on what alternative therapies they took: 1,360 responded (believe me, that s a high response rate) and a whole 19.. 2% of those responders were, it turned out, taking one or more complementary therapies.. Ninety-two per cent of them hadn t thought to mention this to their doctor.. Only 28.. 3% of all respondents had even thought that herbal medicines could interfere with prescription drugs.. Because hardly anybody s telling them.. And, the patients who were taking the complementary therapies the ones you d hope would be aware of the risks were even less likely to think they might interfere with prescription drugs (at a statistical significance of P 0.. 001, which means there s a one in 1,000 possibility of that finding occurring by chance).. · Now, doctors have a responsibility to ask about alternative therapies.. Patients have a responsibility to themselves to volunteer the information.. And the PR arm of the alternative therapy industry, the ones who write articles in national newspapers, have a responsibility to know their onions, and share their knowledge..

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