Friday, March 23, 2007

Other Bloggers Shed Light on Important Cases.

A number of important and interesting stories have lately been perspicaciously covered by some other bloggers. I think we are starting to demonstrate that blogging can help spread the word about important cases of health care mismanagement, conflicts of interest, and malfeasance, and of cases of attempts to promote pseudoevidence by deception and intimidation, the sorts of cases which used to only get local coverage. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

On PharmaGossip, the latest pharmaceutical marketing bomb-shell, pharmaceutical representatives moon-lighting in beauty pageants. This is a useful link to look at the next time someone in pharmaceutical marketing argues that drug detailing is all about presenting physicians with the most relevant evidence in a sober and scientific manner.

On the Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry Blog, how a pharmaceutical company tried to deal with a scientific presentation suggesting one of its products might be more hazardous that was previously thought. The methods contemplated included trying to stop or delay publication of the paper, possibly by exerting "influence" on the editorial board, or article reviewers. This is another nasty reminder about how marketing may trump science, and patient welfare in some health care organizations.

Also on the Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry Blog, how some US state Medicaid programs are using pharmaceutical company subsidiaries to try to control drug utilization, including of that company's products. This appears to be a new variant of hiring the fox to guard the hen-house.

On the [anti-] Scientific Misconduct Blog, a discussion of the ad hominem attacks that have been launched against one of the more important medical whistle-blowers of the last decade, Dr Nancy Olivieri. Such attacks, of course, should not diminish the importance of the case of attempted research suppression that she made public.

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