Category: Research

Are Government Health Services Researchers in Conflicts of Interest?

An article by Andreas Laupacis in HealthyDebate.ca reviews conflicts of interest with respect to government and contract health services researchers, and raises some provocative issues not often discussed even amongst COI watchdogs: For example, Evidencenetwork.ca, a web site that provides…

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Doctor laments doctors’ blindness to conflicts of interest

HealthyDebate.ca has an overview of some of the findings, issues and concerns with respect to big pharma’s influence on doctors written by family physician Ritika Goel. So it makes sense why the companies would do this, but why would doctors…

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University of Toronto Students Misled by Big Pharma

The Toronto Star reports on a study that found University of Toronto medical school students are being routinely misled about the enormous influence of pharmaceutical companies on their educational programs. As Canada’s opioid addiction epidemic took root, students at one…

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Canadian med schools allowing conflicts of interest

A new study published in PLOS One looks at pharmaceutical industry activities and influences on universities in Canada and conflict of interest policies in Canadian medical schools, and finds COI policies “Too Few, Too Weak.” Lead author Adrienne Shnier is…

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Retraction Watch Website

Just discovered an interesting website, “Retraction Watch,’ that reports on studies, professors and medical researchers caught faking data, falsifying conclusions and fudging numbers at such a scale that the studies have been retracted, or the doctors fired etc. You can…

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British Columbia’s Sell-out to Drug Companies

Paul Webster provides a good overview in the Vancouver Observer of the BC liberal government’s gutting of public-service drug research and analysis in the province, including this admission from Premier Christy Clark about axing the Therapeutics Initiative: Unplugging the Therapeutics…

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JAMA drops requirement for independent stat analysis

In 2005, there was a widely-publicized global effort by the world’s leading medical journals to try to rein in conflicts of interest that were polluting medical studies. Since that time, we’ve seen a steady erosion of that noble effort, mainly…

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U.S. health care price fixing

This New York Times article reports on findings that basic medical procedures around the U.S. consistently cost much, much more than in comparable countries, and that it’s this, rather than rising drug costs, that is accounting for much of the…

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Invisible and Abandoned Drug Trials

An article in the British Medical Journal, “Restoring invisible and abandoned trials: a call for people to publish the findings” provides an interesting overview of some of the main issues and concerns that have led to a growing movement calling…

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Depression Screening Criticized in CMAJ

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has run an interesting review of the evidence surrounding depression screening. Despite the massive machinery promoting people getting tested for depression that’s being run by corporations and mental health organizations, the researchers found there’s no…

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The Case for National Pharmacare

The National Post has run a good op-ed which dispels some of the common beliefs used to argue against publicly-funded universal prescription drug coverage, and exposes some of the ways that pharmaceutical companies become less helpful the more profits they…

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Real Facts about Flu

A Cochrane Collaboration doctor, Tom Jefferson, has put together a simple, quick overview of some of the key facts about the flu and flu vaccines. Most of the main arguments we’ve heard in recent years are turned on their head,…

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Study of Mental Health Websites and Bias

A meta-analysis of studies of mental health websites and their biases has produced some interesting findings. Here’s a good article about it. And the abstract: A literature review and meta-analysis of drug company–funded mental health websites Read J, Cain A.…

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Therapeutics Initiative Appeals for Help

One of many devastating consequences to the re-election of the BC Liberals in British Columbia this week could be the final destruction of all independent drug research, evaluation, and regulation in the province for processes more favourable to pharmaceutical companies.…

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Is the revered Cochrane Collaboration being corrupted by Pharma?

The Cochrane Collaboration has become one of the world’s most important sources of independent meta-analyses of drug safety and effectiveness. But a report in the April 2013 newletter of the International Society of Drug Bulletins warns of the increasing influence…

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Canada’s National Research Council Gutted for Big Business

The CBC reports that Canada’s National Research Council will no longer support research unless it’s specifically geared to helping commercial enterprises. Essentially, it seems the NRC is being turned into a giant operating subsidy for corporations, where they will be…

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