We need to get personal about ‘antibiotic resistance’ if we want the public to help fight infection @wellcometrust

The Wellcome Trust have this morning put out the results of a very interesting study about public understanding of antibiotic resistance. The research by Good Business found that people struggle with what the term ‘antibiotic resistance’ means, and are more comfortable with alternative terms such as “drug-resistant infections” or “antibiotic-resistant germs.”  Also that, because of the… Read More We need to get personal about ‘antibiotic resistance’ if we want the public to help fight infection @wellcometrust

Government pushes forward with review to speed up availability of innovative medicines and treatments

Two posts in one day!  Ah, those were the days when we got two Post Office deliveries a day…. Just to say the Government has published the full terms of reference for its Innovative Medicines and MedTech Review to be headed up by Sir Hugh Taylor who is currently Chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’s.  Yes, that’s… Read More Government pushes forward with review to speed up availability of innovative medicines and treatments

Spend £1 on cancer research and get 40p back every year: what’s not to like?

Today the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Medical Research holds its summer reception in parliament. This annual event has become an important fixture on the health research calendar. The ‘great and the good’ assemble to focus on a key issue of the day and to network. At some point in proceedings they will be addressed by… Read More Spend £1 on cancer research and get 40p back every year: what’s not to like?

Musings on #patientdata and: ‘the moral case for public involvement in research is dead, long live…’

There’s a big push on #patientdata at the moment. Leaflets explaining how patient data will be shared in the future are being stuffed through people’s letter boxes.  This is part of an initiative called ‘care.data.’ Medical research charities have meanwhile funded a national newspaper advertising campaign exhorting the benefits of sharing patient data for research. The… Read More Musings on #patientdata and: ‘the moral case for public involvement in research is dead, long live…’

Leadership, and a strategy transplant from NHSBT would do the patient data debate no harm

Today NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has called for a radical change in public attitudes and behaviours towards organ donation. The public have been asked to respond to NHSBT’s new strategy.  This asks people to consider some tough questions such as whether registered organ donors should go to the front of the queue for organ donation ahead… Read More Leadership, and a strategy transplant from NHSBT would do the patient data debate no harm

‘Best left alone’ is not the motto we want for our health regulators

It being half-term you can never have enough travel games on hand. Current favourites for me are: a) guessing who will be the new Director of the Wellcome Trust and; b) thinking of  a name for the body  created if you merged all the current Research Councils into one. I did apply for the former… Read More ‘Best left alone’ is not the motto we want for our health regulators

Data, data everywhere…new report, plus NIHR’s achievements in 2012

Yes, we are positively swimming in data these days.  And I don’t about you, but I’m looking forward to doing some data-linkage with family and friends over Christmas and the New Year. From a Government point of view, making best use of the data which is routinely collected by departments, public agencies and others, linking… Read More Data, data everywhere…new report, plus NIHR’s achievements in 2012

Comment piece: New mental health research charity springs from an unlikely quarter #mentalhealth

It has been in the works for a not inconsiderable amount of time.  A slow burner if you like.  So it somehow seems fitting that the first flames should flicker almost unnoticed. Yesterday, Research Fortnight’s Adam Smith wrote about a new mental health research charity to be launched next year with a hefty £20 million… Read More Comment piece: New mental health research charity springs from an unlikely quarter #mentalhealth

GSK’s Witty remarks are easy to swallow from a patient perspective but the rest of the flock must follow

I spoke at the Clinical Discovery 2012 conference yesterday about the future value and impact of clinical research.  This is one of a number of similar events I’ve presented at over the last month or so.  On reflection there generally seems a more ‘upbeat’ conversation among conference-goers about clinical research in the UK compared to this time last… Read More GSK’s Witty remarks are easy to swallow from a patient perspective but the rest of the flock must follow

Spirit of ad-venture shown by charities in funding drug research or a sign of desperate times?

From The Economist in New York, a short but interesting piece on the growing collaboration between charities, pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the US to bring new drugs to market.  More specifically it looks at the ‘venture philanthropy’ model being adopted by charities there to support clinical trials.  I’m not quite sure I’d characterise it as… Read More Spirit of ad-venture shown by charities in funding drug research or a sign of desperate times?

The public interest argument must extend beyond open access…here’s a sort of lay summary

Good Guardian blog yesterday giving a lay summary of the ‘open access’ debate vis a vis papers published in scientific journals.  There’s also been a healthy exchange of letters in The Times this week but ironically that’s behind their paywall.  However, at least The Times is available in all good newsagents at a reasonable price. Unsurprisingly, I… Read More The public interest argument must extend beyond open access…here’s a sort of lay summary

A few more ‘£s’ and I’ll be opening my own Wellcome Collection…just keep those surveys coming

If only petrol was as plentiful a resource as public attitudes.  There is no end to the extent to which we can mine what the public thinks about this, or that. Occasionally a survey will hit a rich seam of information and insight.  Then again, so numerous are those who are drilling into the public mindset nowadays, that I… Read More A few more ‘£s’ and I’ll be opening my own Wellcome Collection…just keep those surveys coming

Charities wade in on Leveson and media reporting of science

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) together with Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust have this afternoon published their response to the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press.  See first item listed under 2012 on this page at the AMRC website. The submission makes good points and I learnt… Read More Charities wade in on Leveson and media reporting of science

International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up

It is International Clinical Trials Day today and The Cochrane Library has worked with the UK Medical Research Council’s Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research to produce a set of new podcasts about clinical trials – well worth a listen. There was a conference in Vienna this morning organised by the European Clinical Research… Read More International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up