Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Trial testament to the cf community as a positive, patient and persistent partner in research

I hope you will have seen or heard the news today of the positive results of a gene therapy trial for people with cystic fibrosis. And this is how The Guardian is reporting it. Although it is early days and the improvement shown in patients only a modest one, it is nonetheless a very hopeful... Continue Reading →

Why do charities play the numbers game when talking ‘burden of illness’ and medical research?

I notice that there has been a fair bit of news generated today by the charity, Autistica, who have published a study showing that autism costs the UK £32 billion per year in terms of treatment, lost earnings etc. The study was conducted by researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE) and follows one... Continue Reading →

Pharma is just not wired to act in the public interest when the chips are down

It has been an interesting 24 hours for some of our goliaths of research funding. Starting with the positive, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) rolled out its new research strategy this morning: 'Beating Cancer Sooner.' Its bold new vision is to see 75% of people surviving the disease in the next twenty years. That's compared to the 50%... Continue Reading →

The medical marathon; a piece to mark the #LondonMarathon2014

What is, I wonder, the equivalent of Noel Coward's lyric 'only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,' which might encapsulate the phenomenon that is the Virgin Money London Marathon? This morning tens of thousands of runners will set out from Greenwich Park as they do every year with high hopes of finishing two, three, four... Continue Reading →

Fight the good fight: medical research charity advertising slogans

Over the last few months, I have been noting down charity advertising copy as I go about London. Here are ten. Notice any trends? Diagnosed with blood cancer, Chloe only has one hope...YOU. Text HOPE.... Anthony Nolan Trust 2013 Elliot is deafblind. He can't tell it's Christmas. Text TOY to....Sense Help us beat cancer sooner... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Do I detect a slight fumble of the ball in today’s Commons Select Committee report on clinical trials?

Not for the first time I was awake at 3am this morning. Cup of tea in hand, watching American football.  It's amazing how those players keep the ball when so many other players are piling on top of them.  Rarely do you see the thing break free.  They must practice for hours.... The House of Commons... Continue Reading →

The duty falls on all of us to issue that wake-up call to the NHS about its research mission

Last week, medical research charities among others hailed a series of Government amendments made to the Health and Social Care Bill.  These place 'a strong duty across the Secretary of State, the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups to promote research and the use of research evidence.' The amendments are in response to persistent lobbying; their... Continue Reading →

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