The truth, the whole truth and nothing but….pharma

Here is a gripping report from this week's 'Adweek' (based in New York) about the new marketing strategies being used by pharmaceutical companies. Don't be put off by the reference to 'Obamacare.' The story is equally applicable to the United Kingdom.  For it is essentially a tale about how disease is being re-packaged. Patient data is the new... Continue Reading →

A commercial break of sorts: (Dr Ann-Gel) Palermo comes to Bristol 25th Sept: book a place

Community-based Participatory Research: Unlocking the potential - 25th September in Bristol, 14.30-16.00. Dr Ann-Gel Palermo is an experienced community activist researcher, involved with numerous organisations, local and federal committees in the USA concerned with public health and health disparities. She is chair of the Harlem Community & Academic Partnership (HCAP) which is a New York... Continue Reading →

1-HELP-CUREIT

It was so humid when I stepped onto the sidewalk it felt like I was treading water. A threat of storms hung in the air, battleship colour clouds steaming slowly across the horizon. Far from here but menacing nonetheless.  An occasional spot of rain found its way on to the floor; a steady hum of a/c... Continue Reading →

New websites launched for people looking to join a clinical trial; but will patients want a ‘coming together’ at some point?

This week, patients got a couple more options for finding out about clinical trials they can take part in. Patientslikeme (which was launched in the United States a few years ago) has unveiled its new new clinical trials site which you can find here.   Patientslikeme is capturing a lot of attention here in the UK... Continue Reading →

A bit of a public involvement mash-up including that idea for an NHS Civil Society Assembly

So here's my unsubstantiated personal theory. It is that one of the root causes of the problems besetting today's NHS' is our failure to pay proper heed to the growing crisis in accountability and responsibility that has been a feature of our increasingly complex health system over the last seventy years.  From almost the day... Continue Reading →

Current Controlled Trials (CCT) appoints new advisory board

Current Controlled Trials (CCT), which aims 'to increase the availability, and promote the exchange, of information about ongoing randomised controlled trials worldwide,' has appointed a new advisory board to help it in its work.  Other than yours truly, the Board includes Ben Goldacre and Paul Wicks (PatientsLikeMe) among its members, and is drawing on international... Continue Reading →

US congressman tries the legislative route to ending bias in clinical trials reporting

The weekend beckons but given the 'transparency' theme to the week here is something to ponder. US Congressman Tom Reed has tabled a bill in the House of Reps with the purpose of strengthening the reporting requirements on clinical trials so that negative and positive trial results are published.  It is being supported by the Cancer Mission2020 lobby... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Social media and medical research, a story from Oz

I am in international mood today.  From the United States to Australia.  Unfortunately not via Hawaii. This was sent to me this morning and it's basically a report of a paper appearing in the Journal of Internet Medical Research about the viability of using social media in medical research. Interesting snapshot discussion around the pitfalls - i.e.... Continue Reading →

“I thought, if nothing else comes out of this, I might be of service to other people” – ‘The Big C,’ NPR and clinical trials talk

Image via WikipediaTo begin with, this blog was going to be about the portrayal of clinical trials in popular drama,  inspired by the current US show 'The Big C.' The latest episode runs on More4 tonight at 10pm.  If you haven't seen it, then I strongly recommend a viewing. It is well-written, honest - to the point of sassy at... Continue Reading →

Ill-informed consent: EU meeting lays into clinical trials small print for patients

Image by erjkprunczyk via FlickrDaniel Cressey at Nature has written this report from last week's meeting of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice which took place in Brussels. The basic thrust of the discussion at the meeting was that information given to patients prior to them signing up for a clinical trial: is often vague, too long,... Continue Reading →

International leaders in cancer research in conversation and a new Channel 4 video on clinical trials

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has a rather nifty web-page at the moment with various leading lights in cancer research talking about cancer therapeutics.   They include Bob Brown, chair, translational oncology, Imperial College London. And hear is a rather nifty video explaining drug trials done by Channel 4.  Just click on the picture... Continue Reading →

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