Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

Index of 2009

Does Tamiflu prevent complications of flu?

There was a very strange story surrounding yesterday's publication of a systematic review of the role of drugs such as Tamiflu in treating flu. This made the lead story on yesterday's Channel 4 News. The story involved the Cochrane Collaboration, the British Medical Journal, and Roche (makers of Tamiflu), and I have to say I don't think any of them has emerged from the story with much credit.

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EMWA conference in Frankfurt

Last week I went to the EMWA conference in Frankfurt, which once again was very successful and a lot of fun. I was teaching two workshops this time, including a brand new one on statistical analysis of binary data. To my surprise, the workshop sold out very soon after conference registration opened. This is unusual for a new workshop (as workshops are not eligible for EMWA professional development credit the first time they are run) and, let's face it, statistical analysis of binary data doesn't exactly sound very sexy.

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Medical writing training course

Our next introductory course in medical writing is now open for booking. Places are still available, but numbers are limited so please book early if you want to be sure of a place. Continue reading→

Bexhill half marathon

I'm delighted to report that I ran my first ever half marathon yesterday, namely the Bexhill Poppy Half Marathon. The weather was rather unpleasant, but at least the rain had eased off by the time the race started and we avoided the heavy downpours of earlier in the day. I wasn't sure what time to expect, but given that I've done a couple of 10 mile races earlier this year with a time of just over 1 h 40 min, I thought I'd probably complete the half marathon in somewhere around 2 h 10 min to 2 h 15 min.

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In my previous post "Everything is crap" I promised to write more about Ikea once the legal stuff was all over. Well, it is, so here goes.

Almost exactly a year ago, we had some furniture delivered from Ikea. One of the delivery men dropped the furniture on the hearth of our almost brand new and expensive limestone fireplace, and broke it. When we pointed out the damage, the other delivery man then became quite rude and abusive, denying all responsibility and shouting a lot.

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DIA clinical forum, day 3

Well, the clinical forum is now pretty much over, and the Dianthus Medical exhibition stand is being dismantled around me even as I type this.

Since my last blog entry, I've been to a couple of interesting sessions in the medical writing track. Yesterday afternoon, I attended a session on the role of medical writers in publications, which is always a lively topic. It was nice to see that, at least among the people attending the session, messages about ethical standards seem to be very well understood.

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DIA clinical forum, day 2

We're now on our second day at the DIA clinical forum. I've been to quite a variety of talks: one session on clinical study reports, another on validation of computerised systems, and most recently on statistical analysis of bioequivalence trials, where there was much discussion of whether it's acceptable to widen the acceptance criteria for bioequivalence if drugs have highly variable Cmax. It will be interesting to see what the new guideline on this says when it's published, supposedly later this year.

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Live blog from the DIA clinical forum

I'm writing this from the DIA clinical forum in Nice, where Alice, Nancy and I are showing Dianthus Medical to the world of clinical research at the exhibition. We've had a nice leisurely start this morning, as the exhibition didn't start until 10.30, so I had plenty of time for a pre-breakfast run this morning. Running along the seafront in Nice is a particularly lovely thing to do, particularly early in the morning when the sun is not quite above the horizon: the light over the sea is beautiful.

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Annoying sales calls

It's my first morning back in the office after a lovely week's holiday in the Lake District, and already I'm feeling grumpy again. Just had a sales call from someone claiming to be from Reuters (not sure whether he really was or not) trying to sell me some expensive business intelligence reports. As I've blogged before, I find unsolicited sales calls deeply annoying, and pretty much the first thing I asked him was "are you trying to sell me anything?", to which he answered that he wasn't. After proceeding to waste 5 minutes of my time, he then tried to sell me something.

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HIV vaccine results

Today's big health news story is a "breakthrough" in HIV vaccine research, as the results of a study done in Thailand are announced. At the end of a 3-year study, 74 of 8,198 subjects became infected with HIV in the placebo group compared with 51 of 8,197 in the vaccine group. That's a vaccine efficacy of about 31%, or if you prefer, a risk ratio of 0.69.

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