Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

Index of Clinical research

Clinical trials transparency

I'm currently at the EMWA conference in Budapest, where this morning I attended a fascinating symposium on clinical trials transparency (the symposium went on all day, but I was teaching a workshop on critical evaluation of medical literature this afternoon, so sadly I couldn't stay for the afternoon session).

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The zombie statistic that just won't die

I have written more than once before about how the commonly heard statistic "50% of all clinical trials are not published" is nonsense. It is a zombie statistic: no matter how many times you try to kill it, it just keeps on coming. And now it turns out its supporters are becoming increasingly dishonest in their attempts to defend it.

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Big data

I gave a talk yesterday at a CCRA event about big data, and promised the audience I'd post my slides on my blog.

So for the benefit of anyone who was at the talk who wants a record of what I said, or even for anyone who wasn't at the talk who is interested in a few of my random thoughts on big data, here are my slides.

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Clinical trial disclosure: myths and realities

I woke up this morning to news on BBC Radio 4's Today programme that a report by the Public Accounts Committee of the UK Parliament had found that only half of clinical trials are disclosed.

That's a statistic we've heard before. And as I've explained more than once before, it's not true. Nonetheless, zombie statistics are very hard to kill.

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DIA Clinical Forum, Dublin

We'll be exhibiting at the DIA Clinical Forum in Dublin on 8-9 October. If you're there, do come and say hello, won't you? We'll be on stand 5B.

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Bad Pharma review

I recently wrote a review of Ben Goldacre's book, Bad Pharma, for the European Medical Writers Association's journal. For the benefit of anyone who isn't an EMWA member and doesn't have access to the journal, here is my Bad Pharma review.

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Clinical trials and supermarket beef lasagne

I've been thinking about how clinical trials have certain things in common with supermarket beef lasagne.

No, don't worry, we don't usually find horses hiding in inappropriate places in clinical trials. But in both cases, the key to having confidence in the product is traceability. There is a long chain of things that happen between where you start and where you end up, and knowing what happens at each stage of the process is key to verifying the authenticity of the final product.

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Discussing Bad Pharma on Canadian TV

Yesterday I made a brief appearance on the Canadian TV channel BNN, in which I provided a counterpoint to an interview with Ben Goldacre, who was talking about his book Bad Pharma.

As regular readers of this blog will know, this is a subject I have written about more than once before, and will no doubt do so again.

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The strange story of the Tamiflu data

In a recent post about chapter 1 of Ben Goldacre's “Bad Pharma”, I mentioned that the chapter included a strange story about how the Cochrane investigators tried to get access to data on Roche's anti-influenza medication, Tamiflu, which would require a whole blogpost by itself. When I started to look into the Tamiflu story, I realised I was wrong about that. It's actually going to require 2 blogposts to tell the story. This is the first of those posts. In this post, I shall tell the story of the utterly surreal interactions between the Cochrane investigators and Roche. I shall save the question of what the evidence actually tells us about the efficacy of Tamiflu for another day.

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Sharing raw data from clinical trials

I've recently written a guest blog post for PharmaPhorum, which is all about sharing raw data from clinical trials. You can read it here.

I'd be very interested in any comments on the article, but since PharmaPhorum requires registration to be allowed to comment, if you can't be bothered with going through the registration process, you can leave your comment here.

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