Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

Index of Med writing

Medical writing training, October 2012

Booking is now open for our next "introduction to medical writing" course, which will run on 19 October 2012. This 1-day medical writing training course is particularly suitable for anyone wishing to enter the medical writing profession, and will also be useful to new medical writers. For more details please click here.

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EMWA conference in Cyprus

As I write this, it's now less than a week until the next EMWA conference, which will be in Cyprus on 14-18 May.

I'm hugely looking forward to it (not least as a chance to escape all the dismal weather we've been having lately) and the opportunity to catch up with my many friends in the medical writing world. I'll be teaching 2 workshops this time round: one on ANOVA and regression analysis, and the other on critical reading of medical literature.

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Legal remedies for ghostwriting

Everyone agrees that ghostwriting in the medical literature is a bad thing. The question is what can be done to eradicate it.

Professional medical writers' organisations such as EMWA, AMWA, and ISMPP have done their bit by publishing guidelines and position statements and educating their members about ethical publication practices, and there is some evidence that those efforts are pushing things in the right direction, but it's clear that they are not going to solve the problem by themselves and that more needs to be done.

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Journal of Bioethical Inquiry and editorial accountability

I wrote back in June about my unpleasant experience of finding some false and defamatory allegations about Dianthus Medical printed in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, and how I was unable to persuade the journal to publish a correction, even though the authors of the article subsequently admitted that they had no evidence to support their allegations.

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What are medical journals doing to combat ghostwriting?

I have recently written a 2-part guest blogpost for Pharmaphorum about medical ghostwriting. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. If you haven't read them, you might want to do so now. I'll go away and have a cup of tea while you do.

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Strategic MedComms Forum 2011 part 2: guidelines and transparency

This is the second in a 2-part blog post. If you missed part 1, you can read it here.

So, on to the 3rd session of the day, “Good Practice Guidelines. A Triumph of Hope over Experience?”, which was led by Charlie Buckwell from Complete Medical Group. There are many guidelines which define good practice in pharma industry publications (which for the most part are remarkably consistent with each other), and yet there is still a widespread perception that pharma industry publications are thoroughly evil. Charlie showed us a YouTube clip which gave a good idea of how some journalists, either because they are seriously uninformed or because they think conspiracy theories always sell, continue to tell untruths about how the pharma publishes its research.

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Strategic MedComms Forum 2011 part 1: marketing and data sharing

Last week, I spent a fascinating day at the Strategic MedComms Forum 2011. This event, subtitled “Trust and Transparency - Myth and Reality” and expertly organised by Peter Llewellyn of Network Pharma brought together a range of people working in medical communications for the pharma industry, as well as others with an interest in the field, to discuss the issues of trust and transparency in the way that the pharma industry communicates with the wider world.

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Should pharmaceutical companies publish all their data?

I'm currently involved in a survey, designed to find out more about attitudes to pharmaceutical companies publishing all of their clinical data.

The objective of this short survey is to gain feedback as to how much trial data pharmaceutical companies should make public. The types of questions asked within the survey include, "Should pharma make all their data public, and if so, how where should they publish their data", and "What are the limitations on publishing all data?". The survey is aimed at professionals involved in the development, publishing or planning of medical publications.

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Medical writing training, October 2011

We are pleased to announce that our 1-day introduction to medical writing training course will next run on 7 October 2011. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Details here.

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Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

I have waited a long time to write this blog. Since early in 2010, to be precise. In January 2010, a paper was published in a peer-reviewed journal that made some outrageous, untrue, and defamatory remarks about Dianthus Medical.

I have not blogged about it before, because such things are better dealt with in private. This is particularly true if legal action is pending, although in the end, despite the fact that the journal refused to correct the untrue statements published about us, I decided that the cost of mounting a libel action against the journal would be prohibitive. As one great legal mind once put it, “Justice is open to everyone, in the same way as the Ritz Hotel is”.

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