Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

Index of Publications

Lack of transparency at the BMJ

I like the British Medical Journal. I really do. They publish some really great papers. They are also very much among the leaders in terms of publication ethics. They are one of the few journals who have espoused the contributorship model, which makes things much clearer than the traditional authorship model used by many journals. They were also writing about and acting on competing interests and the importance of declaring them as long ago as the 1990s. They have been a shining beacon of transparency and a force for higher standards in biomedical publishing.

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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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The JBI saga continues

Regular readers of this blog will recall my writing about a deeply unpleasant episode in which the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry wrote some unfounded allegations about unethical behaviour by Dianthus Medical, which, after extensive correspondence, they refused to correct. I first wrote about it here, and linked briefly here to a much more detailed account written by my friend Karen Shashok and published on the EMWA website.

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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 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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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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