If you want priceless “must read” stuff then Sense about Science: First Admit no Harm June 9, 2014 is yet another in a series of sensible, straight-talking tough blog posts from mainstream medicine’s drug safety expert Professor David Healy. This is a second post exploring Sense about Science. The first post is here: Follow the Rhetoric.
Anyone interested in Pharma will know about its ability to Astroturf – to create patient organizations whose role is to promote an illness or subvert an existing one. Creating awareness of conditions sells drugs.
Less well known is what happens at a higher Astral level. You can’t sell a product that gets a bad reputation or is removed from the market. The marketing mission at this meta-level is to risk manage by influencing the debate on Risk.
You do this by setting up think tanks, hiring ex-regulators, academics and others, capturing the regulatory system, and working with a body with a name like Sense about Science.
The regulators advise you on how to get an indication for a drug even though it doesn’t work for that. The academics advise on how to do trials that use a problem your drug causes to hide a problem your drug causes. The lawyers advise on the trials or studies that need doing in order for you to be able to defend the product in academic and legal settings.
All are involved years, perhaps a decade, before any sign of a legal action or public fuss. You are able to brief them on the likely legal actions or publicity you could face because the right hand already knows what problems your drug causes, even though the left hand never concedes anything – even after the drug has been removed from the market. It would be irresponsible to your shareholders not to have defences like this in place.
Click to read on to see the whole superb Healy article and you will not be disappointed:
Sense about Science: First Admit no Harm June 9, 2014
And irony of ironies, here is Dr Ben Goldacre getting you all to give money to Sense About Science – raising funds so Sense About Science can run Ben Goldacre’s AllTrials campaign which is being so successful getting laws proposed to apply throughout the European Union which will ensure drug safety takes 101st place well behind drug industry profits in 1st.
Quite a coup for Dr Ben Goldacre. Well done Doc.
Your parents should be proud of their self-admitted “nerd” son:
Nerds at the parliamentary committee on the Draft Defamation Bill June 14th, 2011 by Ben Goldacre