Wow. It’s not easy to comment on this 13-minute TED talk given last year by Dr. Ben Goldacre, titled “What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe.” (I’d add: “…and what patients don’t know about the drugs they are taking!”) I’m not totally surprised, but I didn’t realize it was THIS bad. To watch the video, just click on this link: http://goo.gl/mshuh
Check out (seven and a half minutes into the talk, more or less) what he says about antidepressants…a staggering difference, indeed.
Then, ten minutes into the talk, don’t miss the reference to Tamiflu, a drug that is familiar to many of us (I’m now glad I’ve never touched the stuff). Whoa.
And then this: 50% of ALL trials are buried. This affects ALL fields of medicine, Dr. Goldacre says. And positive trial results are about twice as likely to be published as negative findings. 😯
Even though in the past eight years I’ve read a lot about problems and hidden data concerning clinical trials and studies, I must admit that I had no idea…I just had no idea…
And what about cancer drug trial results? Can we possibly believe they are exempt from what Dr. Goldacre calls “publication bias”? Or “research fraud”? Or fake fixes? Or…? No, of course we can’t.
Well, we need to push to have all the “negative data” published. We need to push our doctors to find out. We need to KNOW. I think it’s bloody outrageous that we, and our doctors, are left stumbling in the dark when our lives hang in the balance. No, it’s utterly UNACCEPTABLE!!!
I want to watch this video again, to make sure I didn’t miss anything, but I have some more work to do today, so I must be off…Anyway, do have a look. And let me know what you think…Thanks!
And many thanks to Linda for posting this TED talk on FB. 🙂