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Bad Pharma, Bad Publishers, Bad?

September 23, 2012

Ben Goldacre has a new book out, which is called Bad Pharma.  And, there is an excerpt (from what I understand) from it in the guardian, outlining how null-results are buried, and positive results biased.  It is kind of scary (but we knew there were problems already, didn’t we).

Melissa McEwen then linked in to this response by an MD in pharma. (I hope the link takes you directly there – but if you end up on top, scroll down until you find the response from pharma MD – about a page or so).

He writes about how he has problems publishing null results.  Journals won’t take it, not interesting.  Well, we know that one.  And he blames the publishers.

OK – so it isn’t simple.  I get nervous when the blame wheel starts going.  Could publishing come in and defend themselves? But, then, we know there are problems with this, with the bias, the file drawer, the only publishing of positive results.

At least in the psychology I do, it is mainly the research that gets harmed.  But, here there are patients.

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