Archive for the tag "Big Pharma"

PrEP makes no sense for discordant couples – corrected (15/07/11)

First PReP worked for gay men, and we were happy. Then it didn’t work for straight women, and we were sad. Now, two big studies in heterosexuals have shown it can work for straight couples, and we are deeply confused. Or at least I am. Taking anti-HIV pills every day cuts the risk of infection […]

Sticking it to crap research (23/08/10)

Because I run a course to help mid-career scientists get their papers published in peer-reviewed journals, I’m always on the look-out for really good papers, and for really bad ones. I also keep my eyes open for bad science reporting. It’s depressingly easy to find the latter, but it just got easier. Tom Scott has […]

Data sharing: soon to be yesterday’s news? (13/08/10)

The New York Times is a bit of a supertanker; it takes a while to get going on a subject. So by the time they run a drum-rolling front page story about some world-changing trend, you can be pretty sure that the trend is close to becoming the new status quo. I’m hoping that’s true […]

Fake ARVs: two steps back? (17/11/08)

So Asia is awash with fake pills. No news there. Cops are seizing a fair few of them — 16 million in the last few months, worth US$ 6.6 million, according to Interpol. That’s a step forward. But that some of them seem to be antiretroviral drugs for HIV threatens two steps back. The first […]

Sooner is better for HIV treatment (and Pharma) (27/10/08)

A new study suggests that people with HIV have a 70% greater chance of staying alive if they start taking antiretrovirals when their CD4 count is as high as 500. That’s good news for people who know they are infected early on and who have easy access to drugs. It’s also potentially good news for […]

Should we dump on negative advertising? (26/08/08)

As competition to treat people for HIV has hotted up, pharmaceutical companies have started dumping on one another. Using innuendo and not-quite-stated factoids, they are beginning to imply that the rival camp has something to hide (something they’ve no doubt learned from political campaigns). Those other drugs are toxic, discolouring, inconvenient. Activist groups and HIV […]

Will Big Pharma get littler in HIV research? (21/07/08)

Last week, Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche said it was giving up on HIV-related research. I expected some cynical “told you so” comments from industry analysts, but the reaction to the announcement was surprisingly muted. Even AIDS activists were mousy. Activists have done a spectacular job in slapping down the price of antiretroviral drugs in the […]

Rethinking Rethinking AIDS Day (23/04/08)

Today, apparently, is “Rethinking AIDS Day”. Or so we’re told by a group of AIDS denialists who gather under the banner of RethinkingAIDS.com. They and their mates have a channel on Youtube, too, called HIVquestions. They’ve been inviting me to sign up since I posted a video explaining that in some countries, counterintuitively enough, more […]

Scientists just say no to drug companies (15/04/08)

Big Pharma is famous for trying to seduce doctors into prescribing their products by giving them goodies and inviting them on junkets. Often, that amounts to naked bribery. But they also offer to pay independent scientists to participate in meetings, to give advice to board members, or to speak to said junkets. That’s more of […]

Cheap travel for mountaineers and HIV-positives in India (27/03/08)

India’s sprawling railway network will from next week allow HIV-infected people to travel half-price, the Economic Times reports. Since it’s India, there’s red tape to go with the red ribbons — the discount is only for second class travel to and from approved HIV treatment centres and people “have to produce (a) certificate in prescribed […]

Prozac doesn’t work: how depressing is that? (26/02/08)

Now that over 40 million people are taking Prozac and similar medication to cheer themselves up, we learn that they may as well be taking sugar-pills. Waving the Freedom of Information act as a warrant to gain access to data drug companies haven’t wanted to publish, researchers looked again at whether people popping Prozac actually […]

Named reporting: scientists can’t manage it (21/02/08)

Public health scientists love to whinge that no-one listens to us. We wring our hands endlessly over what we can do to better communicate the results of research to policy makers and the public. And yet a new study suggests that some scientists can’t even report their own names and e-mail addresses correctly. And the […]

Big pharma does smack (28/01/08)

When you need to know who Daddy is (13/01/08)

Art, science and the glories of Web 2.0 marketing come together in this wonderful Notes for Nerds video from diagnostics firm BioRad. The lyrics are posted here.

Drug pushers unlimited (10/01/08)

Almost everyone agrees that we need to invest more in developing drugs that treat and cure the illnesses that beset poor people. Many of us disagree, though, with pharmaceutical companies when they whinge about “patent protection”. This translates as keeping prices high while Big Pharma recoups its investment in research and rewards its shareholders. The […]