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Stuart Laidlaw
Recent Activity
Despite government investigations into the safety of diabetes drug Avandia, test subjects are still being recruited for studies into the controverial drug, according to a report. That has some researchers scratching their heads, since regulators in Canada and the US... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
For me, one of the most interesting things about the retraction last week by the Lancet of its discredited 1998 study linking vaccines and autism was the consensus that those who have believed the study will continue to have faith... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
In today's Toronto Star, I address the issue of assisted suicide -- and the argument that euthanasia is practiced so often in hospitals in all but name, that we should consider simply legalizing it. Starving to death in a hospital... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
A new study released today shows only 26 per cent of top American medical centres have a ban on the use of ghostwriters by their researchers. The study, released today by PLoS Medicine, surveyed 50 top medical centres across the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
A new peer-reviewed study paints a disturbing picture of the use and abuse of science by pharmaceutical companies to help them sell drugs. Published in the latest edition of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, the study goes through several case... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
Today, I had a story in the Toronto Star about an issue I touched on in this blog last week: Salami slicing, or the re-use of clinical trial data in more than one journal study. I spoke to Glen Spielmans,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
It seems that despite the efforts of big drug companies to mass market their antidepressants -- turning them into blockbuster druggs as they pitch the pills to children and pregnant women -- only the severly depressed actually benefit, a new... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
A new study is casting a light on the controversial practice in academic publishing of "salami slicing" -- or the publication of several studies from just one set of clinical data. Blogger and award-winning reporter Ed Silverman defines salami slicing... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
The world's top medical journals, including the Canadian Medical Association Journal, have launched a beta version of a new financial disclosure form they will require future researchers to fill out before their studies can be published in their pages. According... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
A move by New Jersey to become the first state in the US to regulate the relationship of doctors to drug companies is sparking a debate over the best way to counter the power of Big Pharma. Last month, NJ... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
Any doctor wanting to practice medicine in New Jersey may soon have to refuse lunches from drug industry representatives and any gift worth more than $200 (US), if new rules proposed by the state's attorney general are adopted. The proposals... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2010 at z_Medical Ethics blog
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has asked a judge to order that a video be take off YouTube, saying it could prejudice juries in upcoming court cases. It's the latest twist for a company caught for months in allegations of ghostwriting. The... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
Settling lawsuits over its controversial anti-depressant Paxil has cost Glaxo SmithKline some $1-billion in court-ordered and out-of-court settlements, Bloomberg News reports. “I don’t think this is within the boundaries of current assumptions for analysts.” Navid Malik, an analyst at Matrix... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
The controversial appointment of Pfizer Canada executive Bernard Prigent to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research was the lead item on the CBC's national morning radio show, The Current. A podcast of the show is available. In the show, Francoise... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
Drug giant Pfizer Canada finds itself at the centre of two conflict of interest controversies after one of its executives was appointed to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and it signed a deal to provide $780,000 for the Canadian... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
In the wake of growing scandals over conflicts of interest and ghostwriting in medical research, more than 100 top researchers from around the world -- including several from Canada -- wrote to the U.S. National Institutes of Health this morning... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
A report out this week calls for an overhaul of the way academic research is done in this country, and for an ombudsman to be appointed to oversee everything. The report, the Montreal Gazette points out, was well underway before... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
The top medical journals in the world, including the Canadian Medical Association Journal, will soon start demanding more stringent and uniform conflict of interest declarations from researchers than they have in the past. The requirements will go beyond existing disclosure... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
I have blogged about this verdict already today, but new details are beginning to emerge. The $2.5 million (US) award granted by a Philadelphia jury in a verdict handed down this morning against GlaxoSmithKline in a lawsuit over its anti-depressant... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline was ordered this morning to pay $2.5 million (US) to the family of a young boy born with heart defects after his mother took the anti-depressant Paxil during pregnancy. “The first win is always huge, especially when... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
The first of some 600 civil trials to be held alleging that GlaxoSmithKline's anti-depressant causes birth defects was put in the hands of a Philadelphia jury this morning. Testimony in the state-court trial, which began in September, wrapped up yesterday.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine today found that doctors, left to their own devices, do not always report potential conflicts of interest up to half the time. The study led by Dr. Mininder Kocher of Children's... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
An editorial in the Boston Globe, which recently reported on 60 Massachusetts doctors who took $580,000 (US) in payments from drug companies over four years, calls for the practice to be banned outright. The danger posed by this practice is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
Merck will soon become the largest drug company to post its payments to doctors online in the wake of costly lawsuits in which such payouts have become a big issue. Richard Clark, chairman and chief executive of the second-largest US... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog
Montreal-based medical writer Kate Johnson has weighed in on her blog about the ongoing ghostwriting scandal, saying a distinction needs to be made between anonymous writers hired by drug companies, and those hired by the researchers themselves. It's a fair... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2009 at z_Medical Ethics blog