Watch out for medical bias!

Hi all

Have just read the link re Symbicort and Serentide posted by Martin 1945

The article makes it quite clear that Symbicort seems to be better at preventing exacerbations. Well that suits me as I'm on Symbicort.

However Serentide is made by GlaxoCline and Symbicort by AstraZenica ... who is the MD involved in reporting and probably funding this article paid by ...... read and you will see ....paid by AstraZenica. So could there be some level of bias here and statistics not being all that they seem ...hmm seems likely.... its so impossible to know.

There is a book by Ben Goldacre called 'Bad Pharma',( he's also written one called 'Bad Science' ... which is quite amusing in a harsh and cynical way) .... neither books are exactly light reads (especially 'Bad Pharma' ... which is very intense) but they sure as hell put a spotlight on the dodgy dealing, fake statistics and financial self interest in the world of health and medicine.

I recommend both, especially if you are interested in understanding how the medical and alternative medical professions are able to provide evidence for treatments that 'apparently' work. Both books opened my eyes and I now feel much wiser in the ways of the medical world of drugs / prescription and hollow promises.


14 Replies

  • Well spotted Bolilly.

  • You may wish to add your signature to Ben's petition at

    and also see his Blog at if you are interested. :-)

  • Signed. :)

  • Signed the petition.I gree with what is proposed.


  • Signed the petition so much more the world can learn

  • Hi Bolilly

    Yes I did notice that it was sponsored by AZ but felt the information was useful even those the possibility of bias existed. I don't think we can turn a jaundiced eye to reports of a similar nature as this would deny ourselves the prospect of informative and inportant information. Arguably, most reports published have some sort of association with Pharm companies, after all they likely sponsor most trials. Stay well. Martin

  • The freedom in exchange of information has enabled the forming of personal views making independent analysis of reports something previous generations could not have dreamed of.

    In the research provided by martin1945 we are invited to form a more informed opinion with evidence of bias highlighted other contributors who are welcome to provide counter evidence which may be relevant in forming independent opinions.

  • After 32 years working in pharma i am now a currently a free man.

    i feel i must draw your attention to regulatory element that controls pharma in the UK. There has been strict codes of practice, that are enforced, for my career. regulations and working practices seemed to get tighter and tighter. Penalties for breaching these rules are substantial. Pharma is allowed to present evidence not to mislead and remain vigilant.

    Pharma makes money from selling drugs to help patients manage their medical problems. GPs, hospitals and nurses make their money helping patients to manage their medical problems. Doctors need patients. They can advise and/or treat. Treatment usually involves medicines, therefore we need Pharma.

    There is already so much evidence, so much opinion and so much propaganda from so many sources, so much to do, many healthcare professionals haven't got time to keep up. Healthcare professionals may choose different treatments none of which are wrong, simply different.

    I will leave you with a thought. Who manages your illness?

    The answer is you! YOU with the help and support of healthcare professionals in partnership with you

    let's do the maths.

    There are 8760 hours in a year (365x24)

    Most patients will see a healthcare professional for less than a couple of hours/year. That is 0.0228% of the time. This means that you are responsibe 99.977% of the time.

    Enjoy your day

  • Some very good points there! We certainly need "pharma" and they need the profit incentive to make it worth their while doing the research and developing new drugs. It's very easy to rely on health professionals, especially if we're not feeling well, but keeping informed ourselves means we can ask questions. I told my consultant that I want to know and understand as much as I can about my condition because it gives me the illusion of some control! She, bless her, is in full agreement.

  • More power to you! I hope ultimately more patients/carers take responsibility for themselves with their hcps ( healthcare professionals)

    Enjoy your weekend

  • signed

  • Me too.

  • I have just started using symbicort ( 2 weeks ago) and before that i was on seritide for years..since using symbicort i can honestly say my airways are more open now than before i can do my few jobs around the house and exercise easier my dose is 2 puffs twice a day of symbicort 400.i feel like life is worth living again. Bob.

    never give up..

  • signed

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